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January 29, 2023 4 min read
Nitric oxide (NO) is a naturally occurring molecule that plays a vital role in maintaining healthy athletic performance. It is a signaling molecule that helps regulate blood flow, oxygen delivery, and muscle function. As a result, nitric oxide supplements have become increasingly popular
PubMed: Nitric Oxide (NO) is quite an essential molecule for human metabolism since it plays an active role in body functions.
Recent studies have shown that NO can also enhance athletic performance, particularly in endurance athletes such as runners, cyclists, and triathletes.
Runners World: Science has long shown the benefits of beets for athletes: Runners who threw back a beet juice shot before racing cut 1.5 percent off their 5K race times, found a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology
NO is largely produced through nitrates and bacteria in your mouth or gut.
Wikipedia: For the body to generate nitric oxide through the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway, the reduction of nitrate to nitrite (by nitrate reductase, a bacterial enzyme) occurs in the mouth, by commensal bacteria, an obligatory and necessary step.
PubMed: NO is derived largely from enzymatic pathways, but a non-enzymatic pathway also exists. Enzymatic NO formation is catalyzed by NO synthase (NOS) through a series of redox reactions
One of the main ways in which NO improves endurance performance is by increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles.
PubMed: The most known and remarkable function of NO is its role in controlling vasodilatation, blood rate, and mitochondrial respiration and thus enhance performance.
When the smooth muscle in the walls of blood vessels relaxes, it leads to the dilation of blood vessels, which increases blood flow to the muscles. This increased blood flow and oxygen delivery allows the muscles to work harder and for longer periods of time before fatiguing.
Study Shows Nitric Oxide increases muscles strength by 7%
NO also improves the efficiency of muscle contractions by helping to regulate the balance between the contraction and relaxation of muscle fibers, which means athletes will be able to perform more work with less fatigue.
By increasing blood flow to muscles, nitric oxide also promotes muscle growth and lean muscle mass.
Furthermore, NO may also help to reduce muscle damage caused by endurance exercise by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, leading to faster recovery times and improved performance in subsequent training sessions.
USADA: Nitric oxide is a gas that’s naturally produced in the body that increases blood flow by relaxing blood vessels, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Because of this, it’s commonly found in pre-workout supplements that promise to boost strength and endurance.
One of the most effective ways to boost NO levels is through the consumption of dietary nitrates, which are found in foods such as leafy greens, beets, and other vegetables.
Nitrates (NO3) are a naturally occurring compound found in many vegetables, fruits, and drinking water.
Nitrites (NO2) are a synthetic compound used as a preservative in processed meats and as a flavoring agent.
However, for athletes looking for a more convenient and concentrated source of nitrates, beetroot powder supplements (ahem, Beetroot Pro®) have become increasingly popular.
Many studies have shown that consuming beetroot powder before exercise can significantly increase NO levels, leading to improved endurance performance.
In one study, runners who consumed beetroot juice before a 10k race were able to run faster and with less perceived effort compared to those who consumed a placebo.
Similarly, in a study of cyclists, those who consumed beetroot juice before a time trial were able to ride faster and for longer than those who consumed a placebo.
Supplement Produces a "Striking" Performance Boost: Taking a dietary supplement to boost nitric oxide in the body can significantly boost stamina during high-intensity exercise. ScienceDaily
The most effective time to take beetroot powder before exercise is 1 to 2 hours before your workout.
It takes 1 to 2 hours for nitrates to be converted to nitric oxide and reach peak levels in the blood.
It's also important to note that consuming beetroot powder consistently, over a period of time, is more effective than taking it occasionally.
Gatorade Sports Science Institute: Dietary nitrate supplementation, typically via beetroot juice ingestion, has been shown to reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise
During exercise, the body produces more nitric oxide and this leads to an increase in blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles.
Nitric oxide plays a crucial role in enhancing athletic performance, particularly for endurance athletes. Beetroot powder is a convenient and effective way to boost nitric oxide levels, making it a great addition to any athlete's pre-workout routine.
When consumed consistently, over a period of time, before exercise, beetroot powder can help runners, cyclists, and triathletes push their limits and reach their full athletic potential.
Author- Cameron Hoffman
Beetroot Pro® is a beetroot extract designed for performance. The formula does not contain any beet fiber, however it includes BCAA, Magnesium, Potassium and Vitamin B12.
FDA Disclosure: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any dietary supplement especially if you have any medical condition, pregnancy, breastfeeding or are on any medication.
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