Nitrates are naturally occurring compounds found in vegetables, in particular green leafy vegetables and beetroot, as well as processed meats. Nitrates are considered biologically inactive. However, once ingested they undergo transformation in the body to become nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, which is active, acts as a messenger signal to expand the diameter of blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow to the muscles and the body’s organs. It also regulates muscle contraction and is involved in cellular activity. Plus, there is evidence to show that boosting your body’s supply of nitric oxide can enhance exercise performance. And one of the best ways to do this is with nitrates.