Natural Nootropic: Nitrates

Natural Nootropic: Nitrates

We all probably know about the benefits of nitrates on exercise performance, but did you know nitrates may also have cognitive enhancing (nootropic) effects in healthy subjects?

The noot: 450ml organic beetroot juice (including 10% apple juice) containing 5.5mmol nitrate (at ~62g/mol, that’s 341mg nitrates)

Note: if you’re using potassium nitrate, 341mg nitrates would be yielded from ~559mg potassium nitrate (which is ~61% nitrate), but it seems possible that the beetroot juice may have some other pro-cognitive benefits besides just nitrates, although the study makes no mention of this, and discusses the nitrate content of the treatment vs the placebo as the primary player/factor here

Subjects: healthy young adults (average age ~21 years)


Dietary nitrate increased levels of nitrite, and modulated the hemodynamic response
40 to task performance, with an initial increase in CBF at the start of the task period, followed by
41 consistent reductions during the least demanding of the three tasks utilised. Cognitive
42 performance was improved on the Serial 3s subtraction task.


These results show that single doses of dietary nitrate can modulate the CBF
44 response to task performance and improve cognitive performance, and suggest one possible
45 mechanism by which vegetable consumption may have beneficial effects on brain function.

This dose (5.5mmol or 341mg nitrates) is consistent with the dose that has ergogenic/endurance benefits (5-9mmol or 310-558mg nitrates) although they advise against the use of nitrate salts.

This meta-analysis shows that nitrate supplementation increases tolerance and efficiency
to high-intensity constant and maximal incremental exercise, which may increase exercise
performance. Doses ranging from 5 to 9 mmol of nitrate seem to be the most effective and can be
taken as either a single bolus or as multiple doses (up to 15 days). This amount (5-9 mmol) can
easily be met through a normal diet consisting of vegetables, with beetroot, spinach and rocket
(rogula) representing the richest sources of dietary nitrate. Natural sources of vegetable nitrates
are likely safe and should remain the primary vessel for those looking to explore the
physiological effects of nitrate associated with exercise. In contrast, the uncontrolled use of
organic nitrates (nitroglycerin) and nitrite salts is potentially hazardous and should be avoided. It
would also be important to consider the type of athlete performing the exercise, the duration,
intensity and mode of the exercise performed as these factors are likely to influence the efficacy
of nitrate supplementation.


Anecdotally, I agree with this using both VasoBlitz and plain potassium nitrate

At 2g arginine nitrate per serving (which is ~26.67% nitrate I think), that’s ~533mg nitrates, which falls right in the higher end of the 5-9mmol dose mentioned for ergogenic effects, and more than what was used in the study noting cognitive benefits, so I can definitely see that!

So now you have an excuse to use it on rest days too! You’re not just trying to walk around with a pump all day; you’re optimizing your cognitive functioning!

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i feel like this is similar to how nitrosigine was shown to improve cognitive functioning


That would make sense for sure.

Drink Welch’s purple drank and eat beets to unlock your true potential, eh

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You got it.

Also orange and grapefruit juice:

These results demonstrate that consumption of flavanone-rich citrus juice in quantities commonly consumed can acutely enhance blood flow to the brain in healthy, young adults.

And/or blueberries:

With some statistical caveats, this programme of research is the first to demonstrate a dosedependent effect of anthocyanin-rich wild blueberries on episodic memory, working memory and
mood. In particular effects appear strongest for the maintenance of immediate recall on a single-trial
word list learning task, the attenuation of negative affect using a self-report questionnaire, and the
improvement of working memory on a serial subtraction task combining a high cognitive load with a
psychomotor component.

Me sprinting to my local juice aisle like



Hell yeah! I actually bought a few bottles of Welch’s Purple Grape Juice on sale the other day. It tastes good, it’s cheap, and it has some potential cognitive benefits? What’s not to love?

Also, as an added bonus and to dissuade people from worrying about the sugar content:

findings from this meta-analysis of RCT suggest a neutral effect of 100 % fruit juice on glycaemic control. These findings are consistent with findings from some observational studies suggesting that consumption of 100 % fruit juice is not associated with increased risk of diabetes.

So as long as you can fit the ~140 calories and ~38g carbs into your daily intake, I see only benefits really.

I’ll second this.

Amazing how much it tastes like GhostAmino Welch’s Grape…Crazy.

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Shouldn’t that be the other way around haha.

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ahh I love this!!

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Any source on the 26.67% yield? The only open label I can find is dedicated nutrition which lists Arginine nitrate at 10% nitrate.

This study states that 2.55g arginine nitrate contains 1.87g arginine, which is 73.33%. That leaves 26.67% for nitrate.

Edit: the molecular formula for arginine nitrate also seems to be one molecule of arginine and one molecule of nitrate (edit: with one extra hydrogen molecule), and this is consistent with the listed molecular weights of the two alone, and of arginine nitrate being pretty much exactly the two added together, and nitrate makes up ~26% of that amount. It should just be arginine bound to nitrate, which is consistent with what the study said and with the molecular formulas and weights.

Edit 2: it is also called “arginine mononitrate“ on NCBI’s PubChem, which further supports the above calculations.

Edit 3: the book “ Salts of Amino Acids: Crystallization, Structure and Properties” makes mention of Arginine Nitrate hydrate, which it describes as, basically, arginine nitrate and H2O. It mentions 2 arginine cations, 2 nitrate anions, and one water molecule. It also does show a hydrogen molecule with each arginine molecule, consistent with the molecular formula and weight mentioned above. But even this would still have, if my math is correct, way more than 10% nitrate, since it’s basically two “parts” arginine nitrate to one part water, and the mass of water is pretty low. But they say it’s arginine nitrate, which should be just that, arginine nitrate or arginine mononitrate.

I see the label that lists 10%, but I don’t get it. Quick math says 10% would have to be 3 arginine to 1 nitrate, but that isn’t consistent with anything I’ve seen, and it wouldn’t be called arginine nitrate.

Edit: reading through the Kramer/Thermolife/NO3-T patents on amino acid nitrates:

Applicants have cost-effectively synthesized Arginine Nitrate by combining nitric acid and Arginine, mixing with water or another polar, easily evaporated solvent like methanol, alcohol, pyridine, and the like, and leaving to crystallize. Further nitratization can take place, yielding Arginine Dinitrate or Arginine Trinitrate.

That seems consistent with the above calculations, but not the 10% nitrate content. Am I missing something?

Edit (again): and the Dedicated label lists arginine nitrate as being 90% arginine and 10% nitrate, so if the “arginine nitrate” was less than 26% nitrate due to the addition of water or other solvents, then the combined % of arginine and nitrate should be less than 100%, so that doesn’t seem like the answer either. Color me confused here…

Your math makes sense just never seen it listed as 26% nitrate yield, but I had seen the 10% yield label which is using the trademark No3-T form. I am curious if maybe thermolife is selling different yields under the same patent, or dedicated nutrition is just wrong?

The patent mentions arginine nitrate, arginine dinitrate, and arginine trinitrate. I also see arginine dinitrate on PubChem, but all of those should have MORE nitrate than “regular” arginine nitrate, not less. I think 10% would be triarginine nitrate lol. But there’s no mention of that in the patent, or anywhere on the internet that I can find.

Yeah, not really sure what is going on with dedicated’s label then. Thank you though I had previously written off arginine nitrate in favor of betaine nitrate due to the higher nitrate yield but at 26% it is not as big a difference.

Is that also from Thermolife? TBH, I’m really confused the nitrate content of any of their nitrate ingredients now.

Edit: my best guess is that Dedicated just got the label wrong.