Studies have consistently shown that using nitrate-rich vegetable concentrates or shots, such as AMPED™ NOx, can improve cardiovascular fitness and exercise performance.
Now a group of scientists from the Netherlands suggests that there’s an obvious reason for these performance benefits—we’re just not getting enough vegetables in our diets daily.
In a recent review paper, researchers pointed out that our main supply of dietary nitrates comes from either green leafy or root vegetables, yet most of us don’t receive enough to see benefits (1). “The proposed benefits of dietary nitrate supplementation may very well be observed because a healthy diet is not yet achieved in most people,” the authors reported. They reasoned that the reported benefits of nitrate supplementation are likely observed because habitual nitrate intake is so low.
Despite the accumulating evidence supporting the health benefits of consuming more vegetables, the actual vegetable intake remains well below the levels proposed in multiple dietary guidelines (2). In fact, the average intake levels of vegetables has declined markedly over the past 30 years worldwide (3).
The consumption of sufficient amounts of vegetables is a cornerstone of a healthy diet and has been shown to contribute to the prevention of chronic metabolic diseases (4). There are several different classes of biologically active compounds in vegetables that impart beneficial effects, including vitamins, trace minerals, and dietary fibers to name a few (4). Some of the most healthful vegetables, including spinach, arugula, lettuce, and beetroot contain high levels of nitrate (5).
While not a replacement for vegetable intake, supplementation with dietary nitrate has some notable advantages. Dietary nitrate supplementation has become a popular area of research with several publications reporting benefits to the cardiovascular system (6). It has also been reported to enhance muscle efficiency and fatigue resistance in both healthy and unhealthy individuals (1).
Consuming nitrates from food or dietary supplements increase the bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO) in the blood stream. NO has multiple functions in the body that may influence health and performance, including the regulation of blood flow, muscle contractility, glucose and calcium homeostasis, and mitochondrial respiration and biogenesis (7-9
In comparison to synthetic versions of nitrates, such as nitrate salts, those found in vegetables such as beetroot juice, spinach, celery, and arugula are found to exceed the effects of the same dose of sodium nitrate (10). This effect could be attributed to the presence of various polyphenols and antioxidants found in vegetables (10).
Knowing that vegetable-sourced nitrates had superior benefits compared to synthetic nitrates, Isagenix developed AMPED NOx with a concentrated nitrate-rich vegetable extract including beets, red spinach, and celery.
Additionally, the concentrated shot includes polyphenol-rich fruit extracts. Fruit polyphenols in AMPED NOx function as antioxidants and help support blood flow by assisting in the conversion of nitrates to nitric oxide. These polyphenols not only work well with nitrates, but also support cardiovascular health through their actions on endothelial function (11-13).
- Van der Avoort CMT, Van Loon LJC, Hopman MTE et al. Increasing vegetable intake to obtain the health promoting and ergogenic effects of dietary nitrate. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018 Mar 20.
- Hall JN, Moore S, Harper SB et al. Global variability in fruit and vegetable consumption. Am J Prev Med. 2009 May;36(5):402-409.e5.
- Murphy MM, Barraj LM, Spungen JH et al. Global assessment of select phytonutrient intakes by level of fruit and vegetable consumption. Br J Nutr. 2014 Sep 28;112(6):1004-18.
- Van Duyn MA, Pivonka E. Overview of the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption for the dietetics professional: selected literature. J Am Diet Assoc. 2000 Dec;100(12):1511-21.
- Gangolli SD, van den Brandt PA, Feron VJ et al. Nitrate, nitrite and N-nitroso compounds. Eur J Pharmacol. 1994 Nov 1;292(1):1-38.
- Stanaway L, Rutherfurd-Markwick K, Page R et al. Performance and Health Benefits of Dietary Nitrate Supplementation in Older Adults: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017 Oct 27;9(11). pii: E1171.
- Jonvik KL, Nyakayiru J, Pinckaers PJ et al. Nitrate-Rich Vegetables Increase Plasma Nitrate and Nitrite Concentrations and Lower Blood Pressure in Healthy Adults. J Nutr. 2016 May;146(5):986-93.
- Cooper CE, Giulivi C. Nitric oxide regulation of mitochondrial oxygen consumption II: Molecular mechanism and tissue physiology. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2007 Jun;292(6):C1993-2003.
- Dejam A, Hunter CJ, Schechter AN et al. Emerging role of nitrite in human biology. Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2004 May-Jun;32(3):423-9.
- Stamler JS, Meissner G. Physiology of nitric oxide in skeletal muscle. Physiol Rev. 2001 Jan;81(1):209-237.
- Barona J, Blesso CN, Andersen CJ et al. Grape consumption increases anti-inflammatory markers and upregulates peripheral nitric oxide synthase in the absence of dyslipidemias in men with metabolic syndrome. Nutrients. 2012 Dec 6; 4(12):1945-57.
- Li SH, Tian HB, Zhao HJ et al. The acute effects of grape polyphenols supplementation on endothelial function in adults: meta-analyses of controlled trials. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 24;8(7): e69818.
- Ignarro LJ, Byrns RE, Sumi D et al. Pomegranate juice protects nitric oxide against oxidative destruction and enhances the biological actions of nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide. 2006 Sep; 15(2):93-102.