Pycnogenol's dual benefits make it an ideal bodybuilding supplement
by Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.
December 3, 2009
Looking for another line of defense against that knee or shoulder pain that's been bothering you? A patented compound from the bark of the French maritime pine tree (Pinus pinaster) may be the answer.
The bioflavonoids and polyphenols that are within Pycnogenol are similar to the compounds in red wine that contribute to its ability to improve heart health. Studies have found the compound to have a variety of benefits, including decreasing blood pressure and improving skin health. Several recent studies report that Pycnogenol can also decrease joint pain while improving joint function. This makes it an excellent choice for bodybuilders suffering from pain in their knees, shoulders or other joints that have been overworked from years of heavy lifting.
Another benefit of Pycnogenol may interest you even more than joint relief its potential to increase nitric oxide levels, resulting in increased blood flow and muscle pumps, which are believed to stimulate muscle growth. A boost in blood flow also delivers protein and carbs important to workout energy and recovery to muscle, as well as anabolic hormones needed for recovery and growth. Pycnogenol works to enhance NO levels by neutralizing the free radicals that are responsible for degrading nitric oxide, and by increasing activity of nitric oxide synthase, which is the enzyme that helps convert arginine to NO, thus bumping up its production.