Influence of dietary nitrate supplementation on physiological and cognitive responses to incremental cycle exercise

Kevin THOMPSON, Louise Turner, Jonathon Prichard, Fiona Dodd, David Kennedy, Crystal Haskell-Ramsay, Jamie Blackwell, Andrew Jones

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    Dietary inorganic nitrate supplementation causes physiological effects which may enhance exercise tolerance. However it is not known whether nitrate might alter cognitive function during exercise. In a double-blind, cross-over study, sixteen subjects ingested either nitrate-rich beetroot juice or a placebo and completed a continuous cycle exercise test involving 20min stages at 50% and 70% V˙O2peak and a final stage at 90% V˙O2peak until volitional exhaustion. Cognitive tasks were completed before, during and after exercise. In the dietary nitrate condition: plasma [nitrite] increased (p<0.01), systolic blood pressure decreased (p<0.05) and there was a trend for a reduced oxygen uptake at 50% V˙O2peak. Tissue oxygenation improved across exercise intensities and exercise tolerance was greater at 90% V˙O2peak (p<0.05). Rating of perceived exertion, energy levels and cognitive performance were similar between conditions with mental fatigue being evident from 70% V˙O2peak onwards (p<0.05). Dietary nitrate supplementation enhanced short-term endurance exercise performance with concomitant mental fatigue but did not improve cognitive performance post-fatigue.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11-20
    Number of pages10
    JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


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