Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Beth Senne-Duff


Joseph Bonilla


Neeta Singh


Nitrate ingestion improves aerobic exercise performance, but the efficacy in resistance training has not been established. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether consuming whole beetroot, as a means to ingest nitrate, had an ergogenic benefit in muscular power and endurance in resistance training in powerlifters and physique competitors. Thirteen men and women (mean ± SE age, 21.2 ± 0.8 y; mass, 83.1 ± 5.9 kg) that had competed in a powerlifting or a physique competition in the previous year were studied in a randomized double blind controlled crossover trial with a seven day washout period. Participants ingested 200g of beetroot or cranberry puree (control) 2.5 hours prior to performing ten sets on the bench press with 50% of their one repetition maximum with each set taken to fatigue. Between each set 120 seconds of rest was given. Heart rate and rate of perceived exertion was measured throughout the protocol and blood pressure was measured prior to the protocol. No differences were found for total repetitions, work, or power output between trials for the ten sets (P>0.05). No differences were found for heart rate or perceived exertion between trials (P>0.05). Systolic blood pressure tended to be lower in the beetroot trial (beetroot, 118 ± 3.3 mmHg; control, 124 ± 4.8 mmHg), but was not statistically significant (P= 0.238). In conclusion, beetroot ingestion did not provide a statistically significant difference in muscular endurance or power in the bench press. Beetroot would not be recommended as an ergogenic aid in these groups under these conditions. It is possible a beetroot loading period is needed to see a greater change in performance.

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