Ingestion of sodium nitrate (NO3 - ) simultaneously reduces whole-body oxygen consumption (VO2 ) during sub-maximal exercise while improving mitochondrial efficiency, suggesting a causal link. Consumption of beetroot juice (BRJ) elicits similar decreases in VO2 but potential effects on the mitochondria remain unknown. Therefore we examined the effects of 7-day supplementation with BRJ (280 ml d-1 , approximately 26 mmol NO3 - ) in young active males (n = 10) who had muscle biopsies taken before and after supplementation for assessments of mitochondrial bioenergetics. Subjects performed 20 min of cycling (10 min at 50% and 70% VO2peak ) 48 h before pre (baseline) and post (day 5 of supplementation) biopsies. Whole-body VO2 decreased (P < 0.05) by approximately 3% at 70% VO2peak following supplementation. Mitochondrial respiration in permeabilized muscle fibres showed no change in leak respiration, the content of proteins associated with uncoupling (UCP3, ANT1, ANT2), maximal substrate-supported respiration, or ADP sensitivity (apparent Km ). In addition, isolated subsarcolemmal and intermyofibrillar mitochondria showed unaltered assessments of mitochondrial efficiency, including ADP consumed/oxygen consumed (P/O Ratio), respiratory control ratios (RCR) and membrane potential determined fluorometrically using Safranine-O. In contrast, rates of mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2 ) emission were increased following BRJ. Therefore, in contrast to sodium nitrate, BRJ supplementation does not alter key parameters of mitochondrial efficiency. This occurred despite a decrease in exercise VO2 , suggesting that the ergogenic effects of BRJ ingestion are not due to a change in mitochondrial coupling or efficiency. It remains to be determined if increased mitochondrial H2 O2 contributes to this response. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- DIETARY NITRATE SUPPLEMENTATION
- MYOFIBRILLAR CA2+ SENSITIVITY
- TIME-TRIAL PERFORMANCE
- INORGANIC NITRATE
- OXIDATIVE STRESS