The effects of dietary nitrate ingestion on physical performance tests in 50–65 years old postmenopausal women: A pilot randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, and crossover study

Cicero Jonas R. Benjamim, Leonardo Santos Lopes da Silva, Leonardo da Silva Gonçalves, Márcio Fernando Tasinafo Júnior, Bruno Spellanzon, Macario Arosti Rebelo, José E. Tanus-Santos, Carlos Roberto Bueno Júnior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background & aims: The post-menopausal period represents a noteworthy stage in a woman's life characterized by hormonal shifts that can influence diverse biological processes encompassing energy metabolism and physical performance. NO3 effects on physical performance in 50–65 years old postmenopausal women after short-term supplementation remain unknown. 

Methods: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. After two sessions in non-consecutive days of familiarization tests, fifteen post-menopausal women aged between 50 and 65 were enrolled in this study. The trial consisted of two eight-day arms: a) NO3 −70 mL of beetroot juice (BRJ) with ˜400 mg of NO3, and b) placebo (PLA) −70 mL of BRJ NO3 depleted. Both interventions were obtained from the same manufacturer's product, presenting the same organoleptic properties. After this period, five physical performance tests (handgrip strength, arm curl, sit-to-stand, agility and dynamic balance and 6-min walk test (6MWT)) were applied. 

Results: Fourteen participants completed all experimental protocols, including a minimum seven-day washout period between protocols. NO2 plasma concentrations were consistently elevated in the NO3 condition at 0.41 (0.40) μM compared to the PLA at 0.18 (0.18) μM (p < 0.001). The 6MWT showed higher values in BRJ with NO3 condition (19.6 m [95%CI: 1.33 to 37.88]; p = 0.038), while the other physical performance tests did not show significant difference between conditions (p > 0.05). 

Conclusions: Our findings suggest benefits in the physical performance of activities with longer durations, indicating that the adaptation caused by ingestion of NO3 may be related to the cardiorespiratory capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1642-1646
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number7
Early online date22 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 May 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Exercise
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitrite
  • Physical capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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