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Nutrients 2016, 8(9), 534; doi:10.3390/nu8090534

Effects of a Short-Term High-Nitrate Diet on Exercise Performance

1
Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology, National Research Council, Segrate 20090, Italy
2
Department of Neurological Surgery, Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
3
Department of Pathopysiology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano 20100, Italy
4
Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano 20100, Italy
5
Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of Quality of Life, Telematic University S. Raffaele, Roma 00166, Italy
6
Department of Psychology, Exercise and Sport Science Degree Course, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan 20100, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 14 August 2016 / Accepted: 24 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Health and Athletic Performance)
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Abstract

It has been reported that nitrate supplementation can improve exercise performance. Most of the studies have used either beetroot juice or sodium nitrate as a supplement; there is lack of data on the potential ergogenic benefits of an increased dietary nitrate intake from a diet based on fruits and vegetables. Our aim was to assess whether a high-nitrate diet increases nitric oxide bioavailability and to evaluate the effects of this nutritional intervention on exercise performance. Seven healthy male subjects participated in a randomized cross-over study. They were tested before and after 6 days of a high (HND) or control (CD) nitrate diet (~8.2 mmol∙day−1 or ~2.9 mmol∙day−1, respectively). Plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations were significantly higher in HND (127 ± 64 µM and 350 ± 120 nM, respectively) compared to CD (23 ± 10 µM and 240 ± 100 nM, respectively). In HND (vs. CD) were observed: (a) a significant reduction of oxygen consumption during moderate-intensity constant work-rate cycling exercise (1.178 ± 0.141 vs. 1.269 ± 0.136 L·min−1); (b) a significantly higher total muscle work during fatiguing, intermittent sub-maximal isometric knee extension (357.3 ± 176.1 vs. 253.6 ± 149.0 Nm·s·kg−1); (c) an improved performance in Repeated Sprint Ability test. These findings suggest that a high-nitrate diet could be a feasible and effective strategy to improve exercise performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitric oxide; oxygen cost of exercise; intermittent high-intensity exercise; diet nitric oxide; oxygen cost of exercise; intermittent high-intensity exercise; diet
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Porcelli, S.; Pugliese, L.; Rejc, E.; Pavei, G.; Bonato, M.; Montorsi, M.; La Torre, A.; Rasica, L.; Marzorati, M. Effects of a Short-Term High-Nitrate Diet on Exercise Performance. Nutrients 2016, 8, 534.

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