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Marching to the Beet: The effect of dietary nitrate supplementation on high altitude exercise performance and adaptation during a military trekking expedition.

Marshall, AR; Rimmer, JE; Shah, N; Bye, K; Kipps, C; Woods, DR; O'Hara, J; ... Barlow, M; + view all (2021) Marching to the Beet: The effect of dietary nitrate supplementation on high altitude exercise performance and adaptation during a military trekking expedition. Nitric Oxide , 113 pp. 70-77. 10.1016/j.niox.2021.05.002.

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Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim was to investigate the effect of dietary nitrate supplementation (in the form of beetroot juice, BRJ) for 20 days on salivary nitrite (a potential precursor of bioactive nitric oxide), exercise performance and high altitude (HA) acclimatisation in field conditions (hypobaric hypoxia). METHODS: This was a single-blinded randomised control study of 22 healthy adult participants (12 men, 10 women, mean age 28 ± 12 years) across a HA military expedition. Participants were randomised pre-ascent to receive two 70 ml dose per day of either BRJ (~12.5 mmol nitrate per day; n = 11) or non-nitrate calorie matched control (n = 11). Participants ingested supplement doses daily, beginning 3 days prior to departure and continued until the highest sleeping altitude (4800 m) reached on day 17 of the expedition. Data were collected at baseline (44 m altitude), at 2350 m (day 9), 3400 m (day 12) and 4800 m (day 17). RESULTS: BRJ enhanced the salivary levels of nitrite (p = 0.007). There was a significant decrease in peripheral oxygen saturation and there were increases in heart rate, diastolic blood pressure, and rating of perceived exertion with increasing altitude (p=<0.001). Harvard Step Test fitness scores significantly declined at 4800 m in the control group (p = 0.003) compared with baseline. In contrast, there was no decline in fitness scores at 4800 m compared with baseline (p = 0.26) in the BRJ group. Heart rate recovery speed following exercise at 4800 m was significantly prolonged in the control group (p=<0.01) but was unchanged in the BRJ group (p = 0.61). BRJ did not affect the burden of HA illness (p = 1.00). CONCLUSIONS: BRJ increases salivary nitrite levels and ameliorates the decline in fitness at altitude but does not affect the occurrence of HA illness.

Type: Article
Title: Marching to the Beet: The effect of dietary nitrate supplementation on high altitude exercise performance and adaptation during a military trekking expedition.
Location: United States
DOI: 10.1016/j.niox.2021.05.002
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.niox.2021.05.002
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Acute mountain sickness, Altitude, Beetroot juice, Exercise, High altitude illness, Nitrate, Nitric oxide
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Targeted Intervention
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130204
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