Time course of human skeletal muscle nitrate and nitrite concentration changes following dietary nitrate ingestion

Stefan Kadach, Barbora Piknova, Matthew I. Black, Ji Won Park, Lee J. Wylie, Zdravko Stoyanov, Samantha M. Thomas, Nicholas F. McMahon, Anni Vanhatalo, Alan N. Schechter, Andrew M. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Dietary nitrate (NO3) ingestion can be beneficial for health and exercise performance. Recently, based on animal and limited human studies, a skeletal muscle NO3 reservoir has been suggested to be important in whole body nitric oxide (NO) homeostasis. The purpose of this study was to determine the time course of changes in human skeletal muscle NO3 concentration ([NO3]) following the ingestion of dietary NO3. Sixteen participants were allocated to either an experimental group (NIT: n = 11) which consumed a bolus of ∼1300 mg (12.8 mmol) potassium nitrate (KNO3), or a placebo group (PLA: n = 5) which consumed a bolus of potassium chloride (KCl). Biological samples (muscle (vastus lateralis), blood, saliva and urine) were collected shortly before NIT or PLA ingestion and at intervals over the course of the subsequent 24 h. At baseline, no differences were observed for muscle [NO3] and [NO2] between NIT and PLA (P > 0.05). In PLA, there were no changes in muscle [NO3] or [NO2] over time. In NIT, muscle [NO3] was significantly elevated above baseline (54 ± 29 nmol/g) at 0.5 h, reached a peak at 3 h (181 ± 128 nmol/g), and was not different to baseline from 9 h onwards (P > 0.05). Muscle [NO2] did not change significantly over time. Following ingestion of a bolus of dietary NO3, skeletal muscle [NO3] increases rapidly, reaches a peak at ∼3 h and subsequently declines towards baseline values. Following dietary NO3 ingestion, human m. vastus lateralis [NO3] expressed a slightly delayed pharmacokinetic profile compared to plasma [NO3].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNitric Oxide - Biology and Chemistry
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Nitrate
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitrite
  • Skeletal muscle


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