Beet It – New Nitrate Research

Muscle Nitrate and Exercise Performance 💪

“This study provides the best mechanistic evidence to date for the efficacy of dietary nitrate supplementation for improving human skeletal muscle performance.” – Professor Andy Jones, University of Exeter

The research team at the University of Exeter investigated what happens to ingested nitrate at rest and during exercise focusing on skeletal muscle.

They used a ‘15N labelled stable isotope tracer’ to track the distribution and metabolism of nitrate and took muscle biopsies at baseline, 1-h and 3-h post-supplement ingestion and immediately following the completion of 60 maximal intermittent contractions of the knee extensors.

The ingestion of nitrate significantly elevated skeletal muscle nitrate concentration at 1-h and 3-h, which was associated with a significant increase of ~7% in muscle torque production compared to the placebo.

Authors concluded: “This study shows, for the first time, that skeletal muscle rapidly takes up dietary nitrate, the elevated muscle nitrate following nitrate ingestion declines during exercise, and muscle nitrate dynamics are associated with enhanced torque production during maximal intermittent muscle contractions.”

Results suggest that high pre-exercise muscle nitrate and possibly high nitrate ingestion during exercise may have positive implications for exercise performance.

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