An acute dose of inorganic dietary nitrate does not improve high-intensity, intermittent exercise performance in temperate or hot and humid conditions

Kieran Smith, David J Muggeridge, Chris Easton, Mark D Ross

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PURPOSE: Dietary nitrate (NO3-) has repeatedly been shown to improve endurance and intermittent, high-intensity events in temperate conditions. However, the ergogenic effects of dietary NO3- on intermittent exercise performance in hot conditions have yet to be investigated.

METHODS: In a randomised, counterbalanced, double-blind crossover study, 12 recreationally trained males ingested a nitrate-rich beetroot juice shot (BRJ) (6.2 mmol NO3-) or a nitrate-depleted placebo (PLA) (< 0.004 mmol NO3-) 3 h prior to an intermittent sprint test (IST) in temperate (22 °C, 35% RH) and hot conditions (30 °C, 70% RH). The cycle ergometer IST consisted of twenty maximal 6 s sprints interspersed by 114 s of active recovery. Work done, power output, heart rate and RPE were measured throughout; tympanic temperature was measured prior to and upon completion.

RESULTS: There were no significant effects of supplement on sprint performance in either temperate or hot, humid conditions (p > 0.05). There was a reduced peak (BRJ: 659 ± 100W vs. PLA: 693 ± 139W; p = 0.056) and mean power (BRJ: 543 ± 29W vs. PLA: 575 ± 38W; p = 0.081) following BRJ compared to PLA in the hot and humid condition, but this was not statistically significant. There was no effect of supplement on total work done irrespective of environmental condition. However, ~ 75% of participants experienced performance decreases following BRJ in the hot and humid environment. No differences were observed between trials for tympanic temperature measured at the conclusion of the exercise trial.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, an acute dose of inorganic dietary NO3- does not improve repeated-sprint performance in either temperate, or hot and humid conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-733
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Early online date8 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


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