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The effects of dietary nitrate supplementation on the adaptations to sprint interval training in previously untrained males

Muggeridge, David J.; Sculthorpe, Nicholas; James, Philip E.; Easton, Chris


Nicholas Sculthorpe

Philip E. James

Chris Easton


OBJECTIVES: Dietary nitrate can improve repeated high-intensity and supramaximal exercise performance, although the effect on adaptations to training has received limited attention. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary nitrate on the response to 3-weeks of sprint interval training (SIT).

DESIGN: Randomized control trial.

METHODS: Twenty-seven untrained males (Age: 28±7 y, V⋅O2Max: 42±7mlkg-1min-1) completed an incremental exercise test at the beginning and end of the study. Participants were matched for V⋅O2Max and randomly assigned to a control group (CON; n=8), SIT+placebo group (PLA; n=10), or SIT+nitrate group (NIT; n=9). The SIT comprised 4-6 repeated 15 s all out sprints on a cycle ergometer, interspersed with 4min active recovery, 3-times per week. Approximately 2.5h prior to exercise, participants consumed gels containing ∼0.1mmol (PLA) or ∼8mmol nitrate (NIT).

RESULTS: Following SIT, V⋅O2Max (PLA: 5%, p=0.057, d=0.34; NIT: 6.3%, p=0.041, d=0.34) and ventilatory threshold (VT) increased to a similar extent in both SIT groups. Maximum work rate tended to increase to a greater extent in NIT (8.7%, d=0.55) compared to PLA (4.7%, d=0.31, p=0.073). Fatigue index, calculated by the change in mean power from the first to the last sprint, tended to be reduced following SIT in NIT compared to PLA (PLA: 7.3±7.4%, NIT: 0.5±7.1%, p=0.058).

CONCLUSIONS: While dietary nitrate supplementation does not augment improvements to V⋅O2Max and VT following SIT, it may improve WRmax and indices of repeated high-intensity exercise.


Muggeridge, D. J., Sculthorpe, N., James, P. E., & Easton, C. (2017). The effects of dietary nitrate supplementation on the adaptations to sprint interval training in previously untrained males. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 20(1), 92-97.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 29, 2016
Online Publication Date May 21, 2016
Publication Date 2017-01
Deposit Date Oct 22, 2020
Journal Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Print ISSN 1440-2440
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 92-97
Keywords Nitric oxide, Nitrite, Exercise, V?O2Max
Public URL