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Effects of Nitrate Supplementation on Muscle Strength and Mass: A Systematic Review

Anderson, Olivia K.; Martinez-Ferran, María; Lorenzo-Calvo, Jorge; Jiménez, Sergio L.; Pareja-Galeano, Helios.

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: December 2022 - Volume 36 - Issue 12 - p 3562-3570, doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004101


A systematic review that examined the effect of dietary nitrate supplementation (SUP) on muscle strength and hypertrophy when combined with physical exercise.


The databases PubMed, Web of Science, and MEDLINE were searched for full-text articles published between January 2000 and June 2020. For inclusion, studies had to report on the effects of SUP administered as acute or chronic doses together with a standardized exercise protocol on muscle strength and hypertrophy compared with placebo in healthy adults who were sedentary, physically active, or professional athletes. Twelve studies (1,571 subjects) were finally selected.


· In five studies, the SUP regime was acute, and in seven, it was chronic.

· SUP was nitrate-rich beetroot juice in nine studies, a potassium nitrate capsule in one, and increased dietary nitrate in 

  two. Ingested nitrate was 64–1,200 mg.

· Of the 12 studies, six observed an ergogenic effect of SUP compared with placebo.

· These findings indicate that muscle strength gains are possible provided the dose, format, frequency, period, and 

  exercise test are appropriate.

· Best results were observed with a minimum acute dose of 400 mg of nitrate provided as beetroot juice/shot taken 2–2.5 

  hours before exercise involving low- and high-intensity muscle contractions. This SUP regime seems to improve muscle 

  efficiency in terms of reduced phosphocreatine and energy costs (P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy) and improved 

  time to exhaustion.


Beet juice/root supplements may have a positive effect on muscle performance.

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