Blood Flow & Nutrient Delivery by Jesse Westover, CEO of The Nutrition Junction
Blood flow. It’s a lot more useful than looking all veiny & bigger in the gym for your gym crush. Let me explain how! Blood flow is often referred to as “Vasodilation”, it refers to the widening of blood vessels.
The best visualization I have ever heard of blood vessels is this: Think of your blood vessels being small as a highway during rush hour, the more lanes that are open the easier for transportation is to happen (in this case it’s blood flow).
There are PLENTY of ways to improve blood flow. Certain foods like beets improve blood flow and even some ingredients like Green tea even can (Look for Vaso6 on the label)!
Here are some noteworthy benefits of improving blood flow:
- Improved Muscle Pumps - An increase in blood flow to muscle cells will brute force a greater degree of intracellular pressure, resulting in a larger cell volume and improved muscle pumps.
- Improved Nutrient Delivery - Blood delivers vital nutrients to muscle cells. An increase in blood flow and nutrient delivery allows for improved performance, recovery and endurance.
- Improved Oxygen Delivery - An increase in oxygen delivery yields improved performance, cell recovery and muscle endurance.
- Improved Waste Removal - Improved blood flow also yields a faster removal of cellular waste such as lactic acid, urea and carbon dioxide. This allows the potential to push sets and workouts harder, and maybe even get that extra rep or two.
- Improve Hormone Transport - Who doesn't want more muscle building catalysts such as testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1 delivered to muscle cells during a workout? I do.
- Improved Body Temperature Regulation - Stay cooler and feel better. Proper body temperature regulation will allow for better hydration and potentially better performance.
The biggest & most popular way to improve blood flow is by pre-workout supplementation which is one of the biggest benefits of pre-workouts. There is non-stimulant (no caffeine) versions of pre-workout AND pre-workout WITH caffeine & stimulants
Let’s take a look at popular ingredients found inside of pre-workouts!
Taurine, Vasodilation and Muscle Pumps
Existing research on taurine indicates that it does indeed improve blood flow. For this reason, it has become a very popular pre-workout supplement ingredient, and even thrown in some energy drinks nowadays.
A recent study on men under the age of 30 found that a daily 1500 mgs of taurine was able to improve abnormal blood vessel lining issues.  There was an obvious and noticeable improvement in the widening of blood vessels.
For the lifter and athlete, this increased level of vasodilation will improve blood flow and muscle pumps.
Citrulline , Vasodilation & Muscle Pumps
One of the most commonly used ingredients in pre-workout without a doubt.
L-Citrulline is an amino acid. It is turned into L-arginine in the kidneys after supplementation, which means L-citrulline supplementation is a more effective method of increasing L-arginine levels in the body than L-arginine supplementation.
Citrulline which is a very popular ingredient in pre-workouts as we mentioned above. Citrulline may aid in endurance and recovery according to a study. Citrulline converts to Arginine in the body, which is a precursor to nitric oxide. Fun fact: There is a bit of citrulline in watermelon.
Lifters all across the world will agree that muscles full of blood is one of the best non-sexual feelings in the world. As mentioned above there’s much more to blood flow in the gym than aesthetic looks, a lot of it is psychological. The biggest benefit to increasing blood flow & blood flow period is critical nutrient delivery. Those nutrient’s traveling in your body thanks to blood flow during your exercise facilitates several things to include recovery, muscular size, strength and endurance!
So, when looking for your next pre-workout supplement ensure it has plenty of ingredients for blood flow. As always, I am here to help and answer ANY questions you guys may have. Feel free to contact us on social media @thenutritionjunction with any and all questions.
Jesse Westover, CEO
1) Two Weeks Taurine Supplementation Reverses Endothelial Dysfunction in Young Male Type 1 Diabetics. PubMed NCBI. National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015