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Nutrients 2016, 8(9), 534;

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

Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology, National Research Council, Segrate 20090, Italy
Department of Neurological Surgery, Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
Department of Pathopysiology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano 20100, Italy
Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano 20100, Italy
Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of Quality of Life, Telematic University S. Raffaele, Roma 00166, Italy
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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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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