10 Ways to Increase Blood Flow for Maximum Pump
Everybody loves the feeling of a good pump, not only does it look good, that pump is also a healthy sign of high volumes of blood reaching your muscle tissues with nutrients to fuel growth. To perform well under high-intensity resistance training, and have the endurance to power through demanding exercise routines, blood flow is crucial.
Nitric oxide is what is responsible for much of the increase in blood flow when achieving a great pump. It widens your blood vessels allowing for a greater flow of blood throughout your body. Let us take a look at what you can do regarding nutrition to maximize blood flow and circulation.
One of the best type of foods to focus on for increasing nitric oxide levels is any food containing nitrates, since they are a direct precursor of nitric oxide. Beetroot happens to be one of the foods containing the most nitrates. Beetroot juice has been a popular staple among many professional athletes as a pre-workout drink to increase endurance by improving blood flow. There are now also powdered supplements readily available which mix perfectly with your protein shake and can provide an extra element of flavor, being quite sweet and palatable.
Ginseng has been one of the most highly priced medicinal herbs of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It is one of those supplements that when you find it in good quality, you can very much feel its effects after you consume it. Listing all of the benefits of ginseng would require a whole article of its own. To summarize it short; ginseng has been shown to reduce the chance of developing many types of cancer, is highly effective at reducing stress and has shown some very promising studies on improving blood flow and even curing erectile dysfunction in some men. Supplement wise for men, Ginseng is about as good as it gets.
Chili peppers and cayenne pepper contain a chemical called capsaicin which is what is responsible for the painful burning sensation that some of us love, and others not so much. What is amazing about chili peppers, however, is that capsaicin is one of nature’s most effective blood thinners. It is so effective in fact that before the era of modern medicine it was used to stop and prevent heart attacks. When consumed in tincture form, it is very quick acting and thins the blood, improving overall circulation.
Citrulline is a nonessential amino acid found in watermelons. Research has shown it to have potent anabolic properties, improving performance and endurance during both resistance and cardio exercise. You might have heard about L-Arginine before which is similar, but Citrulline is arginine’s big brother. Citrulline exerts most of its effects by increasing nitric oxide levels in the blood which helps dilate blood vessels providing you more oxygen. This means less fatigue, more nutrients for your muscles as well as an incredible pump!
Red Wine and Grapes
Alcohol is something that is pretty difficult to incorporate into any serious athletes or bodybuilders diet, it is not good for gains, period. However, if you can control your alcohol intake (many cannot), alcohol in small amounts can actually remain beneficial. Alcohol naturally relaxes the arteries, increasing blood flow and circulation, thereby providing cardiovascular benefits. If you are going to be drinking alcohol on a regular basis, we suggest you focus on red wine that also offers many other additional health benefits. 1-2 glasses of red wine per day or every other day is considered a healthy amount that won’t affect your athletic performance negatively. Red wine and grapes specifically contain a compound called resveratrol which has shown to be beneficial for both longevity, as well as your testosterone levels.
Agmatine has grown to become a very popular supplement the last few years because of it’s potent effects at promoting vasodilation, pumps and better muscle recovery (decreasing muscle soreness post-exercise). It works in a different way compared to most other supplements that increase nitric oxide. Agmatine inhibits the enzyme that breaks down nitric oxide, enabling you to keep the nitric oxide you already have, circulating longer. As you might have figured out now, combining Agmatine with other direct nitric oxide boosters is where it really shines.
Pomegranate is one of the best fruits for men to consume. It contains high levels of polyphenols which have been shown to be beneficial for preventing heart disease, cancer, and osteoarthritis. The antioxidants in Pomegranate are effective at increasing blood flow to such a degree that the fruit can be used as a treatment for mild erectile dysfunction. There is also research suggesting that the ellagic acid inside pomegranates work as a natural SERM and can regulate estrogen levels in men, allowing for higher levels of circulating testosterone.
This is a lesser known supplement but oh so effective for prolonging your pump. Glycerol works very well for hydrating the body and making sure you have enough blood volume. It absorbs into muscle tissues along with water and stays there providing optimal and prolonged hydration. By this mechanism it improves absorption of nutrients and amino acids into the muscles by providing faster delivery, increasing vascularity and intramuscular volume.
Chocolate (Theobroma Cacao)
Dark chocolate (minimum 70%), raw cacao or cacao extracts are one of the best nitric oxide boosters available. Chocolate is easy to incorporate into the diet (since it tastes awesome) and many bodybuilders swear by the pump they get from melting 50 grams or more, of dark chocolate into their pre-workout drinks. Chocolate has this effects because of its high flavonoid content which increases blood flow by improving endothelial function. You know what more works by a similar mechanism? Viagra! (hint)
There is a lot of controversy surrounding tea and if it is a ‘manly’ beverage or not. One side argues that high tea consumption can lower testosterone, while the other side argues for the huge amount of research that has proven many other healthy aspects of tea. One being the widening of blood vessels and increasing coronary blood flow. One thing is for certain, even if tea is not good for everything, it is one of the most healthy things you can incorporate into your diet. The reason green tea was shown to lower testosterone in some studies is because of one of its flavonoids called EGCG. It seems like high amounts of this flavonoid can have this effect, even though it is healthy in many other aspects. Consuming 2-3 cups per day won’t have any major effects on testosterone but still provide many of the benefits, however, if this still makes you feel uncomfortable, black tea and especially fermented teas such as Pu-erh tea does not contain EGCG. They rather contain another group of flavonoids that are unique to them, created from the oxidation and fermentation process. Black tea and Pu-erh tea should provide minimal effects on testosterone and has even been shown in studies to increase sex drive compared to green tea, while also providing most of the benefits from regular green tea.
Boosting your blood flow can be an effective way to increase pump and muscle endurance. That’s why we developed our BIG NOISE pump formula specially formulated to increase nitric oxide. In contains many of the discussed ingredients in this article such as Citrulline Malate, Agmatine Sulfate, Glycerol Monostearate and Theobroma Cacao Extract (raw chocolate extract). We recommend you combine it with a diet rich in the nitric oxide boosting foods as outlined in this article and you will experience incredible effects not only in the gym but also in the bedroom (hint #2).