Journal of Applied Physiology

A toast to health and performance! Beetroot juice lowers blood pressure and the O2 cost of exercise

Leonardo F. Ferreira, Bradley Jon Behnke


Dietary nitrate administered in the form of beetroot juice decreases resting systolic blood pressure (SBP) and O2 consumption during walking and running. The effects of dietary nitrate are thought to be mediated via reduction to biologically active nitrite and nitric oxide (NO) molecules. Potential mechanisms for dietary nitrate effects on O2 cost of exercise are improved matching of O2 delivery and consumption of active motor units, increased efficiency of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, and stoichiometry of calcium transport to ATP hydrolysis by the sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium-ATPase.

  • exercise
  • oxygen uptake
  • skeletal muscle
  • nitrate
  • nitric oxide