Nitrate-Containing Beetroot Juice Reduces Oxygen Consumption During Submaximal Exercise in Low but Not High Aerobically Fit Male Runners. Academic Article uri icon


  • to examine the effect of a 4-day NO3- loading protocol on the submaximal oxygen cost of both low fit and high fit participants at five different exercise intensities.participants were initially assigned to a placebo (PL; negligible NO3-) or inorganic nitrate-rich (NR; 6.2 mmol nitrate/day) group; double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover. Participants completed three trials (T1, T2 and T3). T1 included a maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max) treadmill test. A 6-day washout, minimizing nitrate consumption, preceded T2. Each of the four days prior to T2 and T3, participants consumed either PL or NR; final dose 2.5 hours prior to exercise. A 14-day washout followed T2. T2 and T3 consisted of 5-minute submaximal treadmill bouts (45, 60, 70, 80 and 85% VO2max) determined during T1.Low fit nitrate-supplemented participants consumed less oxygen (p<0.05) at lower workloads (45% and 60% VO2max) compared to placebo trials; changes not observed in high fit participants. The two lowest intensity workloads of 45 and 60% VO2max revealed the greatest correlation (r=0.54, p=0.09 and r=0.79, p<0.05; respectively). No differences were found between conditions for heart rate, respiratory exchange ratio or rating of perceived exertion for either fitness group.Nitrate consumption promotes reduced oxygen consumption at lower exercise intensities in low fit, but not high fit males. Lesser fit individuals may receive greater benefit than higher fit participants exercising at intensities <60% VO2max.

publication date

  • December 2016