How is it that beets create nitric oxide? What is the difference between beets and arginine? For starters, both beets and arginine as well as citrulline create nitric oxide. In fact spinach and other vegetables with nitrates also product nitric oxide. So how do they differ? What is the mechanism by which they work?


Lets talk about beets first of all. Beets are high in nitrates. Just like other vegetables high in nitrates like spinach and kale, your own bacteria located in your mouth help convert them into nitrites via good bacteria and good PH. So from nitrates to nitrites thanks to your own good flora is the first process on the way to become nitric oxide. One the nitrites enter the digestive tract and are absorbed they are converted again into nitrates. The nitrates are then converted in to nitric oxide and enter the blood stream. This is the point where nitric oxide can do all the amazing things this miracle molecule is known for.


So how are beets and other vegetable sources of nitrates different from arginine?
When your body takes in arginine through various means like proteins. Products like hamburgers have somewhere between three to five grams of arginine. Most other meats and even beans like soybeans have various amounts of arginine. I myself like to consume arginine via supplements. In the body it’s absorbed into the small intestine. Here is where it is taken into the blood stream and once it hits the endothelium of the arteries it’s converted into nitric oxide. So the two substances, beets and arginine have two different methods of being converted into nitric oxide in the body.

Arginine vs beetroot powder – Which is better?

Really both are excellent ways for your body to get nitric oxide. However, after getting involved in the nitric oxide world back in 2005 the big deal was arginine at the time. During that time in my personal practice I saw great results from people using arginine based products. Arginine has been my personal supplement of choice then for quite a while. Some people point to a study that says people past 40 don’t or can’t absorb arginine. This has not been my personal experience at all. I have had patients as old as 90 get fantastic results when taking the right product. Having the right5 mix of compounds like citrulline and other absorption factors is key. Arginine is a great way to make nitric oxide. The recommended dosage is at least 5 grams a day. The beet nitrate pathway however is also a great way to boost your nitric oxide levels. The majority of the studies however have been done with Arginine, due to the Nobel Prize wining original studies that primarily focused on arginine.

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