how to increase vascularity

How To Increase Vascularity: 9 Ways To Get More Vascular

Why is it that all the top tier athletes always have a vast network of blood vessels popping from under their already paper-thin skin?

It’s definitely a reflection of all the hard work they put into molding a formidable physique, as well as the dedication to diet and overall aesthetic appeal.

Yes, it’s true, a highly muscular and vascular body will not only catch envious glares from men who don’t have theirs prominently on display but also the eyes of females as well.


Given, we are not all handed the same genetic card at birth, does not mean that we can’t take matters into our own hands and increase vascularity to epic levels. It’s really not difficult but does require diligence and patience as it won’t happen overnight.

Let’s Check Out What You Can Do Starting Today To Increase Your Vascularity:

Perform Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise (better known as the dreaded cardio) appears to be the bane of many strength athlete’s existence.

However, this should not be the case, as the benefits from cardiovascular exercise trickle down to many aspects of your life and health.  

Not only will more cardio help you lose greater amounts of body fat (another tip we will touch on soon), but it also favorably assists in blood vessel network remodeling to meet the needs of your hard training muscles. 

Increased capillary angiogenesis also ensures that oxygenated blood is supplied to muscles more efficiently, along with the nutrients required for the maintenance of performance.

Natural PDE5 Inhibitors

PDE5, otherwise known as phosphodiesterase-5, is an enzyme in the body which breaks down the primary vasodilator nitric oxide.

Under normal circumstances, this is not a problem, as the body typically synthesizes more nitric oxide as the need arises.

However, under certain conditions, it can be particularly troublesome. One such scenario is erectile dysfunction, which occurs when blood flow to the penis is inhibited, mediated in large part to the breakdown of nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide initiates the erectile cascade, allowing blood to pool in the spongy tissue of the penis (known as the corpus).

By inhibiting the action of the enzyme PDE-5, nitric oxide is then able to persist longer in blood, producing its desired effects of vasodilation.

The most well-known male enhancement products on the planet, Viagra, works by this mechanism of PDE-5 inhibition.

Though this could certainly assist with vascularity throughout the entire body, there are more appropriate natural inhibitors. Such as:

  • Horny Goat Weed - known in many parts of the world as “natural Viagra”, this herb possesses potent PDE-5 inhibitory action.

  • Forskolin – Forskolin not only inhibits PDE5 but it also acts as a fat burner which in turn helps enhance vascularity.

  • Pycnogenol – This powerful plant extract from the Mediterranean is a natural PDE5 inhibitor that increases blood flow and promotes male fertility by improving sperm morphology.

Top Natural PDE5 Inhibitor Supplements

Lose Excess Body Fat

Many people trying to enhance their vascularity fail to address one fundamental issue; their body fat level.

While this should be pretty obvious, the truth is it’s often overlooked.

Think of it this way; fat forms a comfy layer of insulation between your muscles and the skin, making it virtually impossible for vessels to be seen superficially.

If you have had years of training experience under your belt, but have yet to see the vascularity you know is lurking, then your body fat is probably the problem.

Book a professional appointment for measurement using calipers, then try to bring your body fat as close to the low double digits as possible (10-12% optimally).

It is unrealistic for you to maintain body fat levels lower than that the entire year, so set realistic goals.

Train For Strength And Size

The body will not change unless a demand has been placed on it; in this case near maximal loads. Blood vessels, like many other body processes and organs, adapt from the imposed demands placed upon it.  

However, following consistent training and progression, blood vessels start to remodel to accommodate the new requirements set forth by the muscles.

New capillaries develop to supply muscles with necessary nutrients and oxygen, and this is often reflected with enhanced vascularity.

Larger and/or more muscles mandate the development of new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis.

Lifting heavy is one of the stimuli that induces these positive vascular changes, and explains why the biggest and strongest athletes are often the most vascular as well.

Spend Some Time In The Sun Daily

If you live in the tropics, meeting your daily requirements for sun exposure is not difficult at all, but if you live in the low temperate areas you need to make a deliberate attempt to ensure you do.

Our skin is able to synthesize vitamin D from sun exposure, which plays a role in optimizing testosterone levels.

However, sunlight can do more than that, as your skin can also synthesize nitric oxide from exposure to UV rays.

Fifteen minutes a day should suffice, so no need to overdo it and spend hours upon hours in the sun.

Supplement With The Amino Acids Citrulline or Arginine

One of the most popular and well-established ways to go about raising your nitric oxide levels is to directly supplement with its precursors.

Amongst these, L-arginine is considered the “gold standard” although recent developments may change that very soon.

For one, L-arginine must be converted via the action of an enzyme known as eNOS, or endothelial nitric oxide synthase.

This could be considered as the “limiting” step since this enzyme determines how fast and how much nitric oxide you can produce. 

Consumption of resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, grapes, and berries, has been shown to up-regulate the actions of this enzyme and potentiate the production of nitric oxide.

However, the other amino in question, Citrulline, is actually better at converting into arginine than arginine itself, as it’s not subject to mechanisms that usually break down arginine.

This makes citrulline a better option than arginine for increasing nitric oxide synthesis, and explains why more supplement manufacturers are adding it to their products (and even replacing arginine altogether).

Top L-Citrulline Supplements

Eat Foods That Enhance Vascularity

The foods we eat can either have a vasoconstrictive or vasodilatory action, so it’s important that you choose the right ones to further your quest for vascularity.

In addition to directly increasing nitric oxide synthesis, many of these foods keep vessels in pristine condition, modulating blood pressure and preventing unexpected changes to blood vessel flexibility.

Try eating more of the following:

  • Pomegranates - another natural PDE-5 inhibitor that assists in nitric oxide accumulation and prolongation of its effects. Pomegranate can also boost testosterone synthesis and increase your endurance and resistance to fatigue.

  • Watermelon - rich in the amino acid citrulline which is converted into arginine, and then afterward into nitric oxide. Watermelon also has a decent amount of potassium, helping to maintain electrolyte balance.

  • Cruciferous vegetables - these include veggies such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, which are first and foremost excellent foods to reduce your estrogen load. These veggies are able to promote the breakdown of estradiol into weaker forms, which are easily excreted by the body. This, in turn, can result in reduced body fat accumulation, less water retention and a greater likelihood of vascularity.

  • Dark Chocolate (with high epicatechin content) - dark chocolate is unique in that is should not merely be looked at as a “treat”, but also a real health food that can improve vascularity. Dark chocolate also repairs vascular damage in blood vessels and can offset the effects of cortisol, known to adversely affect salt and water balance.

Eat Foods Rich In Inorganic Nitrates

Inorganic nitrates are found in many of the foods we eat and are converted into nitric oxide as well. Foods such as spinach, pomegranates, and beets are excellent sources of these nitrates, and ones we should be having more of to increase vascularity.

Pomegranate and beetroot juice is a great way to consume these powerful nitrates, so meeting your daily goals just became much easier. These nitrates also help to improve endurance and control blood pressure, making them great for general health as well.

Don’t Underestimate The Importance of Drinking Water

You’ve heard it a million times and more - you need to drink lots of water. While at first thought you may think that doing so would be counterproductive, this is actually a misconception.

The fact is, the amount of water your body holds is to a large extent dictated by the balance of sodium and potassium in the blood. Diets higher in sodium cause retention of water, leading to increased blood pressure and “smoothening” of muscles.

Ensuring adequate hydration helps flush our excess sodium ions, optimizing the homeostatic balance of blood. So, contrary to what some people believe, drinking more water will not lead to water retention, but rather the flushing out of excessive sodium ions and helping you achieve that dry vascular look.

The End Result

You won’t notice big changes to vascularity if you haven’t been working out for a measurable amount of time, as changes that facilitate new blood vessel development and rearrangements does take time.

However, stay diligent and follow the proven tips outlined above and you are well on your way to increase your vascularity.