Dietary inorganic nitrate supplementation causes physiological effects which may enhance exercise tolerance. However it is not known whether nitrate might alter cognitive function during exercise. In a double-blind, cross-over study, sixteen subjects ingested either nitrate-rich beetroot juice or a placebo and completed a continuous cycle exercise test involving 20 min stages at 50% and 70% V˙O2peak and a final stage at 90% V˙O2peak until volitional exhaustion. Cognitive tasks were completed before, during and after exercise. In the dietary nitrate condition: plasma [nitrite] increased (p <0.01), systolic blood pressure decreased (p <0.05) and there was a trend for a reduced oxygen uptake at 50% V˙O2peak. Tissue oxygenation improved across exercise intensities and exercise tolerance was greater at 90% V˙O2peak (p <0.05). Rating of perceived exertion, energy levels and cognitive performance were similar between conditions with mental fatigue being evident from 70% V˙O2peak onwards (p <0.05). Dietary nitrate supplementation enhanced short-term endurance exercise performance with concomitant mental fatigue but did not improve cognitive performance post-fatigue.
|Journal||Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2014|