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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Jul;113(7):1673-84. doi: 10.1007/s00421-013-2589-8. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Dietary nitrate supplementation improves team sport-specific intense intermittent exercise performance.

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  • 1Sport and Health Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, St. Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter EX1 2LU, UK.

Abstract

Recent studies have suggested that dietary inorganic nitrate (NO₃(-)) supplementation may improve muscle efficiency and endurance exercise tolerance but possible effects during team sport-specific intense intermittent exercise have not been examined. We hypothesized that NO₃(-) supplementation would enhance high-intensity intermittent exercise performance. Fourteen male recreational team-sport players were assigned in a double-blind, randomized, crossover design to consume 490 mL of concentrated, nitrate-rich beetroot juice (BR) and nitrate-depleted placebo juice (PL) over ~30 h preceding the completion of a Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 1 test (Yo-Yo IR1). Resting plasma nitrite concentration ([NO₂(-)]) was ~400% greater in BR compared to PL. Plasma [NO₂(-)] declined by 20% in PL (P < 0.05) and by 54 % in BR (P < 0.05) from pre-exercise to end-exercise. Performance in the Yo-Yo IR1 was 4.2% greater (P < 0.05) with BR (1,704 ± 304 m) compared to PL (1,636 ± 288 m). Blood [lactate] was not different between BR and PL, but the mean blood [glucose] was lower (3.8 ± 0.8 vs. 4.2 ± 1.1 mM, P < 0.05) and the rise in plasma [K(+)] tended to be reduced in BR compared to PL (P = 0.08). These findings suggest that NO₃(-) supplementation may promote NO production via the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway and enhance Yo-Yo IR1 test performance, perhaps by facilitating greater muscle glucose uptake or by better maintaining muscle excitability. Dietary NO₃(-) supplementation improves performance during intense intermittent exercise and may be a useful ergogenic aid for team sports players.

PMID:
23370859
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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