Nitrate-rich beetroot juice ingestion reduces skeletal muscle O2 uptake and blood flow during exercise in sedentary men

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Dietary nitrate supplementation has been shown to reduce pulmonary O2 uptake during submaximal exercise and enhance exercise performance. However, the effects of nitrate supplementation on local metabolic and hemodynamic regulation in contracting human skeletal muscle remain unclear. To address this, eight healthy young male sedentary subjects were assigned in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design to receive nitrate-rich beetroot juice (NO3, 9 mmol) and placebo (PLA) 2.5 h prior to the completion of a double-step knee-extensor exercise protocol that included a transition from unloaded to moderate-intensity exercise (MOD) followed immediately by a transition to intense exercise (HIGH). Compared with PLA, NO3 increased plasma levels of nitrate and nitrite. During MOD, leg VO2 and leg blood flow (LBF) were reduced to a similar extent (∼9-15 %) in NO3. During HIGH, leg VO2 was reduced by ∼6-10 % and LBF by ∼5-9 % (did not reach significance) in NO3. Leg VO2 kinetics was markedly faster in the transition from passive to MOD compared with the transition from MOD to HIGH both in NO3 and PLA with no difference between PLA and NO3. In NO3, a reduction in nitrate and nitrite concentration was detected between arterial and venous samples. No difference in the time to exhaustion was observed between conditions. In conclusion, elevation of plasma nitrate and nitrate reduces leg skeletal muscle VO2 and blood flow during exercise. However, nitrate supplementation does not enhance muscle VO2 kinetics during exercise, nor does it improve time to exhaustion when exercising with a small muscle mass. 

TidsskriftJournal of Physiology
Udgave nummer23
Sider (fra-til)5203-5214
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

CURIS 2021 NEXS 314
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