Nitrate-Rich Vegetables and Performance in Rock Hill SC

Nitrate-Rich Vegetables and Performance in Rock Hill SC

Chiropractic Rock Hill SC Vegetables

Read on for more information from our clinic in Rock Hill SC.

Vegetables and Performance in Rock Hill SC

Beet Juice and Performance

Beets contain many health promoting components, including the antioxidants betalain, resveratrol, and quercetin. But in recent years, beets have directed our attention to benefits of their high nitrate content. Our bodies convert the nitrate in beets to nitrite, and some nitrite is then converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide regulates vasodilation, relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow. Nitric oxide's role in regulating blood pressure and promoting cardiovascular health is well-established; but its role in improving blood flow has been further examined in relation to improved exercise performance by enabling more oxygen to reach muscle tissue. Research has demonstrated that supplementing with pharmacological or dietary (beetroot juice) nitrates 2-3 hour before and/or 3-6 days before moderate-intensity exercise reduces whole body oxygen cost and improves exercise tolerance. Performance benefits were found in one study when participants either drank 500 ml beet juice for 4-6 days, and also for a single 500 ml dose 2.5 hours before exercise testing (500 ml juice reportedly contained about 380-500 mg nitrate). * Some people notice red urine after eating beets. This condition is harmless, and occurs when beet pigments enter the bloodstream before digestive bacteria break them down.

Whole vs. Juiced Beets and Other Nitrate-Rich Vegetables

While juiced beets allow you to ingest a large quantity of nutrients quickly, and may be more readily absorbed, evidence suggests that whole beets, and other nitrate-rich vegetables, may have performance benefits as well. This is good news since whole beets are cheaper, healthier and found in almost any produce aisle! Other highnitrate, non-beet vegetables include arugula, spinach, collards, parsley, celery, lettuce, beets, Chinese cabbage, endive, fennel, leek, and rhubarb.

Faster Time, Less Effort

Nitric oxide may also help muscle mitochondria become more efficient. Nitrates concentrated in green leafy vegetables and beets have significant effects on the powerhouse (mitochondria) of our cells by reducing the oxygen cost during exercise and allowing us to perform the same amount of work with less oxygen. This improved muscle efficiency allows athletes to exercise at a higher power output or running speed for the same amount of breath! A 2016 study published in the Journal Nutrients suggests that consuming a diet high in nitrate-rich vegetables and fruits improves exercise performance through decreased energy demand during moderate-intensity exercise, enhanced muscle work during fatiguing intermittent contractions, and improved repeated sprint performance. The results of this study suggest that a high-nitrate diet can be a possible strategy for increasing plasma nitrate/nitrite levels and improving moderate intensity aerobic or high-intensity intermittent performance. Another study demonstrated improved 5k running performance with a cup and a half of baked beets eaten 75 minutes before the run. During the last mile of the race, the beet group took the lead over the placebo group (that ate berries instead of beets) and results showed that the beet group was not only running faster, but their heart rates were not any higher, with less exertion reported.


Non-vegetable sources of nitrates are not recommended; it's best for individuals seeking performance benefits to obtain nitrates from whole vegetables and/or their juices. Try eating pre-race meals that are rich in nitrates (big salads, greens, tabbouleh, spinach lasagna), or add rhubarb to your morning oats! Although beet juice has shown promise at improving exercise performance, larger scale studies in more diverse populations are needed (most studies looked at young male recreational athletes). Also the safety and Nitrate-Rich Vegetables and Performance effectiveness of ingesting high levels of nitrate from one type of vegetable for extended periods is not known. Remember that a health-promoting diet should include nutrients from a variety of vegetables (high and low nitrate), so don't limit your vegetable intake to high-nitrate varieties. Consider increasing the proportion of high nitrate-containing vegetables closer to important training or events.


7:45am - 6:00pm

7:45am - 6:00pm

7:45am - 6:00pm

7:45am - 6:00pm

7:30am - 5:00pm

8:00am - 1:00pm


Celanese Chiropractic Health & Performance

1924 Mt Gallant Rd
Rock Hill, SC 29732

(803) 323-5500