Nitric Oxide Part 3

In part 2 of this series it was shown that nitrates could be consumed throughout the season; nitrates work best in sub-elite endurance populations with responders and non-responders in elite endurance athletes; nitrates work for sprint athletes; consume 1-2 cups of juice depending on body size; consume for a week before for maximum effectiveness, 2-3 hours prior.

As stated in part 1, search beetroot on Amazon and 200+ products show up, many in powder form. Unfortunately, there are substantial differences in nitrate content in powder vs juice products. In a chemical composition analysis study done in 2016 (1) between beetroot juice, beetroot powder, beetroot chips, and cooked beetroot, the nitrate content was approximately 7x higher in beetroot juice compared to powder form as seen here:

  • Beetroot juice (12,252 mg·kg)

  • Beetroot chips (2,031 mg·kg)

  • Beetroot powder (1,683 mg·kg)

  • Cooked beetroots (1,649 mg·kg)

Additionally, whole beets and root juice contain phenolic compounds while the chips and beet powder contain much smaller amounts* (1).

Another product you may see are beetroot crystals. While beetroot crystals do increase nitric oxide levels in the blood (130% above baseline) these crystals are probably as effective as powder. Beetroot juice (670% increase above baseline) is still the most effective way to increase nitrite levels (3).

*Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found largely in the fruits, vegetables and protect against development of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases (2).

If you have questions about nitrate or training and nutrition, reach out, I can help.


  1. Vasconcellos, Julia, et al. "Comparison of total antioxidant potential, and total phenolic, nitrate, sugar, and organic acid contents in beetroot juice, chips, powder, and cooked beetroot." Food Science and Biotechnology 25.1 (2016): 79-84.

  2. Pandey, Kanti Bhooshan, and Syed Ibrahim Rizvi. "Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease." Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity 2.5 (2009): 270-278.

  3. McDonagh, Sinead TJ, et al. "Influence of dietary nitrate food forms on nitrate metabolism and blood pressure in healthy normotensive adults." Nitric Oxide 72 (2018): 66-74.

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