As a nitric oxide precursor, beetroot juice (BJ) is known to enhance high-intensity exercise performance (80⁻100% VO2max) yet its impacts on higher intensity sprint exercise (>100% VO2max) remain to be established. This study sought to examine the effects of BJ supplementation on performance and subsequent fatigue during an all-out sprint exercise. Using a randomized cross-over, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 15 healthy resistance-trained men (22.4 ± 1.6 years) ingested 70 mL of either BJ or placebo. Three hours later, participants undertook a 30-s all-out Wingate test. Before and after the sprint exercise and at 30 s and 180 s post-exercise, three countermovement jumps (CMJ) were performed and blood lactate samples were obtained. Compared to placebo, BJ consumption improved peak (placebo vs. BJ, 848 ± 134 vs. 881 ± 135 W; p = 0.049) and mean (641 ± 91 vs. 666 ± 100 W; p = 0.023) power output and also reduced the time taken to reach Wpeak in the Wingate test (8.9 ± 1.4 vs. 7.3 ± 0.9 s; p = 0.003). No differences were detected in the fatigue index. In addition, while over time CMJ height and power diminished (ANOVA p < 0.001) and blood lactate levels increased (ANOVA p < 0.001), no supplementation effect was observed. Our findings indicate that while BJ supplementation improved performance at the 30-s cycling sprint, this improvement was not accompanied by differences in fatigue during or after this type of exercise.
Keywords: muscle fatigue; muscle power; nitrates; nitric oxide.