Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nitrate Supplementation Lowers Blood Pressure and Exercise O2 Costs

The hype around creatine and amino acid nitrates already calmed down. For many costumers (me included) real world results could not keep up with the promises made in glossy adverts. A recent study by Vanhatalo et al. (Vanhatalo. 2010) does yet show that nitrate supplementation can in fact influence physical responses to endurance exercise:

The exercise protocol (two moderate-intensity step tests followed by a ramp test) was repeated 2.5 hours following first ingestion (0.5 L) and after 5 and 15 days of BR and PL. Plasma [nitrite](Baseline: 454 ± 81 nM) was significantly elevated (+39% at 2.5 h post; +25% at 5 days; +46% at 15 days; P<0.05) and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (baseline: 127 ± 6 and 72 ± 5 mmHg, respectively) were reduced by ~4% throughout the BR supplementation period (P<0.05). Compared to PL, the steady-state O2 during moderate exercise was reduced by ~4% after 2.5 hours and remained similarly reduced after 5 and 15 days of BR (P<0.05). [...] These results indicate that dietary NO3-supplementation acutely reduces blood pressure and the O2 cost of sub-maximal exercise and that these effects are maintained for at least 15 days if supplementation is continued. 
Being on the low side of the blood pressure spectrum, my personal experience with VPX's Amino Acid Nitrate was that I got drowsy and came close to blacking out on squats. If you tend to get red like a tomato while exercising, you may however benefit from that effect.