The Effect of Beetroot Powder Supplementation on Intermittent Cycling Performance

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Maureen Dunn, Department of Kinesiology

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We examined the effect of beetroot powder (BR) supplementation on intermittent cycling performance. BR powder is a concentrate made out of beets which is rich in nitrites and nitrates which have been shown to improve blood flow. Prior studies have reported an ergogenic effect of BR supplementation on endurance and intermittent exercise performance; however, these findings are not conclusive and further study is warranted. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to determine the effect of BR powder supplementation on intermittent cycling performance in college students. Our hypothesis was that BR powder supplementation would improve intermittent cycling performance compared to a placebo powder as measured by increased mean power output over a series of twelve 6 second sprints. Twelve Hope College students took part in the study. Participants were familiarized with the cycling protocol prior to performing experimental trials, which consisted of twelve 6s maximal cycle sprints each interspersed with 24s of passive rest. Prior to each experimental trial, participants ingested BR powder or placebo for 3 consecutive days in a double-blind counterbalanced manner. Powders were mixed with 6-8 oz of water or juice for ingestion, and ingestion was supervised by student researchers. The final dose was ingested 30 minutes before cycling. Each dose of BR contained 6 mmol Nitrates, while the placebo powder was nitrate-free. This study is ongoing, and results will be available during the poster celebration.

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