Beetroot juice improves on-water 500 M time-trial performance, and laboratory-based paddling economy in national and international-level kayak athletes

Peter Peeling*, Gregory R. Cox, Nicola Bullock, Louise M. Burke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We assessed the ingestion of a beetroot juice supplement (BR) on 4-min laboratory-based kayak performance in national level male (n = 6) athletes (Study A), and on 500 m on-water kayak time-trial (TT) performance in international level female (n = 5) athletes (Study B). In Study A, participants completed three laboratory-based sessions on a kayak ergometer, including a 7 × 4 min step test, and two 4 min maximal effort performance trials. Two and a half hours before the warm-up of each 4 min performance trial, athletes received either a 70 ml BR shot containing '4.8 mmol of nitrate, or a placebo equivalent (BRPLA). The distance covered over the 4 min TT was not different between conditions; however, the average VO2 over the 4 min period was significantly lower in BR (p = .04), resulting in an improved exercise economy (p = .05). In Study B, participants completed two field-based 500 m TTs, separated by 4 days. Two hours before each trial, athletes received either two 70 ml BR shots containing '9.6 mmol of nitrate, or a placebo equivalent (BRPLA). BR supplementation significantly enhanced TT performance by 1.7% (p = .01). Our results show that in national-level male kayak athletes, commercially available BR shots (70 ml) containing '4.8 mmol of nitrate improved exercise economy during laboratory-based tasks predominantly reliant on the aerobic energy system. Furthermore, greater volumes of BR (140 ml; '9.6 mmol nitrate) provided to international-level female kayak athletes resulted in enhancements to TT performance in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-284
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

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