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Review of: Cellucor NO3 With Arginine Nitrate, 90 Caps


This product, Cellucor NO3 with Arginine Nitrate, is a preworkout supplement. It helps to know a few things about pre-workout supplement ingredients. Typically, they are:

  • L-Arginine. An amino acid that has vasodilator and other properties. This gives you "pump" and fullness. The previous version of NO3 did not have this in the nitrate form, the new version does. Another benefit of various L-arginine forms is they help boost your NO3 (nitrous oxide) levels, something that is hugely beneficial for recovery.
  • L-Alinine. This amino acid is more typically in the form of beta-alinine. For the typical gym rat, it has a mild effect. For a high-intensity trainer, the effects are quite strong. Basically, it will allow you to maximize tension on the muscle during the lift (especially on the negative portion) without getting the burn. You have to know what you're doing to get the real benefit; if you're they typical momentum-using rep counter, you're wasting your money on this. Used correctly, it increases your training capacity and thus the adaptive response.
  • Creatine. Contrary to popular myth, it's not going to make you super strong during your workout. Its effects come after your workout. Because it takes 30 to 60 minutes for creatine to be absorbed, taking it right before your workout is often good timing. If you train for intensity to get the adaptive response, your workout is done in 30 minutes or so. The problem there is creatine can give you a stomach ache. If you take it after your workout, you'll still get the benefits without the stomach ache.
  • Caffeine. If a preworkout supplement is advertised as providing "intensity" or "focus" that is code for "seriously jacked up with way too much caffeine."
  • Loads of vitamins. It's not clear why anybody adds these to a preworkout supplement. Correcting a vitamin deficiency is something you do over time. Intaking 8 times the RDA of various B vitamins is not going to affect your workout, except to maybe overload your kidneys and make you have to stop training so you can pee.

Most preworkout supplements are not formulated with any logic behind them. But they do manage to include the two actually effective ingredients, which are the first two listed above. You can buy these separately, and if you want to avoid paying for crap that won't help you train better that is a good way to go. This is where NO3 comes in.

If you use one supplement for "pump" (first bullet point above, and the space where NO3 lives) and another for increasing your training capacity, you can consistently build new muscle fibers (assuming you also have good nutrition and get adequate rest).

I've used a different supplementation protocol for quite some time to achieve the desired effect (big vascularity and muscles swelling up during training). When I train chest, for example, I do straight-arm flyes with 55lb dumbbells. Considering I weigh barely over 150 lbs, that's a significant load. I go very, very slowly and this means I do three reps at most. During that first set, my pecs begin to fill with blood and they just keep getting bigger as I go. That's the effect of the training method combined with the right supplement.

How does NO3 compare? I get similar results. I don't know if they are exactly the same, but they seem that way. This is a good supplement. Now, there is one thing that seemed like an insurmountable drawback at first. The absorption rates of the compounds in NO3 are quite slow compared to, say, that of Aginine Ethyl Ester HCL. You can't take this right before a workout and see anything happen. On the label, it says to take this on an empty stomach 60 to 90 minutes before training. This means you must take this supplement before a meal or not use it at all.

Going with this limitation wasn't all that hard. For my morning training sessions for example, I would take this about 10 minutes before breakfast (about 30 minutes). Then about 15 minutes after breakfast I'd take my beta-alinine, then 15 minutes later hit the weights. After the workout, a post-workout drink (more beta-alinine, creatine, aminos mix). That would give me about an hour to get work done before meal number two.

Since I work chest/tri, back/bi, and shoulders twice on their respective days, this meant another pre-meal ingestion for the afternoon workout. So before meal number three, down the hatch with those three caps. But that meal is a high-fiber meal, so I'd wait 30 minutes instead of 15 to take my beta-alinine. That leaves me still within the 90-minute window before having to start training and still get the benefit of the NO3.

The nice thing about this long delay is there's less in your tummy during a workout. When doing something potentially nauseating like squats, that's a big help.



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