This study investigated the influence of dietary inorganic nitrate (NO3(-)) supplementation on pulmonary O2 uptake (V˙O2) and muscle deoxyhemoglobin/myoglobin (i.e. deoxy [Hb + Mb]) kinetics during submaximal cycling exercise. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over study, eight healthy and physically active male subjects completed two step cycle tests at a work rate equivalent to 50% of the difference between the gas exchange threshold and peak V˙O2 over separate 4-day supplementation periods with NO3(-)-rich (BR; providing 8.4 mmol NO3(-)∙day(-1)) and NO3(-)-depleted (placebo; PLA) beetroot juice. Pulmonary V˙O2 was measured breath-by-breath and time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy was utilized to quantify absolute deoxy [Hb + Mb] and total [Hb + Mb] within the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) in the primary deoxy [Hb + Mb] mean response time or amplitude between the PLA and BR trials at each muscle site. BR significantly increased the mean (three-site) end-exercise deoxy [Hb + Mb] (PLA: 91 ± 9 vs. BR: 95 ± 12 μmol/L, P < 0.05), with a tendency to increase the mean (three-site) area under the curve for total [Hb + Mb] responses (PLA: 3650 ± 1188 vs. BR: 4467 ± 1315 μmol/L sec(-1), P = 0.08). The V˙O2 slow component reduction after BR supplementation (PLA: 0.27 ± 0.07 vs. BR: 0.23 ± 0.08 L min(-1), P = 0.07) correlated inversely with the mean increases in deoxy [Hb + Mb] and total [Hb + Mb] across the three muscle regions (r(2) = 0.62 and 0.66, P < 0.05). Dietary NO3(-) supplementation increased O2 diffusive conductance across locomotor muscles in association with improved V˙O2 dynamics during heavy-intensity cycling transitions.



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Physiol Rep





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School of Biomedical Sciences


Heterogeneity, nitrate supplementation, oxygen delivery, oxygen utilization, time resolved near‐infrared spectroscopy