Document Type



There are many synthetic dietary supplements available to those wishing to enhance their athletic abilities. Unfortunately, dietary supplements do not follow the same strict regulations as do foods or drugs do by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA, 2018). Therefore, they often contain ineffective and sometimes unsafe substances, which may cause short and long-term harmful effects to the consumer (Hirsch, J., 2018). However, there are in fact natural and safer ways to achieve the same effect a synthetic supplement may claim to provide.

Many natural foods are claimed to produce an ergogenic effect (i.e. – enhance athletic performance), one of them being the beetroot vegetable. Beetroot has high amounts of nitrates – a substance that, when our body converts it to nitric oxide, can dilate our blood vessels – thus creating better circulation, which significantly aids in oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues (Garcia, X., & Stein, F., 2006; Lidder, S., & Webb, A., 2013). Recent studies have shown that consumption of beetroot may be able to improve an individual’s resting heart rate, blood pressure, VO2Max, and aid in aerobic performance (Dominguez, R., et al., 2017). The purpose of this review of literature is to illustrate that natural supplements, such as beetroot juice, obtain many health benefits that can enhance athletic aerobic performance in comparison to synthetic substances.


Physical Education

Thesis Comittee

Dr. Christopher Swart, Thesis Advisor

Dr. Robert Haslam, Committee Member

Dr. Kathleen Laquale, Committee Member

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.