The effects of dietary nitrate supplementation on the adaptations to sprint interval training in previously untrained males

David J Muggeridge, Nicholas Sculthorpe, Philip E James, Chris Easton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


OBJECTIVES: Dietary nitrate can improve repeated high-intensity and supramaximal exercise performance, although the effect on adaptations to training has received limited attention. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary nitrate on the response to 3-weeks of sprint interval training (SIT).

DESIGN: Randomized control trial.

METHODS: Twenty-seven untrained males (Age: 28±7 y, V⋅O2Max: 42±7mlkg-1min-1) completed an incremental exercise test at the beginning and end of the study. Participants were matched for V⋅O2Max and randomly assigned to a control group (CON; n=8), SIT+placebo group (PLA; n=10), or SIT+nitrate group (NIT; n=9). The SIT comprised 4-6 repeated 15 s all out sprints on a cycle ergometer, interspersed with 4min active recovery, 3-times per week. Approximately 2.5h prior to exercise, participants consumed gels containing ∼0.1mmol (PLA) or ∼8mmol nitrate (NIT).

RESULTS: Following SIT, V⋅O2Max (PLA: 5%, p=0.057, d=0.34; NIT: 6.3%, p=0.041, d=0.34) and ventilatory threshold (VT) increased to a similar extent in both SIT groups. Maximum work rate tended to increase to a greater extent in NIT (8.7%, d=0.55) compared to PLA (4.7%, d=0.31, p=0.073). Fatigue index, calculated by the change in mean power from the first to the last sprint, tended to be reduced following SIT in NIT compared to PLA (PLA: 7.3±7.4%, NIT: 0.5±7.1%, p=0.058).

CONCLUSIONS: While dietary nitrate supplementation does not augment improvements to V⋅O2Max and VT following SIT, it may improve WRmax and indices of repeated high-intensity exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-97
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2016


  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Exercise Test/drug effects
  • High-Intensity Interval Training/methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Fatigue/physiology
  • Nitrates/administration & dosage
  • Oxygen Consumption/physiology
  • Young Adult


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