Category Archives: Nitrate

Dietary nitrate reduces oxygen cost of running and walking

Andrew Jones and his group at the University of Exeter are certainly busy lately.  I've reported on two of their papers on nitrate and exercise performance here and here.  They just published another in the Journal of Applied Physiology. In their last 2 papers, they used beetroot juice as the source of nitrate, leaving a little room that it was other compounds in the juice that were having an effect.  The first study, done by another group (Larsen et al.; see my first post on the topic) used Read more [...]

Dietary nitrate ameliorates metabolic syndrome in mice

I became interested in nitrate because early studies have been consistently showing that it may improve exercise performance by lowering the oxygen cost of exercise, and this research is in humans.  Reading through other literature, it seems there is a paradigm shift occurring from the thought of nitrate as undesirable and toxic toward an understanding of an under-appreciated metabolic role by this bioactive molecule from food.  After all, it can be found in high amounts in some vegetables. A Read more [...]

Dietary nitrate, muscle metabolism, and physical performance

I posted previously about 2 studies that suggest dietary nitrate enhances some measures of performance.  Another by one of the same groups (Bailey et al.) reproduces these findings and further explores mechanisms. For a background of the existing speculated mechanisms, see the last post.  This study used a different technique: Phosphorus-31 magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P-MRS), which assesses muscle metabolism noninvasively.  They chose this to examine muscle phosphocreatine (PCr) concentration, Read more [...]

How to get athletes to eat their vegetables: nitrate and performance (part 1)

For 9 years of my life I was a competitive cross country runner.  For 9 years of my life I heard the same types of nutritional recommendations: high carbohydrate, low fat, lots of water, eat within 30 minutes of a workout.  I know now that total calories seems to matter most (to which increasing dietary fat definitely helps), carbohydrate loading isn't relevant to most events, and I don't need to carry around a gallon of water everywhere I go to keep my urine clear.  Future posts will dissect Read more [...]