The recently published article of Vasconcellos et al. (2017) reinforces the practical use of specific feeding strategy for supporting performance during exercise. As highlighted by the authors, foods in gel form are easier to drink and tolerable for athletes before, during, and after training. Although the single doses of 100 g of a beetroot based gel providing 10 mmol of nitrate (NO3-) was effective to reduce plasma glucose concentration immediately after exercise and during recovery, no effects were observed on the Vo2 peak, time to exhaustion at 70% of the maximal end speed, serum lactate and cortisol. The authors raised the question of the ergogenic potential of NO3− containing food to increase performance acutely in recreational athletes. However, it is important to highlight that the used of NO3- supplementation showed to be effective for increasing low-frequency muscular activity after supplementing for a period of 7 consecutive days (Haider and Folland, 2014). Futures studies need to focus on investigating the effects of supplements when performing submaximal endurance exercises for a given distance (as occurred during competition). These types of activities will produce different physiological demands compared to the typical laboratory-based test to exhaustion, which is not the type of effort required during sports.
HAIDER, G. & FOLLAND, J. P. 2014. Nitrate supplementation enhances the contractile properties of human skeletal muscle. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 46, 2234-43.
VASCONCELLOS, J., HENRIQUE SILVESTRE, D., DOS SANTOS BAIAO, D., WERNECK-DE-CASTRO, J. P., SILVEIRA ALVARES, T. & PASCHOALIN, V. M. 2017. A Single Dose of Beetroot Gel Rich in Nitrate Does Not Improve Performance but Lowers Blood Glucose in Physically Active Individuals. J Nutr Metab, 2017, 7853034.