Nitric oxide, known as nitrate, is a molecule that contributes to several physiological functions, among them: vasodilation, muscle glucose uptake and mitochondrial respiration. Because of this, it is believed that maximizing nitric oxide production and availability can improve exercise performance. This increase in production can be leveraged by an intake of nitrate, a precursor to nitrite that will be reduced to nitric oxide. Due to the various factors mentioned above, the hypothesis was created that nitrate supplementation could improve performance in CrossFit athletes.
A double-blind, randomized, cross-design clinical trial was conducted to examine the effect of nitrate supplementation for 6 days in trained CrossFit athletes. The study, called “The effect of six days of dietary nitrate supplementation on performance in trained CrossFit athletes”, evaluated 12 men between 25 and 30 years old, with two different types of supplementation for 6 days: potassium nitrate capsules 8 mmol/d, one consumed in the morning, one in the evening, and potassium chloride capsules without nitrate 8 mmol/d, consumed at the same time as the previous one.
The evaluations performed for the possible comparison were: strength, maximum power, resistance and performance in Crossfit. As a result, the items strength, sports performance and endurance did not have significant increases compared to the period prior to supplementation. However, the maximum power index improved after supplementation.
Thus, the study did not provide sufficient data to justify nitrate supplementation for men practicing CrossFit. Thus, further studies are needed to ensure the positive effects of the supplementation in question.
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KRAMER, Samuel J.; BAUR, Daniel A.; SPICER, Mary T.; VUKOVICH, Matthew D.; ORMSBEE, Michael J.. The effect of six days of dietary nitrate supplementation on performance in trained CrossFit athletes. Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition, , v. 13, [S .L.]n. 1, 5 Jan. 2016. Informs UK Limited. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12970-016-0150-y.