You know what goes so well with muscles?
It’s the veins that pop out whenever you do a flex.
Mr. Olympia winners have them, and so do many pro athletes. Heck, even GQ models have them too!
Photoshop aside, it’s possible for mere mortals like us to get that venous definition that looks amazing the more you look at them.
What are Vascularity Supplements?
To understand what a vascularity supplement does, you’ll need to know what vascularity means.
In simple terms, vascularity is the measure of having prominent and visible veins.
Now, you might be asking ‘what are the benefits of being vascular?’ In fitness and bodybuilding, having venous muscles adds a whole layer of depth. Also, you appear leaner, harder and more intimidating.
While the true aim is building muscles, there’s nothing wrong with adding a bit of aesthetics on the side. To this end companies have formulated supplements that can increase vascularity.
There’s also the matter of genetics. Some people won’t have any trouble producing great-looking streaks to complement their physiques, while others struggle to make theirs pop from under their skins.
Vascularity supplements contain a mix of ingredients, such as L-Citrulline, Arginine, Beta-Alanine and Beetroot to help you achieve a venous state. The best supplements for vascularity can get you there faster.
Best Vascularity Supplement Ingredients
L-Citrulline is classified as a non-essential amino acid, which your body uses to churn out nitric oxide and L-arginine.
You may have heard about nitric oxide in pre-workouts and bodybuilding supplements. By itself, nitric oxide literally gets the blood flowing and is shown to help build muscles while improving athletic performance.
When it comes to vascular aspects L-Citrulline is even more amazing. It relaxes the blood vessels and arteries, thereby optimizing them for the pump.
Then there’s the precursor to Arginine, which is another excellent ingredient for vascularity. More Arginine is actually better so you can get that awesome venous streak across your muscles.
Arginine is an essential amino acid that’s mostly given to help with circulation and to stave off fatigue. It combats high blood pressure and narrowing of blood vessels.
See the connection here? In vascularity, the wider the blood vessels the better. Arginine keeps your veins in an optimal state so you get the venous effects.
Aside from blood flow benefits, it’s been said that L-Arginine has a hand in the production of protein. Coupled with a good diet and exercise you can get an amazing pump which really pushes out those veins!
And if that’s not enough Arginine produces nitric oxide as well and buffers circulatory action, all of which are plusses in the vascularity department.
Beta Alanine is unlike Arginine and L-Citrulline in that it doesn’t directly affect vascularity. Instead, it supports venous streaks by making you perform better and building lean muscle faster.
I’d compare Beta-Alanine to fuel for chugging through training days. Muscle endurance and time to exhaustion (TTE) gets heightened as well. Like a superhero, the amino acid doesn’t stop there.
Studies have shown that supplementing with Beta-Alanine results in better performance, especially in HIIT and short-duration exercises. Lastly, it can help with body composition and make transitioning from fat to lean easier.
Last but not least we have the humble beetroot. It’s a common vegetable and yet is packed with superb nutrients such as iron, potassium, manganese, folate, vitamin C and fiber.
Beetroot is associated with a host of health benefits, including lower blood pressure, better blood flow and yes, higher performance levels.
Beetroots are also rich in nitrates and can convert them into nitric oxide. That said, you can never go wrong with a steady diet of beetroot to accentuate your vascular streaks.
Best Vascularity Supplements
If you want to look more vascular and get your veins popping then these are the best supplements to choose from.
#1. Lean by Transparent Labs
Is there any surprise that Lean takes the Number 1 spot? It has science-backed claims and is made by my favorite manufacturer, Transparent Labs.
You get zero BS and a whole lot of vascular-loving ingredients, like 6g of Citrulline Malate, 1.5g of Beta-Alanine, NALT, BCAAs and more. Lean’s claim to fame though, is that it has absolutely no preservatives, GMO, gluten, sweeteners, fillers and coloring.
Lean is a proven cutting supplement that has a thousand reviews on the web. It’s primarily for those who want to build lean muscle and lower body fat at the same time. And we know what that means, right? A higher chance of getting some venous action.
A word to the wise- Lean will serve you very well throughout your vascular journey and as a pre-workout supplement. The benefits compound themselves the longer you take it. On top of that, it is made to help you lose weight and get shredded, which will help you be even more vascular.
Oh, and Lean comes in delicious flavors Orange, Tropical Punch, Sour Grape and my favorite, Blue Raspberry.
- Coupon code TL10 save you 10% at checkout
- Made to help you burn fat
- Complete formula transparency
- Excellent mix of pro-vascular ingredients
- No fillers, GMOs and artificial flavoring
- Savings available when buying in bulk
- Great reviews online
- Only available on the manufacturer’s website
BlackWolf pounces out of nowhere and takes the top spot like a…er, wolf. It comes as no surprise though, because they have come up with a vascularity supplement that has everything you’d want, and more.
I absolutely love brands that are 100% transparent in their ingredients and dosing, and Blackwolf is a shining example. You get a list of 11 ingredients and their respective dosage- for example, L-Citrulline at 6 grams, Beta-Alanine at 3.2 grams and Arginine at 1 gram. The addition of Bioperine is a nice touch and brings all the compounds together for a synergistic effect.
It’s worthy to note that BlackWolf pre-workout is available with and without caffeine. It also has Huperzine and DMAE for laser-like focus and mental fortitude. Also, it comes in three distinct flavors- Green Apple, Blue Raspberry and Fruit Punch.
With BlackWolf, you’ll achieve a ripped, vascular physique that’s the envy of your peers. A clinically studied formula means you can count on it to deliver the goods while you work on torching fat and building muscle.
And that is why BlackWolf is the best supplement for vascularity.
- 100% transparency
- Dosage is excellent
- Zero caffeine
- Made in the USA
- Free shipping when you buy 2 tubs
- Ships worldwide
- Website a bit tricky to find through search
#3. Pump Surge by Jacked Factory
Pump Surge is a stim-free pre-workout supplement, which means it’s free of caffeine. Jacked Factory uses a blend of nootropics and ergogenic boosters to provide a physical and mental boost.
Notable ingredients of Pump Surge include Betaine, Taurine and L-Citrulline for better blood flow and thus, a more sustained workout. The result is muscle and vascularity growth promotion.
The product is cGMP manufactured and made in the US, with zero dyes or fillers and a transparent label. The shiny neon packaging is nice and the pre-workout comes in Blue Raspberry, Cherry Limeade, Strawberry Lemonade and Watermelon.
- Good for hydration, stamina
- No artificial coloring
- Low L-Citrulline dosage
#4. 4 Guage
4 Gauge is as explosive as it sounds, and its potency can help you fulfill your need to have bulging veins rippling across your muscles in no time!
What makes 4 Gauge better than the others? It could be that their formula is always being updated as part of their commitment to customers. The ingredients are clinically dosed for maximum results and are sourced according to quality.
Or that it has Beetroot extract, which when combined with L-Citrulline make for an incredible pump and venous definition. That’s not even counting Creatine, Caffeine Anhydrous and L-Theanine, among others.
Then there’s the fact that 4 Guage doesn’t have artificial sweeteners or fillers placed under the ‘proprietary’ label. When you start taking it you won’t ever feel like you’re on a plateau- 4 Gauge is that effective.
- Strong dosage
- Has beetroot extract
- Save money when buying in bulk
- Has caffeine
#5. BSN Nitrix 2.0
Available on Amazon
BSN’s Nitrix 2.0 is billed as a ‘concentrated nitric oxide precursor’, something that’s welcome in the vascularity department.
To get the venous streak you’ll need as much nitric oxide and L-Citrulline you can get. Nitrix provides L-Citrulline, Creatine and a bunch of other ingredients. Unfortunately, there’s a large question mark as Nitrix 2.0 contains a proprietary blend in its label.
Furthermore, there’s an allergen warning for those who may have a reaction with fish oil, tree nuts, shellfish, soybeans, egg and milk. For flavor there’s only Unflavored but it comes in 90 or 180 count sizes.
- L-Citrulline and Creatine combo
- Unflavored means no artificial flavoring
- Proprietary label hides the dosing
#5. Nitraflex Pump by GAT Sport
Nitraflex Pump is a hyperemia and strength supplement with a focus on delivering maximum power output to your muscles while you work out.
The strength formula lacks caffeine and won’t keep you awake at night. GAT Sport claims the Nitraflex can be stacked with other GAT products for compounded results.
Ingredients include Pine Bark, L-Norvaline, Hydromax Glycerol and L-Citrulline, with additions such as Carnosyn and Taurine thrown in.
While Nitraflex seems like a good choice there’s a warning that using it can expose you to lead. Also, L-Norvaline is an ‘iffy’ ingredient and there are better ones to include in a vascularity supplement.
- No caffeine
- Provides a good pump
- Has L-Norvaline
- Possible tingling/itching effect
#7. High Volume by PESience
Next on our list of the best supplements for vascularity we have High Volume. High Volume by PEScience offers a powerful pump formula in interesting flavors such as Cotton Candy, Melon Berry Twist, Paradise Cooler and Sour Green Apple, among others.
In the ingredients department you get a mix of L-Citrulline, Taurine, Arginine, Ferula Extract and something called ‘Performance Pump Matrix’ There’s also natural and artificial flavors thrown in.
Theoretically, all these things can translate to a better pump and thus, vascularity. However, I’m not entirely convinced about the supplement, and well, the dosage for the most important vascular ingredients fall short of the competition.
- High Volume pump supplement
- Good taste
- Proprietary label a hit or miss
- No energy booster
#8. NO3 Chrome by Cellucore
NO3 Chrome stands for nitric oxide pump amplifier, a supplement that focuses on the pump. The NO3 in this case is a blend of Nitrate and L-Arginine, and the addition of Nitrosigine for an extra boost.
Nitrosigine is a relative newcomer to the pre-workout industry. However, it mostly works the same way as L-Arginine. Data has shown that it could relax the blood vessels by a larger margin compared to arginine but that has yet to be proven.
The ‘Chrome’ in the product is a bit misleading because there’s no such ingredient in the label.
- Comes in capsules
- Subscribe for cheaper cost
- Nitrosigine can be a double-edged sword
Beyond the bland website and the too-flashy marketing words NitroCut is inherently another nitric oxide booster supplement.
It wins the ‘most ingredients in a vascularity supplement’, with 12(!) in the label. Notable ones include L-Arginine, L-Citrulline, Tribulus Terrestris, Fenugreek Extract and a host of B vitamins.
Unfortunately there’s too many of them spread out too thin. Don’t expect good results on this one.
- Free shipping in the USA
- Doesn’t do too much
#10. Pump by Beyond Raw
Pump by Beyond Raw suffers from a lack of online exposure (read: the website is hard to find). When you do find it though, you’ll be impressed at the ingredients lineup, featuring Nitrosigine, FitNox, L-Citrulline and Oxyjun.
Now, what are these exactly? Hyped up words for arginine silicate inositol, moringa leaf extract and terminalia bark extract, respectively. The nitric oxide enhancer comes in two flavors- Orange Mango and Strawberry Lemonade.
The redeeming factor in this is that Pump has a transparent label, but then it’s marred by 1- and 2-star reviews, saying how they get headaches and various side effects.
- Transparent label
- Comes with side effects
- Only L-Citrulline
Bonus: Tips to be More Vascular
Vascularity supplements aside, you can achieve a fearsome vein-filled physique by eliminating the factors that hinder its showing.
So, here’s what we know- the veins you’d want to coax out are called superficial veins. These are found to be the closest to the skin, but they’re relatively hidden under fat, water weight and hair.
Generally speaking, there are six rules you should follow- lose body fat, remove body hair, gain muscle, don’t restrict sodium and stay hydrated and get pumped.
Tip #1. Lose Body Fat
Easier said than done, am I right?
However, it’s the surest path to success for those who want thick and bulging veins on their muscles.
In actuality, vascularity has a close correlation with body fat percentage. The more fat you have the more it gets in the way between your skin and veins.
Yes, pump is good to have but there’s also vasodilation and blood vessel size to think about. It’s natural to assume that when one exercises regularly their blood vessels expand more frequently and thus stay that way.
So, the first order of business is to lose the body fat. How do you do this, you ask? With the right kind of diet and exercise, that’s what.
Related: The 15 Best Fat Burners For Men
Tip #2. Remove Body Hair
No offense, but how else are you going to show off your vascular body when it’s covered with hair?
It’s time to get some manscaping done to achieve the look you want. There are quite a few ways on how you can get this done- wax, shaving and taking out that trusty razor are just a few examples.
The upside is that you’ll look cleaner and those muscles will be more prominent, especially with the right gym routine. It’s not a one-time thing though, so you’d best integrate it in your life.
Tip #3. Gain Muscle
You may be gifted with shallow veins, but if there’s no muscle to back it up then it’s just wasted potential.
Hit two birds with one stone and simultaneously build up muscle while reducing fat. The good news is there’s a ton of exercises that do exactly that. Then, back it up with lots of protein and you’ll be on the right path!
Muscle lies directly underneath veins, so when you pump them out you get vascularity. The more muscle you build (and the more fat you burn), the better the overall look.
Tip #4. Don’t Restrict Sodium
Sodium can be your best friend when used right.
Salt can be beneficial for vascularity in both short and long term effects.
It’s easy to fall into the ‘salt is bad’ routine, but the truth is you shouldn’t be scared of going beyond recommended sodium intake from time to time.
A boost of sodium immediately makes you vasodilated, a precursor to having nice venous streaks. Couple that with a good pump and you’re off to the races.
Long-term, as long as you know how to balance your sodium levels with water (which we’ll talk about on the next tip), potassium and diuretics then there’s really no harm done.
Tip #5. Stay Hydrated
Yep, that’s right. The last tip to be more vascular is remembering to drink water and staying hydrated.
Water retention is enemy number 1 because all that excess stuff covers your hard-earned muscle and veins. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink water for the sake of a venous appearance.
I know it sounds weird, but drinking water is key to staving off water retention. Your body won’t hold water if it knows there’s enough to go by, and water keeps your muscles in its optimal form.
#6 Get a Good Muscle Pump
You don’t really think the guys in those super vascular pictures you see online look like that after getting up off the couch after watching TV do you?
Not likely, if you really want to get those veins really pooping you need to get a good pump.
In order to get a good pump it is best to go with high reps, one of the techniques I like to use is hundreds training, it provides a massive pump that will make those veins look like tree roots running down your arms. You can read about hundreds training in this article.
Below is a picture of me after performing hundreds training, it works.
There you have it- the best supplements for vascularity. If you were to start training to get ripped and aim for vascular streaks, then I’d recommend the top 3 on the list. They’re pound for pound better and have the ingredients to support your needs.
Good luck and get pumping!
Ryan is a former college wrestler and lifelong fitness fanatic. He has run half marathons, done mud runs, placed in body transformation contests, coached wrestling and now coaches girls soccer. Not to mention he has also tried literally hundreds of supplements over the years and has a vast and thorough supplement knowledge. He has written for Muscle & Strength, Testosterone Junkie, The Sport Review and other publications. He is also the editor in chief of this website. Feel free connect with him on his LinkedIn page below.