T Nation

NO Supplements and Diarrhea



I like NO supplements, they give me the mental focus, the energy and the pump I like and need.

There is one big downside: they give me nasty diarrhea. 15 minutes after drinking them, I need to go. Later that evening I need to go again and again and again.

I've tried many different brands (NO shotgun, Superpump, NO explode, etc etc) all give me this side effect (some more than others).

Supps in pill-form (like RPM) cause a lot less crappers.

Also I tried to drink it on empty stomach, before eating, after eating etc etc.

Does some1 have an idea on WHAT ingredient causes this? Any tips?



Mental Focus? Are you serious? What NO product is that?


Caffeine will do that.


Well it gives me that.


Weird, I never get diarrhea but instantly have to shit within 10min of taking an NO product


Caffeine is a diuretic. There is a 100 mg of caffeine in NO Explode and they don't release (that I can find) how much is in their "proprietary formula." So who knows who much you are getting, but I can assure you it is a metric shit-ton (pun intended).

Also, I've read somewhere that high doses of arginine can be toxic and cause diarrhea.

I think caffeine is your big culprit here though.


NO relaxes smooth muscle cells. Including the muscle sphincter ani internus, a muscle that helps you keep the shit in. Since your GI tract is almost all smooth muscle, this could very well cause a shit storm.


You should ask yourself what you prefer, mental focus or not having the shits.


Mental focus while having the shits must be awful.


There are a few things that cause the runs when using some of these supplements.
- For NO Explode, it is the huge dose of Magnesium, especially if you are using 3 scoops. That is guaranteed to have you making a run for the head before the end of your session.
- For Superpump 250, it is Sodium Bicarbonate, another laxative effect producer.

To help alleviate the problem, I recommend eating a banana or FINiBAR with it to slow absorption. That does the trick for me, and just use 2 scoops.

Jack3D by USP Labs has the caffeine and beta alanine without the magnesium etc, and you need less to get the same mental excitement from caffeine. honestly, just take Jack3d or some caffeine and lots of carbs, that will help with getting a good pump, not some magic supplement. you can always add plain old creatine monohydrate and some BCAAs too.


When I was using it, I found the preworkout shit.... pleasant lol


No they don't.

I'm so sick of people buying into this crap when all they're popping is caffeine pills with nowhere near enough Arginine to elicit ANY EFFECT when ingested orally (studies done with 30 GRAMS, TAKEN INTRAVENOUSLY SHOWED NO EFFECT!!!!) Seriously, all the science (ALL OF IT!) is in agreement. Do young kids really think Arnold needed a pre-workout drink/pill/supplement?!



I used to take whole bunches of NO Explode and I get what you're saying... the shiny red tub has a HUGE placebo effect. Don't take my word for it though.
Here's a quick experiment I tried. Hopefully, you keep track of your workouts, sets, reps, weight etc. Do this for one full week/10 days, whatever it takes for you to come back to the same workout. Then, DON"T TAKE THAT CRAP!! Instead, drink a cup of coffee before hitting the gym. Then compare your numbers. I promise you'll change your mind and spend less on toilet paper.


With all due respect, but i'm 30 and been working out for about 9 years. After drinking NO products for years, I think the placebo effect should've worn out. I do feel a big difference when training with or without.

But Arnold did ingest some amounts of D-bol, increasing his drive on another level.

But maybe I should try some straight caf pills and see what that gives, in order to pinpoint the exact ingredient. Magnesium could be it though... Arginine... don't know, once took Nitrix and that didn't give me the runs.

Thanks for the advice.

Ps: I lol'd at mental focus when having the shits.


Off topic but anyone remember using Thermadrene back in the 90's, would love to get some of that shit. I recall that made me a freakin animal.


If you want the mental focus, just take Spike.


But caffeine will pretty much do all that shit. It's not bullshit, you just don't need the other stuff.


THat's the point. How many Pro Athletes have been wearing the exact same pair of socks for every important game they've been in for years. If they don't they thing everything's 'off'. There is no time limit to said placebo effect, and as much as you may be enjoying the little jolt from caffeine, you're wasting your money and not exactly doing credit to your 9 years of training by even supporting an accepted BS/Gimmick product like NO. If you had really learned in that time, you'd know better. Spend the money on food, or protein powder instead. Caffeine Pills are cheap as hell :slightly_smiling:



I know this debate has gone on way too many times here on these forums, but here is the thing. Look on just about any supplement website where they sale a wide range of products, or in any retailer, and you will see that BSN's NO Explode is one of their top sellers. As in, the top 10. Now why is that? Is an entire population that naive? Well, maybe.

So, while I absolutely love Biotest products, I want to raise this argument as well. Most people here on these forums, undoubtly say Spike does the same thing. "Just buy some Spike." A fair amount of folks on here use that product. So, look at the numbers here.

You get 24 servings of Spike for $50.
You get 50 servings of NO Xplode for $35.00.

Not to mention within all of that you are getting a lot of other stuff in the NO rather than just B12, caffeine, b-alanine or whatever.

Okay, so why are the majority still saying the NO is a waste of money?

I don't use NO products. I have tried them, but I find that I would rather buy whey protein. But that is just my opinion and I am not a millionare, so I have to budget. I know a lot of folks who like N.O. I mean hell, Dave Tate sales SuperPump250 on his website! And they have this schnazzy little quote at the top of their supplement page:

"We pride ourselves on ONLY carrying those items that we have seen work for our friends, training partners and customers. If you do not see it here then it does not fit our standards. Our standards are very simple. The product has to work and has to be worth the investment."

Does that mean EliteFTS, who are commonly respected around here, are sale outs? No, not at all.

So, here is my conclusion. Is it a staple supplement like protein, fish oil, and a multi-vitamin? Absolutely not. However, it is no different than taking a test booster, any other Pre-workout supp, or the next thing. You do not need it. Though, it is nice to have in the inventory if you have the money and it works for you.