European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 119, Issue 5, pp 1043–1053 | Cite as

Effects of chronic beetroot juice supplementation on maximum oxygen uptake, velocity associated with maximum oxygen uptake, and peak velocity in recreational runners: a double-blinded, randomized and crossover study

  • Talitha F. de Castro
  • Francisco de Assis Manoel
  • Diogo H. Figueiredo
  • Diego H. Figueiredo
  • Fabiana Andrade MachadoEmail author
Original Article



This study investigated the effects of chronic 3-day beetroot juice (BRJ) supplementation on maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), velocity associated with VO2max(vVO2max), and peak velocity (Vpeak) in recreational runners.


Thirteen male recreational runners (age 28.2 ± 3.0 years, height 176.8 ± 0.1 cm, body mass 74.4 ± 9.5 kg) performed four tests on a treadmill in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design: two maximum incremental tests to determine VO2max and vVO2max, and two tests to determine Vpeak. Trials were performed following 3 days of supplementation of NO3-rich BRJ in natura (8.4 mmol NO3 day− 1) or BRJ NO3-depleted placebo (0.01 mmol NO3 day− 1), with the last dose being ingested 2 h before each test. During the tests, maximum heart rate (HRmax), maximal rating of perceived exertion (RPEmax), pre- and post-test glucose concentrations (Glucpre, Glucpost), and peak blood lactate concentration were determined.


VO2max was higher following BRJ vs PLA (46.6 ± 6.4 vs 45.1 ± 5.8 mL kg− 1 min− 1; P = 0.022), as well as vVO2max (14.5 ± 0.8 vs 13.9 ± 1.0 km h− 1P = 0.024) and Vpeak (15.5 ± 1.1 vs 15.2 ± 1.2 km h− 1P = 0.038), with no differences in the other variables.


Consumption of NO3-rich BRJ in natura (8.4 mmol NO3 day− 1) once per day for 3 days improved VO2max, vVO2max and Vpeak in recreational runners without changing the other analyzed variables.


Nitrate supplementation Nitric oxide Running Exercise nutritional science Physical endurance 



Blood lactate concentration


Peak blood lactate concentration


Adenosine triphosphate


Adenosine diphosphate


Beetroot juice supplementation


Effect size


Pre-glucose concentrations


Post-glucose concentrations


Heart rate


Maximum heart rate


Speed increment


Sodium nitrate


Nitric oxide


Nitric oxide synthase




Inorganic nitrate






Inorganic phosphate




Phosphate/oxygen ratio


Running economy


Rating of perceived exertion


Maximal rating of perceived exertion


Regulatory protein sirtuin


Number of seconds required to complete a stage


Number of seconds sustained during the incomplete stage


Running velocity of the last complete stage


Oxygen uptake


Maximum oxygen uptake


Peak velocity


Velocity associated with VO2max



We would like to thank the participants for their time and effort in this study.

Author contributions

All authors of this research paper have directly participated in the planning, execution, writing and analysis of this study. All authors of this paper have read and approved the final version submitted.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author(s) declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Talitha F. de Castro
    • 1
  • Francisco de Assis Manoel
    • 2
  • Diogo H. Figueiredo
    • 2
  • Diego H. Figueiredo
    • 2
  • Fabiana Andrade Machado
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Post-graduate Program of Physiological Sciences, Department of Physiological SciencesState University of Maringá-PRMaringáBrazil
  2. 2.Associate Post-graduate Program in Physical Education UEM/UEL, Department of Physical EducationState University of Maringá-PRMaringáBrazil

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