While acute treatment with beetroot juice (BRJ) containing nitrate (NO3-) can lower systolic blood pressure (SBP), afterload and myocardial O2 demand during submaximal exercise, effects of chronic supplementation with BRJ (containing a relatively low dose of NO3-, 400 mg) on cardiac output (CO), BP, total peripheral resistance (TPR) and the work of the heart in response to dynamic exercise are not known. Thus, in 14 healthy males (22±1 yr), we compared effects of 15 days of both BRJ and nitrate-depleted beetroot juice (NDBRJ) supplementation on plasma concentrations of NOx (NO3-/NO2-), SBP, diastolic blood pressure (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), CO, TPR, and rate pressure product (RPP) at rest and during progressive cycling exercise. Endothelial function was also assessed via flow mediated dilation (FMD). BRJ supplementation increased plasma NOx from 83.8±13.8 to 167.6±13.2 uM. Compared to NDBRJ, BRJ reduced SBP, DBP, MAP and TPR at rest and during exercise (p<0.05). In addition, RPP was decreased during exercise, while CO was increased, but only at rest and the 30% workload (p<0.05). BRJ enhanced FMD-induced increases in brachial artery diameter (pre: 12.3±1.6%; post: 17.8±1.9%). We conclude that: 1) chronic supplementation with BRJ lowers BP and vascular resistance at rest and during exercise and attenuates RPP during exercise and 2) these effects may be due, in part, to enhanced endothelial-induced vasodilation in contracting skeletal muscle. BRJ can act as a dietary neutracuetical capable of enhancing O2 delivery and reducing work of the heart such that exercise can be performed at a given workload.
- endothelial function
- total peripheral resistance
- rate x pressure product
- Copyright © 2015, American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology