Journal article

Acute dietary nitrate supplementation improves dry static apnea performance


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Publication Details

Author list: Ehrenberg, Fanny;Engan, Harald K.;Schagatay, Erika

Publication year: 2012

Start page: 53

End page: 59

Number of pages: 7

ISSN: 1569-9048


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Acute dietary nitrate (NO3-) supplementation has been reported to lower resting blood pressure, reduce the oxygen (O-2) cost of sub-maximal exercise, and improve exercise tolerance. Given the proposed effects of NO3- on tissue oxygenation and metabolic rate, it is possible that NO3- supplementation might enhance the duration of resting apnea. If so, this might have important applications both in medicine and sport. We investigated the effects of acute NO3- supplementation on pre-apnea blood pressure, apneic duration, and the heart rate (HR) and arterial O-2 saturation (SaO(2)) responses to sub-maximal and maximal apneas in twelve well-trained apnea divers. Subjects were assigned in a randomized, double blind, crossover design to receive 70 ml of beetroot juice (BR; containing similar to 5.0 mmol of nitrate) and placebo juice (PL; similar to 0.003 mmol of nitrate) treatments. At 2.5 h post-ingestion, the subjects completed a series of two 2-min (sub-maximal) static apneas separated by 3 min of rest, followed by a maximal effort apnea. Relative to PL, BR reduced resting mean arterial pressure by 2% (PL: 86 +/- 7 vs. BR: 84 +/- 6 mmHg; P = 0.04). The mean nadir for SaO(2) after the two sub-maximal apneas was 97.2 +/- 1.6% in PL and 98.5 +/- 0.9% in BR (P = 0.03) while the reduction in HR from baseline was not significantly different between PL and BR. Importantly, BR increased maximal apneic duration by 11% (PL: 250 +/- 58 vs. BR: 278 +/- 64 s; P = 0.04). In the longer maximal apneas in BR, the magnitude of the reductions in HR and SaO(2) were greater than in PL (P <= 0.05). The results suggest that acute dietary NO3- supplementation may increase apneic duration by reducing metabolic costs. (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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