Whether you get nitrates from your diet or nitrate supplements, nitrates can help you improve your health and oxygen efficiency. Nitrates lead to more nitric oxide, which offers numerous benefits.
During exercise, as nitric oxide flows through your body, you can experience an increase in endurance, energy, improved blood circulation, and quicker muscle recovery.
9 Potential Benefits of Nitrates
- Boosts Libido
- Improves Blood Circulation
- Balances Blood Pressure
- Increases Muscle Pumps
- Increases Endurance
- Improves Energy Levels
- Aids Muscle Recovery
- Increases Oxygen Efficiency
- Improves Cognitive Function
Nitrates and Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator, relaxing blood vessels and allowing them to widen. As blood vessels dilate, blood flow increases, and blood pressure levels out into a healthy range.
If you notice your veins start to stand out in the middle of your workout, as you experience the full effects of a muscle pump, this is the effect of nitric oxide in the body. With nitric oxide, this feeling is present even without having to do much exercise.
As a bonus for men, nitrates can make you feel years younger as research conducted at Shiga University found that nitric oxide can help treat erectile dysfunction disorder.
By adding more nitrates to your diet through food or supplementation, you can boost your libido and increase your nitric oxide levels. Researchers in Sweden found that consuming nitrates can also improve oxygen efficiency during exercise.
In the study, 9 well-trained men exercised on a cycle ergometer. During the study, the men supplemented with nitrates or an equal amount of placebo supplements in the form of sodium chloride.
The results of the study, corroborated by research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that time to exhaustion was improved by up to 15% when supplementing with nitrates. The University of Exeter also reported that the consumption of nitrates in athletes led to a 4% increase in time to exhaustion when sprinting.
Dietary Sources of Nitrates
It’s easy to consume nitrates in supplement form if you want to experience a nitric oxide boost. However, if you prefer to consume nitrates in your daily diet, the following foods contain high amounts of nitrates.
- Leafy green vegetables contain a higher amount of nitrates than meat.
- Beets and beet juice are high in nitrates that rapidly convert into nitric oxide.
- Garlic can increase nitric oxide in the body by 40 percent.
- Meat and seafood can boost your nitric oxide levels.
- Nuts and seeds are high in nitric oxide.
Safety and Side Effects
Nitrates are both a safe and essential compound for humans to consume. Nitrates can become dangerous, however, if cooked at high temperatures, which results in the formation of nitrosamines.
Studies show that nitrosamines can cause cell destruction, which leads to cancer in lab animals and humans. With the addition of vitamin C, however, nitrosamines are converted into nitric oxide and become safe. Nitrate supplements and regular foods that contain nitrates, such as beet juice and leafy greens (cooked the right way) are safe to consume.
Nitrates can cause side effects at doses of 2-9 grams, causing changes in hemoglobin levels in the body. To consume 2-9 grams of nitrates in one sitting, however, is difficult and almost impossible.
The recommended dose for nitrates is 300-500 mL of beet juice or 400-500 mg of nitrate supplements per day.
Effectiveness of Nitrates
If you’re searching for ways to get healthier, adding more nitrates to your diet is a great place to start, as studies show that nitrates improve training performance and energy levels.
Whether you take nitrates in food or supplement form, nitrates are not expensive, and the benefits they provide are nothing short of outstanding.