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The Truth About Beetroot and Nitric Oxide


The recent media buzz around beetroot being used to enhance nitric oxide is sending many athletes and bodybuilders to health food stores in search of products that contain beetroot. Before you race off to buy a pre-workout product with beetroot to increase your pumps, let’s discuss the facts. In order to gain the nitric oxide benefits from beetroot extract, a 180-pound person would need at least 450 mg of nitrates from beetroot extract. As you are reading this article you may be getting excited because your current pre-workout has 500 mg of Beta vulgaris L. (beetroot extract) under a pump blend, which exceeds the amount in the study (450 mg). Woo-hoo…right?! Actually, this is deceptive/false advertising and couldn’t be further from the truth! Many supplement companies jumped on the media bandwagon and added beetroot extract to their pre-workouts in order to make nitric oxide claims (without ever testing it).

The Facts on Beetroot

Beta vulgaris L. contains only 1% - 1.5% nitrate per gram of raw material, and that’s if a supplement brand is using the best, which most don't due to cost. So let’s take the best case scenario of the maximum concentrate you can buy for beetroot powder: 1.5% nitrate/gram of raw material. If a pre-workout contains 500 mg of Beta vulgaris L., it actually only yields 7.5 – 8.5 mg of naturally occurring nitrate from beets.

*See third-party test results for the leading pre-workout in the references section. As mentioned earlier, a 180-pound person would need at least 450 mg of nitrates from beetroot extract. The leading pre-workout has 500 mg of beetroot extract and claims that this is the ideal amount to increase nitric oxide, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Actually, you would need 60 times the amount of nitrates in the leading pre-workout per serving to benefit from nitric oxide. Let me put this into perspective: how much beetroot extract does it take to equal 450 mg of nitrates (the amount needed to benefit from nitric oxide)?

  1. 500 mg
  2. 1,000 mg
  3. 30,000 mg (30 grams)
*If you picked C, then you are correct. You would need to consume 30,000 mg (30 grams) of beetroot extract to get 450 mg of naturally occurring nitrates. 30 grams is a lot of beetroot extract to stomach! For anyone brave enough to stomach 30 grams of beetroot extract daily, be prepared for your urine to turn purple/red in color while consuming it. Don’t get mislead by unethical companies or experts trying to sell you on the media hype benefits of nitric oxide from beetroot extract when their products only contain a fraction of the amount cited in studies. The take-home message on beetroot extract and nitric oxide:
  1. 500 mg of Beta vulgaris L. DOES NOT = 500 mg of nitrates.
  1. 500 mg of Beta vulgaris L. supplies roughly 7.5 mg – 8.5 mg of naturally occurring nitrates.
  1. You would need to consume 30,000 mg (30 grams) of beetroot extract to get 450 mg of nitrates. *The amount a 180-lb person needs, per study the nitric oxide studies.

Look for Research and Not Claims

Kaged Muscle’s PRE-KAGED has over 1,000 mg of the best beetroot extract per serving, which is twice the amount of the leading pre-workout. Why didn’t we list beetroot extract under our pump matrix? Because it’s unethical and misleading! The Kaged Muscle brand is built on ethics – we will never cut corners or stretch the facts to try to gain a customer.

PRE-KAGED™ - Explosive Energy, Focus & Pump with a Clean Pre-Workout Primer


  1. Larsen et al. 2007. Effects of dietary nitrate on oxygen cost during exercise. Acta Physiol. 191:59-66.
  2. Larsen et al. 2010. Dietary nitrate reduces maximal oxygen consumption while maintaining work performance in maximal exercise. Free Radic Biol Med. 48(2):342-347.


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