Besides the pumps it produces (which is what it is most commonly known for) it seems to much more from a performance-enhancing standpoint.
Acute dietary nitrate supplementation improves cycling time trial performance.
PURPOSE: Dietary nitrate supplementation has been shown to reduce the O2 cost of submaximal exercise and to improve high-intensity exercise tolerance. However, it is presently unknown whether it may enhance performance during simulated competition. The present study investigated the effects of acute dietary nitrate supplementation on power output (PO), VO2, and performance during 4- and 16.1-km cycling time trials (TT).
METHODS: After familiarization, nine club-level competitive male cyclists were assigned in a randomized, crossover design to consume 0.5 L of beetroot juice (BR; containing ∼ 6.2 mmol of nitrate) or 0.5 L of nitrate-depleted BR (placebo, PL; containing ∼ 0.0047 mmol of nitrate), ∼ 2.5 h before the completion of a 4- and a 16.1-km TT.
RESULTS: BR supplementation elevated plasma [nitrite] (PL = 241 ± 125 vs BR = 575 ± 199 nM, P < 0.05). The VO2 values during the TT were not significantly different between the BR and PL conditions at any elapsed distance (P > 0.05), but BR significantly increased mean PO during the 4-km (PL = 279 ± 51 vs BR = 292 ± 44 W, P < 0.05) and 16.1-km TT (PL = 233 ± 43 vs BR = 247 ± 44 W, P < 0.01). Consequently, BR improved 4-km performance by 2.8% (PL = 6.45 ± 0.42 vs BR = 6.27 ± 0.35 min, P < 0.05) and 16.1-km performance by 2.7% (PL = 27.7 ± 2.1 vs BR = 26.9 ± 1.8 min, P < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that acute dietary nitrate supplementation with 0.5 L of BR improves cycling economy, as demonstrated by a higher PO for the same VO2 and enhances both 4- and 16.1-km cycling TT performance.Dietary nitrate reduces maximal oxygen consumption while maintaining work performance in maximal exercise.
The anion nitrate-abundant in our diet-has recently emerged as a major pool of nitric oxide (NO) synthase-independent NO production. Nitrate is reduced stepwise in vivo to nitrite and then NO and possibly other bioactive nitrogen oxides. This reductive pathway is enhanced during low oxygen tension and acidosis. A recent study shows a reduction in oxygen consumption during submaximal exercise attributable to dietary nitrate. We went on to study the effects of dietary nitrate on various physiological and biochemical parameters during maximal exercise. Nine healthy, nonsmoking volunteers (age 30+/-2.3 years, VO(2max) 3.72+/-0.33 L/min) participated in this study, which had a randomized, double-blind crossover design. Subjects received dietary supplementation with sodium nitrate (0.1 mmol/kg/day) or placebo (NaCl) for 2 days before the test. This dose corresponds to the amount found in 100-300 g of a nitrate-rich vegetable such as spinach or beetroot. The maximal exercise tests consisted of an incremental exercise to exhaustion with combined arm and leg cranking on two separate ergometers. Dietary nitrate reduced VO(2max) from 3.72+/-0.33 to 3.62+/-0.31 L/min, P<0.05. Despite the reduction in VO(2max) the time to exhaustion trended to an increase after nitrate supplementation (524+/-31 vs 563+/-30 s, P=0.13). There was a correlation between the change in time to exhaustion and the change in VO(2max) (R(2)=0.47, P=0.04). A moderate dietary dose of nitrate significantly reduces VO(2max) during maximal exercise using a large active muscle mass. This reduction occurred with a trend toward increased time to exhaustion implying that two separate mechanisms are involved: one that reduces VO(2max) and another that improves the energetic function of the working muscles.Nitrate supplementation's improvement of 10-km time-trial performance in trained cyclists.
Six days of dietary nitrate supplementation in the form of beetroot juice (~0.5 L/d) has been reported to reduce pulmonary oxygen uptake (VO?) during submaximal exercise and increase tolerance of high-intensity work rates, suggesting that nitrate can be a potent ergogenic aid. Limited data are available regarding the effect of nitrate ingestion on athletic performance, and no study has investigated the potential ergogenic effects of a small-volume, concentrated dose of beetroot juice. The authors tested the hypothesis that 6 d of nitrate ingestion would improve time-trial performance in trained cyclists. Using a double-blind, repeated-measures crossover design, 12 male cyclists (31±3 yr, VO2peak=58±2 ml·kg?¹·min?¹, maximal power [Wmax]=342±10 W) ingested 140 ml/d of concentrated beetroot (~8 mmol/d nitrate) juice (BEET) or a placebo (nitrate-depleted beetroot juice; PLAC) for 6 d, separated by a 14-d washout. After supplementation on Day 6, subjects performed 60 min of submaximal cycling (2×30 min at 45% and 65% Wmax, respectively), followed by a 10-km time trial. Time-trial performance (953±18 vs. 965±18 s, p<.005) and power output (294±12 vs. 288±12 W, p<.05) improved after BEET compared with PLAC supplementation. Submaximal VO? was lower after BEET (45% Wmax=1.92±0.06 vs. 2.02±0.09 L/min, 65% Wmax 2.94±0.12 vs. 3.11±0.12 L/min) than with PLAC (main effect, p<.05). Whole-body fuel selection and plasma lactate, glucose, and insulin concentrations did not differ between treatments. Six days of nitrate supplementation reduced VO? during submaximal exercise and improved time-trial performance in trained cyclists.Dietary nitrate supplementation enhances muscle contractile efficiency during knee-extensor exercise in humans.
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.Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of walking and running: a placebo-controlled study.
Dietary supplementation with beetroot juice (BR) has been shown to reduce resting blood pressure and the O(2) cost of submaximal exercise and to increase tolerance to high-intensity cycling. We tested the hypothesis that the physiological effects of BR were consequent to its high NO(3)(-) content per se, and not the presence of other potentially bioactive compounds. We investigated changes in blood pressure, mitochondrial oxidative capacity (Q(max)), and physiological responses to walking and moderate- and severe-intensity running following dietary supplementation with BR and NO(3)(-)-depleted BR [placebo (PL)]. After control (nonsupplemented) tests, nine healthy, physically active male subjects were assigned in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design to receive BR (0.5 l/day, containing ∼6.2 mmol of NO(3)(-)) and PL (0.5 l/day, containing ∼0.003 mmol of NO(3)(-)) for 6 days. Subjects completed treadmill exercise tests on days 4 and 5 and knee-extension exercise tests for estimation of Q(max) (using (31)P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy) on day 6 of the supplementation periods. Relative to PL, BR elevated plasma NO(2)(-) concentration (183 ± 119 vs. 373 ± 211 nM, P < 0.05) and reduced systolic blood pressure (129 ± 9 vs. 124 ± 10 mmHg, P < 0.01). Q(max) was not different between PL and BR (0.93 ± 0.05 and 1.05 ± 0.22 mM/s, respectively). The O(2) cost of walking (0.87 ± 0.12 and 0.70 ± 0.10 l/min in PL and BR, respectively, P < 0.01), moderate-intensity running (2.26 ± 0.27 and 2.10 ± 0.28 l/min in PL and BR, respectively, P < 0.01), and severe-intensity running (end-exercise O(2) uptake = 3.77 ± 0.57 and 3.50 ± 0.62 l/min in PL and BL, respectively, P < 0.01) was reduced by BR, and time to exhaustion during severe-intensity running was increased by 15% (7.6 ± 1.5 and 8.7 ± 1.8 min in PL and BR, respectively, P < 0.01). In contrast, relative to control, PL supplementation did not alter plasma NO(2)(-) concentration, blood pressure, or the physiological responses to exercise. These results indicate that the positive effects of 6 days of BR supplementation on the physiological responses to exercise can be ascribed to the high NO(3)(-) content per se.Acute administration of inorganic nitrate reduces VO(2peak) in endurance athletes.
PURPOSE: Humans can reduce inorganic nitrate (NO(3)(-)) to nitrite (NO(2)(-)), nitric oxide (NO), and other bioactive nitrogen oxides. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that a single dose of inorganic nitrate before exercise might enhance the tolerance of endurance athletes to high intensity exercise.
METHODS: Eleven cyclists (age = 34.3 ± 4.8 yr, VO(2peak) = 65.1 ± 6.2 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1)) participated in this randomized, double-blind, crossover study. Subjects received dietary supplementation with nitrate (NaNO(3) 10 mg·kg(-1) of body mass) or a placebo (NaCl) 3 h before exercise. They then performed a cycle ergometer test that consisted of four 6-min submaximal workloads, corresponding to 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5 W·kg(-1) of body mass, interspersed with 3 min of passive recovery. After a 5-min recovery period, subjects performed one incremental exercise test until exhaustion.
RESULTS: Plasma nitrate and nitrite were significantly higher (P < 0.05) 3 h after supplementation (nitrate = 250 ± 80 μM, nitrite = 2313 ± 157 nM) than after the placebo (nitrate = 29 ± 8 μM, nitrite = 1998 ± 206 nM) at resting conditions. Nitrate supplementation significantly reduced VO(2peak)(nitrate = 4.64 ± 0.35 L·min(-1), placebo = 4.82 ± 0.33 L·min(-1), P = 0.010) and the ratio between VO(2) and power at maximal intensity (nitrate = 11.2 ± 1.1 mL·min(-1)·W(-1), placebo = 11.8 ± 1.1 mL·min(-1)·W(-1), P = 0.031). This reduction of VO(2) occurred without changes in the time to exhaustion (nitrate = 416 ± 32 s, placebo = 409 ± 27 s) or in the maximal power (nitrate = 416 ± 29 W, placebo = 410 ± 28 W).
CONCLUSIONS: A single oral dose of inorganic nitrate acutely reduces VO(2peak)without compromising the maximal exercise performance.