Nitrates Loading

13 Jan 2016

The content of nitrates in vegetables varies greatly depending on the concentration of nitrates in the soil where they grow and therefore also on the use of fertilizer: for instance, nitrate concentration in spinach can vary from 24 to 390 mg/100g.

 

Therefore it is likely that "biologically grown" vegetables have a lower nitrate content than those grown with the use of fertilizer.

 

Nitrate content of >250mg/100g: beetroot, spinach, arugula, celery, lettuce, watercress.

 

Nitrate content of >100mg/100g: fennel, celeriac, endive, parsley.

 

Nitrate content <50mg/100g: carrot, cabbage, tomato, onion, garlic, potato, asparagus, artichoke, chicory, peas, mushrooms, pumpkin, zucchini.

 

When it is hard to reach the amount of nitrate needed to improve the

aerobic performance (500-600 mg/day) with your usual diet, you may want to add to it in the form of nitrate supplements.

 

I personally find the Beetroot Nitrate Performance Gels of ZIPVIP SPORT, UK, to be effective and well tolerated; containing 250 mg of nitrates from concentrate beetroot and 24g of CHO, they should be taken at a dose of 2-3 gels per day during the three days preceding the race, followed by 2 gels 1-2 hours before the event.