Vasodilation is the process by which the blood vessels in the body relax and widen, allowing for greater blood flow. One of the main triggers of vasodilation is nitric oxide. Therefore, anything that increases nitric oxide production in the body will also increase vasodilation, the sensation bodybuilders refer to as the “pump.”
From an athlete’s perspective, vasodilation allows for an increase in oxygen and nutrient delivery within the body, allowing for greater energy production for the muscles. Vasodilation also helps improve the removal of catabolic waste products from the muscles like lactic acid and ammonia that contribute to muscle fatigue and failure.