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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2017 Apr;117(4):775-785. doi: 10.1007/s00421-017-3580-6. Epub 2017 Mar 1.

Dietary nitrate supplementation enhances short but not longer duration running time-trial performance.

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Research Institute for Sport, Physical Activity, and Leisure, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, LS163QS, UK.
Research Institute for Sport, Physical Activity, and Leisure, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, LS163QS, UK.
Defence Medical Services, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, B152TH, UK.
Institute of Cellular Medicine, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE45PL, UK.



This study evaluated the effects of dietary nitrate (NO3-) supplementation on physiological functioning and exercise performance in trained runners/triathletes conducting short and longer-distance treadmill running time-trials (TT).


Eight trained male runners or triathletes completed four exercise performance tests comprising a 10 min warm up followed by either a 1500 or 10,000 m treadmill TT. Exercise performance tests were preceded 3 h before the exercise by supplementation with either 140 ml concentrated nitrate-rich (~12.5 mmol nitrate) (BRJ) or nitrate-deplete (~0.01 mmol nitrate) (PLA) beetroot juice.


BRJ supplementation significantly elevated plasma [NO2-] (P < 0.05). Resting blood pressure and exercise [Formula: see text] were not significantly different between BRJ and PLA (P > 0.05). However, post-exercise blood [lactate] was significantly greater in BRJ following the 1500 m TT (6.6 ± 1.2 vs. 6.1 ± 1.5 mM; P < 0.05), but not significantly different between conditions in the 10,000 m TT (P > 0.05). Performance in the 1500 m TT was significantly faster in BRJ vs. PLA (319.6 ± 36.2 vs. 325.7 ± 38.8 s; P < 0.05). Conversely, there was no significant difference in 10,000 m TT performance between conditions (2643.1 ± 324. 1 vs. 2649.9 ± 319.8 s, P > 0.05).


Acute BRJ supplementation significantly enhanced 1500 m, but not 10,000 m TT performance. These findings suggest that BRJ might be ergogenic during shorter distance TTs which allow for a high work rate, but not during longer distance TTs, completed at a lower work rate.


Beetroot juice; Dietary supplementation; Exercise performance; Nitric oxide

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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