Dietary nitrate has been reported to lower oxygen consumption in moderate- and severe-intensity exercise. To date, it is unproven that sodium nitrate (NaNO3(-); NIT) and nitrate-rich beetroot juice (BR) have the same effects on oxygen consumption, blood pressure, and plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations or not. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of different dosages of NIT and BR on oxygen consumption in male athletes. Twelve healthy, well-trained men (median [minimum; maximum]; peak oxygen consumption: 59.4 mL·min(-1)·kg(-1) [40.5; 67.0]) performed 7 trials on different days, ingesting different nitrate dosages and placebo (PLC). Dosages were 3, 6, and 12 mmol nitrate as concentrated BR or NIT dissolved in plain water. Plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations were measured before, 3 h after ingestion, and postexercise. Participants cycled for 5 min at moderate intensity and further 8 min at severe intensity. End-exercise oxygen consumption at moderate intensity was not significantly different between the 7 trials (p = 0.08). At severe-intensity exercise, end-exercise oxygen consumption was ~4% lower in the 6-mmol BR trial compared with the 6-mmol NIT (p = 0.003) trial as well as compared with PLC (p = 0.010). Plasma nitrite and nitrate concentrations were significantly increased after the ingestion of BR and NIT with the highest concentrations in the 12-mmol trials. Plasma nitrite concentration between NIT and BR did not significantly differ in the 6-mmol (p = 0.27) and in the 12-mmol (p = 0.75) trials. In conclusion, BR might reduce oxygen consumption to a greater extent compared with NIT.
Keywords: blood pressure; consommation d’oxygène; exercice physique; exercise; nitrate; nitrite; nutrition; oxygen uptake; polyphenols; polyphénols; pression sanguine.