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No thermoregulatory or ergogenic effect of dietary nitrate among physically inactive males, exercising above gas exchange threshold in hot and dry conditions

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Owen JeffriesORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis , 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The aim of this study was to determine the effect of five days dietary nitrate (NO3-) consumption on exercise tolerance and thermoregulation during cycling in hot, dry conditions. In a double-blind, randomised crossover design, 11 healthy males participated in an exercise tolerance test (Tlim) in the heat (35°C, 28% relative humidity), cycling above the thermoneutral gas exchange threshold, after five days of dietary supplementation, with either NO3--rich beetroot juice (BR; ~ 9.2 mmol NO3-) or placebo (PLA). Changes in plasma [NO3-] and nitrite [NO2-], core and mean skin temperatures, mean local and whole-body sweat rates, heart rate, perceptual ratings and pulmonary gas exchange were measured during exercise, alongside calorimetric estimations of thermal balance. Mean arterial pressures (MAP) were recorded pre-Tlim. There were no differences in Tlim between conditions (BR = 22.8 ± 8.1 min; Placebo = 20.7 ± 7.9 min) (P = 0.184), despite increases in plasma [NO3-] and [NO2-] (P < 0.001) and a 3.8% reduction in resting MAP (P = 0.004) in the BR condition. There were no other differences in thermoregulatory, cardio-metabolic, perceptual or calorimetric responses to the Tlim between conditions (P > 0.05). Dietary NO3- supplementation had no effect on exercise tolerance or thermoregulation in hot, dry conditions, despite reductions in resting MAP and increases in plasma [NO3-] and [NO2-]. Healthy, yet physically inactive individuals with no known impairments in vasodilatory and sudomotor function do not appear to require BR for ergogenic or thermolytic effects during exercise in the heat.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fowler R, Jeffries O, Tallent J, Theis N, Heffernan SM, McNarry MA, Kilduff L, Waldron M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Sports Science

Year: 2021

Volume: 21

Issue: 3

Pages: 370-378

Online publication date: 04/03/2020

Acceptance date: 02/03/2020

Date deposited: 03/03/2020

ISSN (print): 1746-1391

ISSN (electronic): 1536-7290

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2020.1739144


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