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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 118, Issue 11, pp 2465–2476 | Cite as

Effect of 1-week betalain-rich beetroot concentrate supplementation on cycling performance and select physiological parameters

  • Petey W. Mumford
  • Wesley C. Kephart
  • Matthew A. Romero
  • Cody T. Haun
  • C. Brooks Mobley
  • Shelby C. Osburn
  • James C. Healy
  • Angelique N. Moore
  • David D. Pascoe
  • William C. Ruffin
  • Darren T. Beck
  • Jeffrey S. Martin
  • Michael D. Roberts
  • Kaelin C. Young
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Betalains are indole-derived pigments found in beet root, and recent studies suggest that they may exert ergogenic effects. Herein, we examined if supplementation for 7 days with betalain-rich beetroot concentrate (BLN) improved cycling performance or altered hemodynamic and serum analytes prior to, during and following a cycling time trial (TT).

Methods

Twenty-eight trained male cyclists (29 ± 10 years, 77.3 ± 13.3 kg, and 3.03 ± 0.62 W/kg) performed a counterbalanced crossover study whereby BLN (100 mg/day) or placebo (PLA) supplementation occurred over 7 days with a 1-week washout between conditions. On the morning of day seven of each supplementation condition, participants consumed one final serving of BLN or PLA and performed a 30-min cycling TT with concurrent assessment of several physiological variables and blood markers.

Results

BLN supplementation improved average absolute power compared to PLA (231.6 ± 36.2 vs. 225.3 ± 35.8 W, p = 0.050, d = 0.02). Average relative power, distance traveled, blood parameters (e.g., pH, lactate, glucose, NOx) and inflammatory markers (e.g., IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNFα) were not significantly different between conditions. BLN supplementation significantly improved exercise efficiency (W/ml/kg/min) in the last 5 min of the TT compared to PLA (p = 0.029, d = 0.45). Brachial artery blood flow in the BLN condition, immediately post-exercise, tended to be greater compared to PLA (p = 0.065, d = 0.32).

Conclusions

We report that 7 days of BLN supplementation modestly improves 30-min TT power output, exercise efficiency as well as post-exercise blood flow without increasing plasma NOx levels or altering blood markers of inflammation, oxidative stress, and/or hematopoiesis.

Keywords

Betalains Exercise efficiency Blood flow Cycling 

Abbreviations

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

BLN

Betalain-rich beetroot concentrate

CO

Cardiac output

EPO

Erythropoietin

FMD

Flow-mediated dilation

HR

Heart rate

NO

Nitric oxide

PLA

Placebo

RER

Respiratory exchange ratio

TBARS

Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances

TT

Time trial

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by a contract awarded to Auburn University (MDR) and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine—Auburn Campus (KCY and JSM) from FutureCeuticals (Momence, IL USA). Contract monies were used for participant compensation and assay-related costs.

Author contributions

Conception and study design: MDR, KCY, JSM. Data collection: PWM, WCK, MAR, CTH, CBM, SCO, JCH, ANM, WCR, KCY. Data analysis: PMW, KCY, MDR, JSM. Manuscript preparation: PMW, MDR, KCY. All authors reviewed, edited and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have conflicts of interest to declare regarding the publication of these data.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petey W. Mumford
    • 1
  • Wesley C. Kephart
    • 2
  • Matthew A. Romero
    • 1
  • Cody T. Haun
    • 1
  • C. Brooks Mobley
    • 1
  • Shelby C. Osburn
    • 1
  • James C. Healy
    • 1
    • 3
  • Angelique N. Moore
    • 3
  • David D. Pascoe
    • 1
  • William C. Ruffin
    • 3
  • Darren T. Beck
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jeffrey S. Martin
    • 1
    • 3
  • Michael D. Roberts
    • 1
    • 3
  • Kaelin C. Young
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.School of KinesiologyAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin-WhitewaterWhitewaterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cell Biology and PhysiologyEdward Via College of Osteopathic MedicineAuburnUSA

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