Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 Jul;109(1):135-48. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00046.2010. Epub 2010 May 13.

Dietary nitrate supplementation enhances muscle contractile efficiency during knee-extensor exercise in humans.

Author information

  • 1School of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Heavitree Rd., Exeter EX1 2LU, UK.

Erratum in

  • J Appl Physiol. 2010 Sep;109(3):943.


The purpose of this study was to elucidate the mechanistic bases for the reported reduction in the O(2) cost of exercise following short-term dietary nitrate (NO(3)(-)) supplementation. In a randomized, double-blind, crossover study, seven men (aged 19-38 yr) consumed 500 ml/day of either nitrate-rich beet root juice (BR, 5.1 mmol of NO(3)(-)/day) or placebo (PL, with negligible nitrate content) for 6 consecutive days, and completed a series of low-intensity and high-intensity "step" exercise tests on the last 3 days for the determination of the muscle metabolic (using (31)P-MRS) and pulmonary oxygen uptake (Vo(2)) responses to exercise. On days 4-6, BR resulted in a significant increase in plasma [nitrite] (mean +/- SE, PL 231 +/- 76 vs. BR 547 +/- 55 nM; P < 0.05). During low-intensity exercise, BR attenuated the reduction in muscle phosphocreatine concentration ([PCr]; PL 8.1 +/- 1.2 vs. BR 5.2 +/- 0.8 mM; P < 0.05) and the increase in Vo(2) (PL 484 +/- 41 vs. BR 362 +/- 30 ml/min; P < 0.05). During high-intensity exercise, BR reduced the amplitudes of the [PCr] (PL 3.9 +/- 1.1 vs. BR 1.6 +/- 0.7 mM; P < 0.05) and Vo(2) (PL 209 +/- 30 vs. BR 100 +/- 26 ml/min; P < 0.05) slow components and improved time to exhaustion (PL 586 +/- 80 vs. BR 734 +/- 109 s; P < 0.01). The total ATP turnover rate was estimated to be less for both low-intensity (PL 296 +/- 58 vs. BR 192 +/- 38 microM/s; P < 0.05) and high-intensity (PL 607 +/- 65 vs. BR 436 +/- 43 microM/s; P < 0.05) exercise. Thus the reduced O(2) cost of exercise following dietary NO(3)(-) supplementation appears to be due to a reduced ATP cost of muscle force production. The reduced muscle metabolic perturbation with NO(3)(-) supplementation allowed high-intensity exercise to be tolerated for a greater period of time.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk