What Does Nitroglycerin Do in Pre-Workout?

Medically reviewed by Dr Dimitar Marinov
What Does Nitroglycerin Do in Pre-Workout?

Pre-workouts are fantastic concoctions designed to help us train harder, faster and for longer. Training for a day and then being sore for the rest of the week isn’t a great feeling if you know what we’re talking about.

Thankfully, there are several things we can take before and after a workout to prevent our muscles from recovering and last longer. One of these is nitroglycerin. Sounds like something you’d put in a nuke, right? It’ll give you a more explosive step, that’s for sure.

What Is Nitroglycerin?

Nitroglycerin is a common medication used to treat chest pain and angina. It belongs to the nitrate drug class and works by relaxing and dilating the blood vessels to increase blood flow to the heart. In a pre-workout, Nitroglycerin works exactly the same. By dilating the blood vessels, blood can travel to and from the heart faster, which provides the muscles with more oxygen and energy.

What Are The Benefits of Nitroglycerin in Pre-Workout Supplements?

Nitroglycerin has several benefits in a Pre-workout, which include increased endurance, muscle pumps and a faster recovery after exercise. 

Increase Endurance

Nitroglycerin in a pre-workout gives you a significant endurance boost. Because of its vasodilatory properties, it relaxes and widens the blood vessels in the body, allowing for larger volumes of blood to travel to and from the heart. Because our blood is responsible for carrying oxygen and glucose to our muscles, this increases the energy output of our bodies and, in turn, gives us a greater capacity for exercise.

Larger Muscle Pumps

With an increased blood flow through our muscles, it’s only natural for them to get a bigger pump. While this looks pretty cool, it’s not the only benefit of a muscle pump. With bigger blood vessels in our muscles, blood circulates through them easier which gives them the increased performance needed to cope with the demands of the exercise.

Speedy Recovery

Oxygen and Glucose aren’t the only nutrients that are transported by blood. With the greater volume of blood travelling to your muscles, proteins and amino acids make it to the muscles faster, which aids and quickens recovery.

Nitroglycerin generally comes in slow-release tablets of 0.3mg, 0.4mg, or 0.6mg. Used as a pre-workout, you should take one tablet 10 minutes before your session to see the best results. 

The dosage size would depend on your age and current health. Pre-workout supplements with nitroglycerin in them will have their own instructions on the bottle. It’s vital that you follow these instructions to the point.

How Should You Take Nitroglycerin?

Nitroglycerin is usually part of a pre-workout. That said, Nitroglycerin is normally available to take in two ways. It’ll either be a component of the pre-workout you’re taking, or it’ll be a spray or slow-release tablet. As a pre-workout, we’d suggest taking one tablet with water or following the instructions on your pre-workout.

When Should You Take Nitroglycerin?

For most pre-workouts, you want to take them 15-30 minutes before your workout to give your body time to digest and process them.

The same applies to nitroglycerin. However, it does work a little faster, so if you’re taking it alone, then 10-15 minutes should do.

Where Can I Buy Pre-Workout Supplements With Nitroglycerin In?

Search for a supplement provider that sells certified Nitric Oxide supplements. While they may not say nitroglycerin directly, nitric oxide supplements have the same vasodilatory properties.

What Are The Potential Side Effects of Nitroglycerin Supplementation?

It’s always wise to take a look at any potential side effects in supplements. Here are the potential adverse effects of nitroglycerin:

  • Headache
  • Angina attack
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Flushing or warmth in the face
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure, leading to fainting
  • Allergic reactions (rare)
  • Tolerance (reduced effectiveness with prolonged use)
  • Withdrawal symptoms (if stopped abruptly)

Final Thoughts on Nitroglycerin in Pre-Workout Supplements

Taking a pre-workout with nitroglycerin in it will significantly improve your endurance, muscle pump and recovery rate (and reduce muscle soreness) to keep you in a consistent routine and improve your exercise performance. Remember that with all supplements, there are risks to consider when taking them. Enjoy the boost!

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