Experts in Sport: How can dietary nitrates improve elite level athlete performance?
This week’s ‘Experts in Sport’ podcast focuses on how dietary nitrates – found mainly in vegetables, such as beetroot, lettuce, spinach, and radishes – can maximise performance in elite-level athletes.
Guest host Dr Martin Lindley, Senior Lecturer and Director of Biosciences, is joined by Dr Stephen Bailey, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Nutrition and Martin Foster (Applied Sport Management Lead), as a number of topics, including the potential benefits of supplementation, are discussed.
“The most recognised health benefit of nitrates seemed to be linked to improvements in vascular health…it has been appreciated that nitrate can be converted into nitrite then into nitric oxide which can have a positive influence on a wide array of biological processes,” Dr Bailey explained.
“This includes opening up blood vessels to allow more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the muscles during exercise. The main dietary source of nitrate, around 60—80%, comes in the form of vegetables but they are not all equal in their nitrate content.”
“Beetroot is probably the most recognised nitrate rich food, but nitrate is also quite abundant in rocket, spinach, lettuce. If athletes are interested in increasing their intake the best way is to create a large salad.”
During the podcast, the panel also discuss which athlete disciplines could benefit most from an increased nitrate intake and how vegan athletes - with their heavy plant-based diets - fair in these circumstances.
Alongside mental well-being, Dr Bailey also cites some of the latest research to explain how nitric oxide impacts physiology and aids muscle performance.
The full episode of this podcast can be found above and listeners can subscribe to the series by visiting Buzzsprout.
The 'Experts in Sport' podcast is a regular series that brings together experts from across Loughborough University with external thought leaders to discuss the latest research and hot topics in sport and academia.
Notes for editors
Press release reference number: 20/85
Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via www.globelynx.com
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.
It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.
Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.
Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.
The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.