The Definitive Guide to VASO6
Nitric oxide boosters and pump pre workouts have been commonplace in the supplement industry for years. Initially, L-Arginine was viewed as the best nitric oxide supplement for the simple fact that arginine is the amino acid the body uses to generate nitric oxide. And the thinking at the time was, by supplementing with arginine you could increase blood levels of the amino acid and get better nitric oxide production, and with it, muscle pumps.
Subsequently, droves of l-arginine based pump pre workouts and nitric oxide supplements were released, and they were gobbled up by the millions, much to the supplement companies’ delights. And, while consumers thought they were getting savage pumps from their arginine supplements, as it turns out, those arginine-fueled pump pre workouts weren’t doing much of anything.
Free form L-arginine, like the kind in your pre workout, has terrible bioavailability, often getting degraded in the stomach before it ever can be absorbed by your intestines and transmitted into the bloodstream. So basically, all those dollars you spent on L-arginine based pump pre workouts, were essentially wasted.
In an effort to find a truly effective nitric oxide boosting supplement, researchers stumbled upon L-Citrulline, an amino acid prevalent in watermelon that survived transportation through the stomach, significantly increased plasma arginine levels, and boosted nitric oxide and muscle pumps.
For several years now, L-Citrulline has reigned supreme as the king of nitric oxide boosters, with numerous studies demonstrating its effectiveness at increasing blood flow, exercise performance, and fatigue resistance.[1,2,3]
Recently though, a new ingredient has emerged. One that rivals has the potential to rival citrulline in its ability to boost nitric oxide and generate massive muscle pumps.
That ingredient is VASO6.
Ahead, we’re getting up close and personal with this next generation nitric oxide boosting supplement to learn what it is, what it does, and why you want it in your pump pre workout.
What is VASO6™?
VASO6™ is a proprietary blend of gallate-enhanced oligomers comprised of dimers, trimers, tetramers and pentamers derived from green tea that stimulate nitric oxide production, induce vasodilation and promote vasorelaxation.
That’s quite a lot to chew on, so let’s take a moment and break that down piece by piece.
VASO6 is an oligomer derived from green tea.
What is an oligomer?
An oligomer is a subcategory of polymers consisting of a “few” monomers.
A monomer is a molecule that can be bonded to other similar molecules to form a polymer (“many” monomers).
So, a monomer is a single molecule, a “dimeter” is two monomers bonded together, and a “trimeter” is three monomers bonded together.
Now, how is an oligomer different from a polymer?
Well, an oligomer is made of the same monomer units as a polymer, but it’s size is considerably smaller (MW<10 kDa), and a polymer can technically be infinitely long, as there’s no real limit on its length.
So, is VASO6 just Green Tea Extract?
No, not really.
While VASO6 is derived from green tea, it is far from your typical garden variety green tea extract standardized for EGCG. To understand what makes VASO6 so unique, let’s dig deeper into the bioactive compounds present in green tea, or rather grape seed extract, as that’s where things really got started for this novel nitric oxide boosting ingredient.
A researcher from the University of South Florida named David Fitzpatrick was investigating the vasodilating properties of compounds naturally occurring in grape seed and green tea called proanthocyanidins.[4,5,6,7,8]
Proanthocyanidins are oligomeric flavonoids naturally occurring in a variety of plants formed from combinations of catechin and epicatechin molecules along with their gallic acid esters. They are some of the most abundant polyphenols in our diets and are currently being researched for their role in promoting health and protecting against illness and disease.
Through the course of his research, FItzpatrick identified several compounds that promote vasodilation, the widening of blood vessels. The most active compound within grape seed called epicatechin-(4-8)-epicatechin-(4-8)-epicatechin-gallate, or C1-gallate for short. He would later apply for a patent for C1-gallate for use as a cardiovascular drug.
In the patent, Fitzpatrick details that during the isolation and characterization of grape seed extract he identified and separated the compounds into seven fractions (A–G). Of those seven fractions, he and his team noted that only four of the seven fractions (D–G) stimulated vasorelaxation, relaxation of blood vessels.
Following this first separation, a second separation occurred, this time dividing fractions D, E, F, & G into 25 separate compound peaks using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
16 compound peaks were identified as exhibiting vasorelaxation activity, and their proanthocyanidin content was noted. The peak that demonstrated the greatest amount of vasorelaxation activity was Peak G6, a trimeric procyanidin gallate.
Thus, VASO6 is short for vasorelaxant peak G6.
Didn’t You Say VASO6 was from Green Tea?
Indeed I did.
VASO6™ is derived from green tea, and it contains only the most bioactive oligomeric compounds exhibiting the highest endothelium-dependent relaxation (EDR).
Why the switch from grape seed extract to green tea?
According to Compound Solutions, the developers of VASO6 (as well as Dynamine), they use the methods outlined by David Fitzpatrick to gather the same nitric oxide boosting compounds from green tea as opposed to grape seed extract that FItzpatrick used in his studies.
VASO6 vs Green Tea Extract
So, when you compare VASO6 to Green Tea extract you can see that the two are quite different. Traditional green tea extract contains a wide assortment of polyphenols, catechins, and other bioactive goodes, while VASO6 contains only those fractions that induce endothelium-dependent relaxation (EDR) via the release of nitric oxide.
Furthermore, the addition of gallic acid (galloylation) to the oligomer increases its biological activity (and effectiveness), thus highlighting the fact that VASO6™ isn't your “standard” green tea extract.
What Does VASO6 Do?
As we explained above, the compounds present in VASO6 have been shown to exhibit endothelium-dependent relaxation (EDR) activity in vitro. They do this by causing a release of endothelial nitric oxide, which subsequently increases levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP) in the vascular smooth muscle cells.
This series of reactions culminates in both vasodilation and vasorelaxation, which means you get an increase in blood flow, nutrient, and oxygen delivery as well as a reduction in blood pressure. In fact, research shows that the compounds present in VASO6™ leads to 50% vasodilation. Compare that to the 5% vasodilation of arginine, and you can see just how powerful VASO6 is.[10,11]
So, not only do the compounds in VASO6 help drive more blood to your working muscles, they also reduce the strain on your cardiovascular system to pump that additional blood throughout your body.
This translates to a better functioning cardiovascular system, exercise performance, and muscle pumps!
Benefits of VASO6
VASO6 increases nitric oxide production and promotes vasorelaxation. This reduces the amount of work your cardiovascular system has to do while at the same time increasing the amount of blood flow delivered to your muscles.
Why is this important?
Increasing blood flow to your muscles leads to two things:
- Greater energy and endurance during training
- Bigger, nastier muscle pumps during workouts
The increased energy and stamina is due to the fact that driving more blood to your working muscles supplies them with additional oxygen and nutrients, which allows them to continue performing at a high level for longer.
Additionally, when you train, the repeated muscle contractions generate metabolic waste products. As these accumulate, fatigue begins to set in and ultimately you have to end your set. With increased blood flow to the muscle, these metabolic waste products can be cleared more efficiently allowing you to train for longer before succumbing to fatigue.
Regarding blood flow and pumps, your blood is more than 50% water. As you exercise, blood is shuttled to those muscles cells, which pull in water to deal with the build up of metabolites generated as a result of your muscles contracting. As more and more water is pulled into the muscle cells, they begin to swell, resulting in one seriously savage muscle pump.
VASO6 & Cardiovascular Function
In addition to boosting exercise performance and muscle pumps, the compounds present in VASO6™ may promote cardiovascular health, due to its actions on endothelin-1 (ET-1).
Endothelin-1 is a peptide secreted by endothelial cells that induces vasoconstriction, counteracting the effects of nitric oxide. This is the exact opposite of what you want to occur during intense exercise, especially if you’re chasing the pump in your workout.
The compounds in VASO6 inhibit endothelin-1 activity, resulting in greater bioavailability of nitric oxide, and therefore better blood flow, arterial flexibility, and cardiovascular function.
Basically, with VASO6 you get the best of everything -- greater blood flow, less stress on your cardiovascular system, better performance, and bigger muscle pumps!
Benefits of VASO6
When supplementing with VASO6, you may experience:
- Greater nitric oxide production
- Increased blood flow (supporting better recovery and ATP production)
- Improved arterial flexibility
- Better stamina and endurance
- Enhanced oxygen and nutrient delivery
- Decreased blood pressure
- Improved fatigue resistance (due to enhanced clearance of waste products)
- Better core temperature regulation
- Decreased mental fatigue
Recommended dosing for VASO6 is 300-600mg.
VASO6 is a non-stimulant nitric oxide booster that can be stacked with any of the following:
- Pre workout
- Intra workout
- Post workout
VASO6 is powerful enough on its own, but if you’re wanting to get those “sleeve-busting” pumps, consider stacking it with L-Citrulline, Agmatine, FitNOx, or any of the numerous amino-bound nitrates.
- Gonzales JU, Raymond A, Ashley J, Kim Y. Does L-citrulline supplementation improve exercise blood flow in older adults? Experimental physiology. 2017;102(12):1661-1671. doi:10.1113/EP086587.
- Allerton TD, Proctor DN, Stephens JM, Dugas TR, Spielmann G, Irving BA. l-Citrulline Supplementation: Impact on Cardiometabolic Health. Nutrients. 2018;10(7):921. doi:10.3390/nu10070921.
- Bailey, S. J., Blackwell, J. R., Lord, T., Vanhatalo, A., Winyard, P. G., & Jones, A. M. (2015). l-Citrulline supplementation improves O2 uptake kinetics and high-intensity exercise performance in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 119(4), 385–395. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00192.2014
- Choy, Y. Y., & Waterhouse, A. L. (2014). Proanthocyanidin Metabolism, a mini review. Nutrition and Aging, 2(2), 111–116. https://doi.org/10.3233/NUA-140038
- Schlaich, M. P., Jacobi, J., John, S., Delles, C., Fleischmann, I., & Schmieder, R. E. (2000). Is l-arginine infusion an adequate tool to assess endothelium-dependent vasodilation of the human renal vasculature? Clinical Science (London, England : 1979), 99(4), 293–302.
- Marasciulo, F. L., Montagnani, M., & Potenza, M. A. (2006). Endothelin-1: the yin and yang on vascular function. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 13(14), 1655–1665.
- Reiter CE (2010). Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate reduces endothelin-1 expression and secretion in vascular endothelial cells: roles for AMP-activated protein kinase, Akt, and FOXO1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19887561
Great article. What brand do you suggest or use that offers the right dosage and is effective?