Manuscript Format

Teaching and Learning Resource

Time required for implementation of resource

> 50 minutes

Subdiscipline of Kinesiology

Exercise Physiology


While near-infrared spectroscopy has been used in research and athletic development for some time, recent technological advances have made it accessible as an undergraduate learning tool. This teaching resource describes how near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) can be used in an in-person kinesiology laboratory. This activity illuminates nutrition principles, including issues with using supplements, deceptive marketing and labeling practices, and the value of nutrient-dense whole foods by observing vasodilation as a result of nitrate consumption in the form of whole beets and a beetroot supplement. In addition, using NIRS allows students to observe their body’s response to nitrates in real-time by measuring muscle oxygen levels. This activity is intended for a 2–3-hour laboratory experience.

Corresponding Author

Carrie Ellis, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS 

Assistant Professor, Sport and Exercise Physiology Program 

DeSales University 

2755 Station Avenue 

Center Valley, PA  18034 

Voice:  610-282-1100, ext 1353