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The effect of dietary nitrate supplementation on physiology and performance in trained cyclists

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Deb DulsonORCiD


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© 2017 Human Kinetics, Inc.Purpose: To determine the effect of dietary nitrate (NO3 -) supplementation on physiology and performance in well-trained cyclists after 6-8 d of NO3 - supplementation. Methods: Eight competitive male cyclists (mean ± SD age 26 ± 8 y, body mass 76.7 ± 6.9 kg, VO2peak 63 ± 4 mL· kg-1 · min-1) participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover-design study in which participants ingested 70 mL of beetroot juice containing ∼4 mmol NO3 - (NIT) or a NO3 --depleted placebo (PLA), each for 8 d. Replicating pretreatment measures, participants undertook an incremental ramp assessment to determine VO2peak and first (VT1) and second (VT2) ventilatory thresholds on d 6 (NIT6 and PLA6), moderate-intensity cycling economy on d 7 (NIT7 and PLA7), and a 4-km time trial (TT) on d 8 (NIT8 and PLA8). Results: Relative to PLA, 6 d of NIT supplementation produced unclear effects for VO2peak (mean ± 95% confidence limit: 1.8% ± 5.5%) and VT1 (3.7% ± 12.3%) and trivial effects for both VT2 (-1.0% ± 3.0%) and exercise economy on d 7 (-1.0% ± 1.6%). However, effects for TT performance time (-0.7% ± 0.9%) and power (2.4% ± 2.5%) on d 8 were likely beneficial. Conclusions: Despite mostly unclear outcomes for standard physiological determinants of performance, 8 d of NO3 - supplementation resulted in likely beneficial improvements to 4-km TT performance in well-trained male endurance cyclists.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McQuillan JA, Dulson DK, Laursen PB, Kilding AE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

Year: 2017

Volume: 12

Issue: 5

Pages: 684-689

Print publication date: 01/05/2017

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN (print): 1555-0265

ISSN (electronic): 1555-0273

Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers Inc.


DOI: 10.1123/ijspp.2016-0202

PubMed id: 27736248


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