Are Nitrates Good For Muscle Growth?

Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert. Sport & Exercise Nutrition. British Army Physical Training Instructor.  


Studies have shown that nitrate supplementation may have an effect on muscle strength and mass. This is a good thing to know if you are an athlete or just looking to improve your performance.

However, it's important to understand how the studies were conducted and what results were found. These results may give you an idea of whether or not nitrate supplementation is worth pursuing.

Nitrates Explained

Usually nitrates are thought of as chemicals that have negative connotations. But, recent studies have shown that dietary nitrates may be beneficial.

Nitrates are inorganic chemical compounds that are naturally occurring in water and soil. They are also found in meat and processed foods. However, they may also cause health complications.

Nitrates are an insoluble form of nitrogen and are not easily digested by stomach acid. They are used in the food industry to give meat a savory taste. Nitrates can be found in natural and organic processed meats.

Nitrates can also be found in water and soil in excess. This can cause eutrophication, or a rapid increase in algae growth. Eutrophication can lead to changes in the ecosystem and scarcity of food.

Nitrates can also cause a reduction in dissolved oxygen levels. This can be dangerous for pregnant women.

Nitrates can also be harmful to warm-blooded animals, such as cattle. Unlike phosphates, nitrates are soluble in water.

They can also be found in animal manure storage facilities and sewage. They are also used in fertilizers for agriculture.

Nitrates can also be converted to nitric oxide, which improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. They are also used in the treatment of angina. Nitrates are also used as antimicrobials in the digestive system.

Nitrates amd Nutrition

Various studies have documented the beneficial effects of nitrate and nitrite-containing plant foods on the human body.

These findings suggest that nitrate and nitrite compounds should be considered nutrients.

Moreover, specific recommendations to encourage the consumption of plant-based nitrate-rich foods may provide significant public health benefits.

Nitrates are oxidizing agents that play a critical role in the nitrogen cycle. In humans, they are absorbed through various routes into the general blood circulation.

They can be found in many foods, including meat and dairy products. They are also present in drinking water, groundwater, and surface waters.

Nitrate-containing fertilizers are commonly applied to agricultural land. They are typically manufactured in inorganic chemicals, but they are also naturally occurring in the environment.

The amount of nitrate in the environment depends on factors such as soil type, vertical flow, and precipitation.

In addition, the amount of nitrate found in the environment may vary depending on soil thickness, soil moisture, and dissolved oxygen.

Various studies have documented the beneficial effects of diets rich in nitrate-containing vegetables.

These include reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes. It has been noted that a vegetable-rich diet has been associated with lower blood pressure.

In addition, dietary nitrates have been shown to provide performance-enhancing effects in humans.

Specifically, nitrate-rich vegetables have been found to increase the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is required for various integral functions in the human body. Nitric oxide helps to maintain homeostasis and tissue defense.

Food Sources of Nitrates

Among the most common food sources of nitrates are vegetables. Nitrates are a naturally occurring chemical compound.

It is also a common additive to meat, fish, cheese and processed foods to add colour and to prevent bloating. 

Nitrates are also added to meats to make them red, to preserve them, and to give them flavour. Nitrates and nitrites have been considered cancer risks for many years.

However, recent studies have also shown that dietary nitrates and nitrites have beneficial effects on blood pressure and cardiovascular systems. 

Vegetables were the most common contributors to nitrate and nitrite intake. The highest nitrates were found in leafy vegetables.

For adults, the highest EDI values were found in potato, carrot, and radish. For children, the highest EDI values were found for beetroot, radish, and lettuce.

Nitrate and nitrite intake from fruit vegetables was estimated to be 3-4 mg NO3/kg body weight for children. For adults, the estimated daily intake of nitrate from fruit vegetables is approximately 1 mg NO3/kg body weight.

Nitrate Rich Vegetables

Increasing your consumption of nitrate rich vegetables can be a healthy and simple way to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Nitric oxide helps to relax your blood vessels and keep your blood pressure under control. Nitric oxide also helps to burn stubborn fat.

Nitrate is an inorganic compound found naturally in plants. It is converted by plants from nitrogen in the air. Nitrate rich vegetables include spinach, lettuce, carrot, and beetroot.

Other vegetables with nitrate content include fennel, arugula, celery, and mustard greens.

Nitrate rich vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked. Cooking may affect the absorption of nitrate in the gastrointestinal tract. The concentration of nitrates in vegetables may also be affected by cooking techniques.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of nitrate rich vegetables on plasma nitrite concentrations.

It involved 53,150 Danish participants. They were followed for a median of 21 years. Their dietary habits were assessed using food frequency questionnaires. They were assigned to one of two intervention groups.

The control group received nonsurgical periodontal treatment. The intervention group received dietary counseling and a nutritional intervention.

The study found that people who consumed the highest percentage of nitrate rich vegetables had lower systolic blood pressure.

The mean systolic blood pressure was lower throughout both intervention periods. Compared to the control group, the participants who ate the highest percentage of nitrate rich vegetable had 2.58 mm Hg lower systolic blood pressure.

Vegetables that contain nitrates are good sources of antioxidants. They also provide minerals and fiber. In addition, they can boost muscle function.

The Benefits of Muscle Growth

Increasing your muscle mass is an important part of your health. 

Muscles can increase your resting metabolic rate, which helps your body burn calories when you are doing daily tasks. Muscles also store glycogen, a type of energy that your body uses to power your workouts.

Your body needs a diet that provides the nutrients it needs to build muscle.

Foods that are good for muscle growth include nuts, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Legumes contain zinc, which is important for muscle growth.

You should also eat foods that contain carbohydrates. Carbohydrates help fuel your muscles, and provide dietary fiber.

Protein plays an important role in muscle growth. You should consume 10 to 35 percent of your total calories from protein.

You should also consider resistance training. Resistance training can help build muscle around your bones, which makes them stronger. This decreases your risk of bone fractures.

When you are lifting weights, you should use proper form. Failure to do so can lead to injury. Proper nutrition is also important, as muscle growth requires the body to repair its muscle fibers

You may feel sore after you start a mresistance training program. It is important to keep your resting metabolic rate high so that you can keep your body fat to a minimum.

Nitrates and Muscle

Among the emerging ergogenic compounds that have gained increased attention as "natural" aids to exercise performance, dietary nitrate has emerged as a potential modulator of the muscle metabolic milieu.

It has been reported to extend time-to-exhaustion during high-intensity constant-work-rate exercise by 15%-25 s.

The effect of dietary nitrate supplementation on exercise performance during simulated competition is unclear.

The EDEN-OX study was designed to determine whether chronic dietary nitrate supplementation improved performance in a highly power-dependent sport.

The study was designed as a double-blind, placebo-controlled, single-centre trial and conducted with the informed consent of participants.

The study compared the effects of dietary NO3 supplementation with a matched placebo in a group of competitive, club-level male cyclists.

The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Florida State University. It was registered in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and the Web of Science.

In this study, participants were administered a nitrate-rich beetroot juice (BRJ) or placebo at 70 mL per day for four months.

The participants were asked not to consume alcohol, caffeine, or chewing gum during the study period.

The subjects were instructed to arrive at the laboratory in an optimally hydrated state and to record their food intake and fluid intake at 24 h before each TT.

They were also instructed to avoid strenuous activity on the days prior to each TT. The nitrate-rich BRJ was compared with the placebo-BRJ to determine whether the effects of the two conditions were comparable.

A total of 20 participants completed the study. The studies were conducted in a CrossFit facility where male CrossFit athletes were required to train for four months.

They were not taking other supplements. Participants were also asked to complete a muscular endurance test consisting of two sessions.

The first session consisted of a back squat test and the second consisted of a leg extension test.

Each test measured power at 75% and 50% of the individuals' one-repetition maximum. The results showed that the participants had increased maximal power in the Wingate test.

They were also able to complete more repetitions in the training session. The participants were allowed to exercise for four days before each testing session, but could not exercise on days five and six.

A total of 14 physically active women also participated in this study. These participants completed a counter-movement jump test and a leg press test.

The results showed that the participants had increased peak flexor muscle strength in the upper limb. However, there were no significant effects on isokinetic leg flexor peak strength.

The results also indicated that nitrate-rich BRJ supplementation increased endurance capacity of the upper limb.

The EDEN-OX study showed that dietary nitrate supplementation increased endurance capacity of the upper skeletal muscle.

The study also revealed that this supplementation significantly improved endurance and peak power during the rowing TT.

The study was conducted in a single-centre setting, and it was registered in a publicly accessible database.

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Beetroot Juice

Until recently, the relationship between dietary nitrates and muscle strength and mass has been unclear.

Research has shown that supplementation with nitrate-rich beetroot juice (NR-BRJ) increases endothelial function and muscle contraction efficiency, which may contribute to improved athletic performance.

This research investigated the relationship between total nitrate intake, muscle function, and physical activity.

The relationship between dietary nitrate intake and muscle function was examined in four subsets of individuals. For each subset, total nitrate intake was calculated using validated methods.

Nitrate intake was then investigated using Spearman rank order correlation, generalized additive modeling, and linear regression.

To assess the influence of nitrate intake on muscle function, four functional tests were selected: handgrip strength, timed-up-and-go (TUG), endurance shuttle walk test (ESWT), and timed-up-and-go (TUG).

All of these tests measure the capacity to produce force and the velocity of muscle contraction.

While it has been demonstrated that nitrates improve the short-term performance of endurance tasks, their effects on muscle power have been relatively more modest.

In general, dietary nitrate supplementation is believed to improve short-term vascular function and exercise tolerance.

It is unclear whether this is due to increased vasodilation to support blood flow during exercise or due to increased NO production.

Results from the NR-BRJ group demonstrated a significant increase in FMD percentage change compared with the PL-BRJ group.

The effect of nitrate-rich BRJ supplementation on FMD was not influenced by age, sex, or muscle mass.

However, the effect of nitrate on FMD was moderately attenuated by inclusion of dietary nutrients. Similarly, the effect of nitrate on TUG was moderately attenuated by inclusion or exclusion of dietary nutrients.

Furthermore, a meta-analysis of 19 studies was conducted. This analysis included 19 crossover randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the effect of nitrate supplementation on muscle power.

The results showed that dietary nitrate supplementation increased muscle power by 0.35 to 0.56 s. The average effect size (ES) was 62 s (95% confidence intervals, 33 to 106 s).

In total, 268 participants were included in the meta-analysis. However, it should be noted that many of the studies included in this meta-analysis were small-scale, and larger scale studies will be needed to verify the findings.

The results of this study suggest that nitrate-rich BRJ is a promising means to improve muscle power and endurance in recreational athletes.

Further research is needed to establish the best timing and dosing strategy for nitrate supplementation.

The relationship between total nitrate intake, handgrip strength, and TUG was investigated using Spearman rank order correlation, linear regression, and generalized additive modeling.

A multivariable-adjusted model was also developed to examine the impact of total nitrate intake on muscle function.

This model included variables such as age, gender, socio-economic status, physical activity, and prevalent diseases.

The model also included baseline 25OHD levels. In addition, seasonal blood samples were included in the multivariable-adjusted models.


Various research has been conducted to understand the role of nitrate supplementation on muscle strength and mass.

These studies provide important information for athletes and fitness practitioners. Nitrate is a nutrient that can be derived from a wide range of foods.

The compound is responsible for the vasodilation of blood vessels to improve the flow of blood to skeletal muscles.

This leads to increased skeletal muscle function. As a result, nitrate supplementation has been demonstrated to improve muscle strength and endurance.

To identify studies that explored the effects of dietary nitrate supplementation on muscle function, a systematic review was conducted.

The studies included were retrieved using PICOS guidelines and PubMed. Approximately 25 studies were identified. Of these, twelve studies were selected. Among these studies, the primary outcome variable was physical function.

The other variables included were age, gender, athletic status, dietary intake of nutrients, and smoking. The relationship between dietary nitrate intake and physical function was investigated using a multivariable model.

The model also included age, gender, and the prevalence of certain diseases, such as diabetes.

The results showed that dietary nitrate supplementation improved exercise tolerance by 1% to 2%.

However, the effect on muscle strength and mass was not large. However, nitrate supplementation was associated with an increased rate of oxygen consumption. However, it is unclear how this was achieved.

The researchers suggest that this may be related to changes in muscle metabolic milieu.

This has been linked to the process of fatigue. The investigators also suggest that nitrate may alleviate peripheral fatigue over a shorter time period.

The authors note that there is an increased risk of adverse health outcomes in individuals with low physical function.

This may be due to a lack of muscle strength. Several studies have shown that dietary nitrate supplementation improves exercise tolerance by reducing the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise.

In addition, studies have shown that dietary nitrate can improve endurance by improving the ability to perform high-intensity exercises.

However, further research is necessary to identify the optimal dosing strategy for dietary nitrate supplementation. The authors recommend that future studies evaluate the use of nitrate supplementation in a large randomized controlled trial.

Recent studies investigated the relationship between dietary nitrate intake, grip strength, and time-to-exhaustion (TUG).

The relationship between TUG and total nitrate was investigated using linear regression and generalized additive modelling. The inclusion of other nutrients did not alter the relationship between total nitrate intake and TUG.

The relationship was further investigated using Spearman rank order correlation. However, a small relationship between total nitrate intake and grip strength was found.

The association between total nitrate intake and grip weakness was attenuated by the inclusion of other nutrients. These findings provide important information for athletes, fitness professionals, and coaches.

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