Dietary nitrate — found in beetroot juice — significantly increases muscle force during exercise

A new study has found that consuming dietary nitrate — the active molecule in beetroot juice — significantly increased muscle force while exercising. While it is known that dietary nitrate enhances exercise, both boosting endurance and enhancing high-intensity exercise, researchers still have much to learn about why this effect occurs, and how our bodies convert dietary nitrate that we ingest into the nitric oxide that can be used by our cells. To help close this gap, researchers at the University of Exeter and the U.S. National Institutes of Health traced the distribution of ingested nitrate in the saliva, blood, muscle and urine of ten healthy volunteers, who were then asked to perform maximal leg exercise. The team wanted to discover where in the body the dietary nitrate was active, to give clues on the mechanisms at work.

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