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Authors

  1. Baranauskas, Marissa N. PhD
  2. Coggan, Andrew R. PhD
  3. Gruber, Allison H. PhD
  4. Altherr, Cody A. MS
  5. Raglin, John S. PhD
  6. Carter, Stephen J. PhD

Abstract

Over the last decade, there has been a growing interest in the utility of nitrate (NO3-) supplementation to improve exercise-related performance. After consumption, dietary NO3- can be reduced to nitric oxide, a free radical gas involved in numerous physiological actions including blood vessel vasodilation, mitochondrial respiration, and skeletal muscle contractile function. Emerging evidence indicates that dietary NO3- supplementation has a small but nevertheless significant beneficial effect on endurance performance through the combined effects of enhanced tissue oxygenation and metabolic efficiency in active skeletal muscle. There is further evidence to suggest that dietary NO3- exerts a direct influence on contractile mechanisms within the skeletal muscle through alterations in calcium availability and sensitivity. Response heterogeneity and sizeable variability in the nitrate content of beetroot juice products influence the effectiveness of dietary NO3- for exercise performance, and so dosing and product quality, as well as training history, sex, and individual-specific characteristics, should be considered.