Abstract

Objective: Assess the effects of varying levels and duration of dietary nitrate supplementation
from beetroot juice (BR) on sprint performance in army ROTC cadets.


Methods: Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets were randomly assigned to one
of three treatment groups: control (CON); low beetroot juice dose (BR1); and high BR juice –
BR2. For 0, 6 and 15 days nitrate consumption from BR groups were as follows: CON received
one 16.9 oz. bottle of apple juice (0 mg NO 3 -); BR1 received one can of BR juice (300 mg, 4.84
mmol NO 3 -), and BR2 received 2 cans (16.8 oz.) BR (600 mg, 9.68 mmol NO 3 -). One week prior
to the study, each cadet completed body composition measurements, predicted aerobic capacity
measurements, and nutritional analysis via two 24-hour dietary recalls. Differences in primary
measures (distance covered in the Yo-Yo IR1) were analyzed with two-way repeated measures
ANOVA tests both between groups (CON, BR1, BR2) and within groups (0, 6, and day 15).
Descriptive statistics and frequency counts were run on all remaining variables with a one-way
ANOVA or t-test, including maximal heart rate during the YoYo IR1, dietary compliance, daily
blood pressure, juice compliance, and conditioning work-outs


Results: A dose-related enhancement with BR was observed; the data trended towards
significance even in this small sample. A t-test revealed that there was a significant difference in
sprint performance by males and females overall at days 0, 6, 15 (p = 0.025, p = 0.005, p =
0.004, respectively).


Conclusion: A single (300 mg, 4.84 mmol NO 3 ) or double (600 mg, 9.68 mmol NO 3 -) daily dose
consumption of BR appears to benefit ROTC cadets in athletic performance. Daily consumption
of BR benefitted ROTC males more than females. Results suggest BR supplementation could be
advantageous for sprint performance when administered for a longer duration (> 15 days).



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