Whereas beetroot juice (BJ) supplementation is shown to increase physical performance in endurance activities, its benefits in team sports has been barely studied. In this randomized placebo-controlled study, we investigated the effects of BJ acute supplementation in improving neuromuscular performance and physical match activity in basketball. Ten young male competitive basketball players aged 15-16 years received 140 mL of BJ or placebo (PLA) on two separated days in a balanced cross-over design. Testing sessions comprised a neuromuscular test battery consisting of a countermovement jump (CMJ), isometric handgrip strength, 10-m/20-m sprint and agility T-test, followed by a 40-minute simulated basketball match. Physical match activity (distances, speeds, accelerations, and decelerations) was monitored using an inertial tracking system (Wimu ProTM) Results revealed no significant effects of BJ on CMJ (p = 0.304, ES = 0.13), isometric handgrip strength (p = 0.777, ES = 0.06), 10-m (p = 0.820, ES = 0.10), and 20-m sprint (p = 0.540, ES = 0.13), agility T-test (p = 0.979, ES ≤ 0.01) and any physical match demands (p > 0.151, ES = 0.13-0.48). Acute moderate doses of BJ (12.8 mmol of NO3-) was not effective in improving neuromuscular performance (jump height, isometric handgrip strength, sprint, and agility) or physical match requirements in young trained basketball players the day of the competition.
Keywords: GPS; ergogenic aid; match demands; nitric oxide; team sports.