Dietary Nitrate: The Future of Sports Nutrition

by Shaheen Majeed -

Across the globe, the number of fitness- and health-conscious consumers has increased in recent years. There could be many reasons: awareness about the rising incidence of health problems, urge to lead active lifestyles, newly found interest to participate in favorite sports, or simply exercising to improve health and remain fit.

Whatever the trigger, consumers ranging from professional athletes to weekend sports enthusiasts are increasingly open to products that may help improve stamina. They are learning supplementing with dietary nutrients can aid in optimizing strength, training, performance and rate of recovery, as well as helping decrease injuries.

Beetroot, Dietary Nitrate and Sports

One ingredient impacting the world of sports in the last decade is beetroot juice. Research has shown dietary nitrates may play a significant role in enhancing exercise efficiency and performance. Nitrates are abundant in green leafy vegetables, including beetroot, as well as in various foodstuffs.

In humans, following ingestion, dietary nitrate gets converted to nitrite (NO2-), which is then stored and circulated in the blood. In conditions of low oxygen availability, this NO2- gets converted into nitric oxide (NO)—an important physiological signalling molecule known to play a number of important roles in vascular and metabolic control. Recent discoveries in the field of nitrate and nitrite biology not only emphasized understanding the mechanistic insights, but also helped nutritionists and health professionals realize the importance of dietary nitrate and nitrite, especially in the field of sports and exercise.

Researchers have demonstrated beneficial effects of nitrate-rich beetroot extract in terms of improved oxygen uptake and tolerance during high-intensity physical work or hypoxic condition. In another study, dietary supplementation with nitrate resulted in increased time to exhaustion, while decreased oxygen consumption was seen during heavy exercise. Data from another study suggested increased mean power output and enhanced performance when beetroot juice was consumed by healthy volunteers before simulated competition, such as cycling.

Sabeet: Your Preferred Training Partner

Sabeet®, a rich source of inorganic nitrate from red beetroot (Beta vulgaris), is standardized extract (containing not less than 2 percent nitrate) from Sabinsa. The extract, being water-soluble in nature, offers higher bioavailability.

In a recent clinical study, when 20 healthy male participants were randomly provided with either Sabeet (5 g) or placebo for 14 days before their daily exercise bout, a significant increase in circulatory NO was observed, thus resulting in improved exercise and cardiovascular performance. Furthermore, significant decrease in inflammatory biomarkers post-exercise was also observed in the Sabeet group.

Salient Features of Sabeet:

• Water-soluble in nature, hence available in several dosage forms (tablets, capsules, food formulations and beverage)

• Proven athletic performance benefits, backed by a number of clinical studies

• Supportive in maintaining overall cardiovascular health

• An ideal choice for maintaining general health and wellness

• Safe and cost-effective food colorant

Nitrate Safety

Choosing the right nitrate source is imperative. Beetroot extract has been clinically validated for its suitability for human consumption. In addition to scientific backing for safety and efficacy, formulation feasibility is also a key factor when selecting ingredients.

Shaheen Majeed Shaheen Majeed

Shaheen Majeed is the marketing director for Sabinsa Corp. He has held a number of positions there since 1988, when his father founded the science-based ingredients company.

Connect to Sabinsa Corp., booth #J32.