Still trying to chase that elusive muscle pump at the gym? Perhaps the new MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE can help you. As the name implies, this pre-workout supplement intends to help increase your nitric oxide levels for improved vasodilation, as you’ll find out in this review.
About MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE
MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE is “Not Your Average Pre-Workout” which has “been clinically tested to increase strength, it is stimulant-free. NO2 NITRIC OXIDE is formulated with key ingredients to promote all-day pump so you can look and feel your best during your workout and beyond,” per the manufacturer’s official website. Formula notes:
- Combines l-arginine and A-AKG. These help increase muscle pumps and anaerobic endurance, among other things.
- Wards off oxidative stress. Thanks mainly to its alpha lipoic acid, ACTINOS whey peptide fraction, and dihydroquercetin components.
- Potency. Formulation simply isn’t effective as other big-name pre-workouts.
MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE Supplement Facts (90 Caplets)
|Serving Size: 3 Caplets|
Servings Per Container: 30
|Nutrient||Amount Per Serving||% Daily Value|
|L-Arginine Blend||3000 mg||*|
|L-Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (A-AKG)||1500 mg||*|
|Alpha-Lipoic Acid (thioctic acid)||75 mg||*|
|ACTINOS® CFM Nitro® P (Whey Peptide Fraction)||75 mg||*|
|OTHER INGREDIENTS: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Stearic Acid, Cellulose Gum, Magnesium Stearate, Hydroxypropyl Cellulose, Crospovidone, Hypromellose, Silicon Dioxide, Triacetin.|
|Directions: Take 3 caplets 30 minutes before working out.|
Not Your Average Pre-Workout
Many bodybuilding enthusiasts want to chase the pump. There’s nothing quite like the surge of blood flowing through your muscles. It revs up your engine and makes you want to crush your workouts. It’s an awesome feeling, to say the least. If you want to experience insane muscle pumps, there are some pre-workout supplements worth your while:
- Bodybuilding.com Signature Citrulline
- MusclePharm Wreckage
- iSatori MORPH XTREME
- Controlled Labs White Flash
- eFlow Nutrition ENFLATE
Take iSatori MORPH XTREME, for instance: it has an insane seven grams of citrulline malate per scoop. That much not only gives you tremendous muscle pumps, but it also ramps up your energy levels considerably (thanks to its malic acid component). This supplement will help you kill it at the gym day in and day out.
We hope we can say the same thing about MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE, which is “Not Your Average Pre-Workout,”per the manufacturer’s official website.
“Not only has it been clinically tested to increase strength, it is stimulant-free. NO2 NITRIC OXIDE is formulated with key ingredients to promote all-day pump so you can look and feel your best during your workout and beyond,” per the same source.
Bear in mind this is a re-formulation of the old MRI NO2 BLACK, which made a big splash among customers several years ago. Based on MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE’s product description, it should be a better version of its predecessor. We hope so, too.
Many bodybuilding supplements fall into the “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it” trap: the old product was doing just fine but the manufacturer decided to tamper with the formulation, anyway. Case in point: Muscle Feast Hormone-Free Grass-Fed Whey Isolate. It used to have 24 grams of protein per serving. For some reason, the company whittled the protein content down to 20.5 grams per scoop. It boggles the mind. We’re certain this product won’t lord it over other protein supplements like it did in years past.
On the other end of the spectrum, products such as the pre-workout Juggernaut X made a bigger impact than their old versions (in this case, it’s Juggernaut HP). Can MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE do the same? It should be interesting to find out.
L-Arginine Blend, 3,000 milligrams
MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE’s L-Arginine Blend takes up 3,000 milligrams (three grams) per three-caplet serving. Let’s check out how the old MRI NO2 BLACK formula stacks up against the new MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE:
|MRI NO2 BLACK||MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE|
|Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (A-AKG)||3,000 mg||1,500 mg|
|Alpha-lipoic acid (thioctic acid) and ACTINOS whey peptide fraction||150-mg proprietary blend||Alpha-lipoic acid (thioctic acid): 75 mg|
ACTINOS CRM Nitro P (whey peptide fraction): 75 mg
MRI NO2 BLACK relies mainly on three grams of arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (A-AKG) per serving. In contrast, the new MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE strikes a delicate balance between A-AKG and l-arginine (1,500 milligrams each).
L-arginine is an alpha amino acid, semi-essential amino acid, and nitric oxide precursor which acts as a vasodilator and improves blood flow. It also helps improve nutrient uptake, promote healthy blood pressure levels, regulate immunity, and increase muscle pumps.
Some studies reveal l-arginine can boost exercise performance. L-arginine supplementation among nine elite male wrestlers “caused a 5.8 percent increase in time to exhaustion during maximal incremental exercise. Due to the nature of maximal incremental exercise, even a relatively small change in time to exhaustion is likely to be meaningful for athletic performance,” per the July 15, 2014 issue of Biology of Sport (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov).
The June 22, 2o17 issue of F1000 Research (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov) also says,”It has also been shown that long-term administration of l-arginine reduces cardiovascular complications.” With that in mind, it’s safe to say l-arginine is much more than just a bodybuilding supplement ingredient – it can help shore up long-term health.
Unfortunately, l-arginine has received some flak from consumers and experts alike because of its poor solubility properties. Plus, some experts insist its effects don’t last long. On that note, l-citrulline (which is in pre-workouts such as Bodybuilding.com Signature Citrulline and Dymatize Pre W.O.) is the better option because of its superior bioavailability.
MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE’s L-Arginine Blend also has 1,500 milligrams of l-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (A-AKG) per three-caplet serving. Simply put, this salt is the combination of l-arginine and the metabolic intermediate alpha-ketoglutarate. The latter component is an intermediate product of the Krebs cycle, a means by which the body’s cells produce energy.
Because of this, MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE’s inclusion of alpha-ketoglutarate allows an individual to train longer and harder. As evidence, The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research’s March 2011 issue says, “NOS (NO stimulators such as A-AKG) may provide some ergogenic benefits for upper body muscular strength (1-RM or one-repetition maximum) on the bench press, yet this needs to be further explored.”
Even five years earlier, experts vouched for A-AKG’s ergogenic effects on anaerobic and strength training. However, they already questioned its ability to increase aerobic capacity. “AAKG supplementation appeared to be safe and well-tolerated, and positively influenced 1RM bench press and Wingate peak power performance. AAKG did not influence body composition or aerobic capacity,” per the September 2006 issue of Nutrition (via ResearchGate.net).
The clear takeaway: A-AKG supplementation should help increase muscle pumps, vasodilation, and anaerobic capacity. Combine MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE’s 1.5 grams of A-AKG per serving with another 1.5 grams of pure l-arginine per serving, you’re ready to experience good muscle pumps. Once again, the main point of contention is l-arginine’s poor bioavailability. However, some customers say they’ve gotten good results with this product, so we’ll take it.
Just a hunch, but we feel the manufacturer de-emphasized A-AKG in the new MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE because of its questionable ability to ramp up aerobic performance. Plus, as the product’s name suggests, the thrust is on increased nitric oxide production. Hence, the inclusion of 1.5 grams of l-arginine per serving in the new formulation.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (thiocitic acid), 75 milligrams
MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE’s third key ingredient is alpha lipoic acid (thioctic acid), which takes up 75 milligrams per three-caplet serving. Alpha lipoic acid is a natural compound and part of the Krebs cycle. It also functions as a powerful antioxidant which helps keep free radicals at bay.
One of alpha lipoic acid’s impressive exercise-related benefits is its ability to ward off oxidative stress. If you train regularly, you may be susceptible to this condition (symptoms include fatigue and muscular discomfort). Supplementing with alpha lipoic acid should help you exercise more efficiently at the gym.
In fact, we believe this component helps offset A-AKG’s shortcoming as an aerobic performance booster. To bolster our claim, the January 1, 2006 issue of Free Radical Biology & Medicine (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov) says combining endurance exercise and antioxidants such as ALA help improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels. The “interactive effect of exercise training and ALA is due in part to improvements in IRS-1 dependent insulin signaling. These studies highlight the effectiveness of combining endurance exercise training and antioxidants in beneficially modulating the molecular defects in insulin action observed in insulant-resistant skeletal muscle,” per the journal.
The takeaway: supplementing with alpha lipoic acid helps you train harder and longer. It also helps ward off free radicals. That’s a great deal, if you ask us. We’re pleased MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE has ALA.
ACTINOS CFM Nitro P (Whey Peptide Fraction), 75 milligrams
MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE has 75 milligrams of ACTINOS CFM Nitro P (whey peptide fraction) per three-caplet serving. These are nitro peptides and fractions of partially-hydrolyzed whey protein isolate (which is 80 to 95 protein you can find in protein supplements such as KAGED MUSCLE MICROPURE Whey Protein Isolate and Jamie Eason Signature Series Whey Protein Isolate).
Experts believe ACTINOS CFM Nitro P helps increase vasodilation, improve nutrient uptake, and increase muscle pumps (primarily because it helps convert l-arginine to nitric oxide). These are essentially the same benefits when you supplement with l-arginine or l-citrulline. Plus, they also say ACTINOS CFM Nitro P helps keep lactic acid and ammonia levels in check.
Here’s the key: this component helps increase oxygen levels in the body to stifle lactic acid buildup. You need small amounts of lactic acid to keep fatigue at bay. However, too much of it is detrimental. Take it from Health Rising founder Cort Johnson. “Lactate in small amounts is not bad – it actually reduces muscle fatigue – but the presence of high levels of lactate (lactic acid) signal that the anaerobic energy production process – which produces toxic metabolites that cause pain and fatigue – is in full bore,” per his official website. Plus, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute also confirms high levels of ammonia “may also contribute to fatigue via central and peripheral mechanisms.”
Long story short, ACTINOS CFM Nitro P helps increase vasodilation and keep fatigue at bay. Not too many pre-workout supplements include this ingredient. MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE is one of the few on the market which has it. Better take advantage of this opportunity.
Dihydroquercetin, 6 milligrams
MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE’S last key ingredient is dihydroquercetin, which takes up six milligrams per six-caplet serving. Simply put, this is a powerful flavonoid and antioxidant present in onions and milk thistle. In fact, some experts believe it’s the most powerful natural antioxidant. With that, expect this component to ward off free radicals and oxidative stress.
Dihydroquercetin also helps keep inflammation at bay. When an individual doesn’t address this condition, it may result in long-term health issues. If you’re physically active, you have an advantage. “Consistent data from observational studies showing a link between self-reported levels of physical activity and inflammatory biomarkers, as well as some promising positive data from randomized, controlled trials, indicate that increasing aerobic physical activity could be effective for reducing chronic inflammation,” per the June 3, 2010 issue of Clinica Chimica Acta (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov). When you harness the powers of regular exercise and dihydroquercetin, you’ll ward off inflammation, for sure. We’re glad it’s in MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE.
Let’s check out the formula ingredients:
- L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (A-AKG), 1,500 mg: A-AKG is a combination of the semi-essential amino acid l-arginine the metabolic intermediate alpha-ketoglutarate. It helps increase muscle pumps and vasodilation, and energy levels (particularly anaerobic or strength training capacity). Unfortunately, studies reveal A-AKG isn’t as helpful in terms of endurance or aerobic training.
- L-arginine, 1,500 mg: A semi-essential alpha amino acid which acts as a vasodilator for increased nitric oxide levels, and consequently, more muscle pumps, improved nutrient uptake, and healthier blood pressure levels and cardiovascular health. Experts have given l-arginine some flak for its poor bioavailability.
- Alpha-lipoic acid (thioctic acid), 75 mg: Alpha-lipoic acid is a natural compound and part of the Krebs cycle. It also functions as a powerful antioxidant which helps keep oxidative stress at bay. Long story short, this component will help you train longer and harder.
- ACTINOS CFM Nitro P (whey peptide fraction), 75 milligrams: This ingredient contains nitro peptides and fractions of partially-hydrolyzed whey protein isolate (WPI). It helps increase vasodilation and muscle pumps as well as improve nutrient uptake (because of its ability to convert l-arginine to nitric oxide). It also helps keep lactic acid and ammonia levels in check. The result: you’ll be able to ward off fatigue for more efficient workouts.
- Dihydroquercetin, 6 mg: This is a powerful flavonoid and antioxidant present in onions and milk thistle. Dihydroquercetin helps keep oxidative stress and inflammation at bay. The takeaway: it’ll help increase exercise endurance, shorten recovery time, and boost long-term health.
We’re wary of the “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t fix-it” syndrome pervading the bodybuilding supplement industry. A particular product does well and becomes a hit among consumers. For some inexplicable reason, the manufacturer tampered with the formula. The end result: an inferior supplement. We already pointed out Muscle Feast Hormone-Free Grass-Fed Whey Isolate as a prime example (the protein content went down from 24 grams to 20.5 grams per scoop).
Can MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE avoid falling into the same trap? From the looks of things, it didn’t. Simply put, this new formulation is somewhat of a dud. Customers have given this pre-workout supplement – the so-called “Not Your Average Pre-Workout” – mixed reviews online. The naysayers say it didn’t live up to their expectations. It simply didn’t give them the edge they needed at the gym.
For one, l-arginine’s bioavailability may have come into play. It bears repeating: while it has promising vasodilating properties, its poor absorption prowess gets in the way of serious progress at the gym. Like we said, the manufacturer probably included 1,500 milligrams of l-arginine per serving (which wasn’t present in the old MRI NO2 BLACK) in MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE to increase muscle pumps and the like.
It also seems the inclusion of 75 milligrams of ACTINOS CFM Nitro P (whey peptide fraction) per three-caplet serving won’t boost nitric oxide levels like many customers expect (remember, this ingredient supposedly helps convert l-arginine to nitric oxide).
Nonetheless, ACTINOS CFM Nitro P should help keep lactic acid and ammonia buildup in check. Throw in 75 milligrams of alpha lipoic acid and six milligrams of dihydroquercetin per serving, you’ll ward off oxidative stress and work out harder and longer (side note: if you want to reap this benefit, try beta-alanine, which is present in top-notch pre-workouts such as Dymatize Pre W.O. and Nutrex OUTLIFT AMPED).
Just a thought on MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE’s 1,500 milligrams of l-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (A-AKG) per three-caplet serving: our hunch is the manufacturer lessened the amount (from 3,000 milligrams in the old MRI NO2 BLACK) because it has received some flak from experts because of its inability to increase aerobic endurance. The inclusions of ALA, ACTINOS whey peptide fraction, and dihydroquercetin in MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE should help offset that.
On the other hand, the manufacturer does an excellent job in terms of transparency: it breaks down all of the ingredient amounts. You won’t find any shady proprietary blends in MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE. You won’t find any fillers, either. We think that’s awesome, to say the least.
Bottom line: while MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE has a few upsides, don’t expect it to blow other pre-workout supplements out of the water. Clearly, other nitric oxide boosters such as the aforementioned Bodybuilding.com Signature Citrulline are better investments. Plus, customers say the old MRI NO2 BLACK is a tad better than MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE. For all intents and purposes, it seems to us the so-called “Not Your Average Pre-Workout” is average after all.
MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE Benefits
MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE “is formulated with key ingredients to promote all-day pump so you can look and feel your best during your workout and beyond,” per its official website.
Who Takes It?
The manufacturer intended MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE for healthy and active individuals who are at least 18 years of age who want to increase nitric oxide levels, muscle pumps, vasodilation, and endurance; keep oxidative stress at bay, and achieve their daily fitness goals.
Any Side Effects?
While MRI NO2 NITRIC OXDE has no glaring side effects, please consult your doctor if you feel doubtful about any of its ingredients.
The manufacturer also issues a warning:
MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE Review Summary
- Good formulation. Ingredients look good on paper. However, don’t expect these to blow you away.
- L-arginine. Known for its nitric-oxide-boosting capacity. Unfortunately, its absorption rate doesn’t measure up.
- A-AKG. This component should help boost your strength training goals.
- Wards off oxidative stress. Thanks mainly to its alpha lipoic acid, ACTINOS whey peptide fraction, and dihydroquercetin components.
- Excellent transparency. Manufacturer breaks down all of the ingredient amounts.
- Clean ingredients. You won’t find any fillers in MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE.
- Potency. Some customers say this pre-workout is a dud compared to the bigger-name ones.
- Reputation. It simply isn’t as good as its predecessor and other top-notch pre-workouts.
Pricing & Where to Buy
- 1 90-caplet bottle (30-Day Supply): $21.99
- 1 180-caplet bottle (60-Day Supply): $38.99
- Available online and in retail
Final Word on MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE
If you’re trying to chase that elusive pump, MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE could’ve crossed your mind. After all, the words “nitric oxide” on the label seem tempting, to say the least.
After a thorough analysis, this pre-workout supplement didn’t live up to the hype. While it’s not a bad product, it’s not a great one either. Don’t believe the manufacturer when it says this is the so-called “Not Your Average Pre-Workout” – the description is an oxymoron. This is an average pre-workout.
We recommend MRI NO2 NITRIC OXIDE, but with some reservations. You’re better off buying better pre-workouts such as Dymatize Pre W.O., MusclePharm Wreckage, and iSatori MORPH XTREME.