Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an independent predictor for all-cause and disease-specific morbidity and mortality. CRF is a modifiable risk factor, and exercise training and increased physical activity, as well as targeted medical therapies, can improve CRF. Although nutrition is a modifiable risk factor for chronic noncommunicable diseases, little is known about the effect of dietary patterns and specific nutrients on modifying CRF. This review focuses specifically on trials that implemented dietary supplementation, modified dietary pattern, or enacted caloric restriction, with and without exercise training interventions, and subsequently measured the effect on peak oxygen consumption (VO2) or surrogate measures of CRF and functional capacity. Populations selected for this review are those recognized to have a reduced CRF, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, obesity, sarcopenia, and frailty. We then summarize the state of existing knowledge and explore future directions of study in disease states recently recognized to have an abnormal CRF.
Keywords: cardiopulmonary exercise testing; cardiorespiratory fitness; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; frailty; heart failure; obesity; peak oxygen consumption; sarcopenia.