Vascularity & Strength Pre-Workout

Vascularity & Strength Pre-Workout

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Increased vascularity may make your muscles work more efficiently.

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Vascularity occurs when the veins beneath your skin become more visible due to regular intense workouts and low body fat. Vascularity in itself doesn't make you stronger. Increasing the blood flow to your muscles before working out helps them perform more efficiently and may make you stronger. You can increase blood flow and vascularity by warming up or taking a nitric oxide supplement.

Warming Up

Warming up before strenuous exercise such as weightlifting dilates your blood vessels and increases blood flow to your muscles, supplying them with oxygen and nutrients. If you have low body fat, your veins will stand out, making you look more vascular. The extra blood, oxygen and nutrients help your muscles perform efficiently, so you can lift more weight and get stronger. Warm up with a 10-minute cardio routine on the stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical machine, dynamic stretches and a light set of 12 to 15 reps of each weightlifting exercise.

Getting Pumped

Some bodybuilders take supplements containing the amino acid arginine to increase their blood flow before working out. According to, arginine converts into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide dilates your blood vessels, gives you more energy for an intense workout, and increases your muscle pump. The pump is the feeling you get when your muscles are gorged with blood as you work out.

Enhancing Vascularity recommends your nitric oxide supplement should also contain citrulline and vitamin C. The amino acid citrulline increases your blood supply of arginine, and vitamin C enhances the effect of arginine. To maximize your nitric oxide levels and ensure maximal vascularity to deliver nutrients to your muscles, also recommends you take your supplement 30 to 60 minutes prior to working out.

Doubts About Efficacy

Despite its wide use by bodybuilders and strength athletes, there appears to be little direct evidence that nitric oxide supplementation to increase vascularity before exercise makes you stronger. A study published in the February 2012 issue of "Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism," established that though nitric oxide may increase blood flow to the muscles, it doesn't increase muscle strength.