N.O. Pump is a pump-enhancing pre-workout by Swole Sports which contains just three active ingredients: Citrulline Malate, Arginine AKG, and Agmatine Sulfate…FIND IT HERE
Citrulline Malate is an amino acid which serves as a pre-precursor to Nitric Oxide, and thus is often used in a pre-workout supplements designed to enhance “the pump”, such as SWOLE N.O. Pump.
In addition to enhancing blood-flow, Citrulline has additional mechanisms by which it may enhance exercise performance, specifically by increasing muscular endurance. This means you’ll be able to perform more reps later on in your workout when muscular fatigue would normally set in and stop you from hitting those higher rep ranges.
Unfortunately, the efficacy of Citrulline is dependent on the dose used, and most products are under-dosed. SWOLE N.O. Pump falls contains just 2g of Citrulline Malate per serving, falling far under the clinically effective range of 6-9g.
Arginine AKG is simply the amino acid Arginine (precursor to Nitric Oxide) bonded with Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid (the AKG part). This is generally alleged to improve absorption but, to be fair, there is absolutely no research indicating this is the case.
In fact, Arginine AKG has outright failed to improve exercise performance in one study, so we’re not quite sure why it keeps popping up in pre-workout supplements.
We would much rather have seen SWOLE up the Citrulline Malate (which we know works) and eliminate the Arginine AKG (which we know probably doesn’t work), but it appears SWOLE was trying to keep costs low on this one.
Agmatine, though still in the preliminary stages of research, appears quite promising as a pump agent and potential performance enhancer. It has been shown (in vitro) to activate Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS), the enzyme which catalyzes the production of Nitric Oxide in Endothelial cells and appears to have some nutrient partitioning implications as well.
As far as semi-speculative ingredients go, Agmatine appears quite promising, so we generally like seeing it in pump formulas.
Unfortunately, 500mg seems to be the standard dose and anecdotal evidence suggests Agmatine is more effective at 1000-1500mg.
Is SWOLE N.O. Pump Safe?
N.O. Pump is entirely safe, even at higher doses, and users may want to consider taking two servings at a time to achieve more notable benefits. The formula is entirely non-stimulant, so there is no danger in combining it with other pre-workout supplements, stimulant or not.
The Bottom Line
SWOLE N.O. Pump is about average as far as pump-enhancing pre-workouts go. The formula is simple, but we question some of the ingredients/doses and ultimately feel like there are much better pump formulas out there.
Check out our Best Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout Supplements list for some examples of superior formulas.