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  • Author: Kristy Martin x
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Kristy Martin, Disa Smee, Kevin G. Thompson and Ben Rattray

Purpose:

Nitrate supplementation improves endurance exercise and single bouts of high-intensity activity, but its effect on repeated sprints is unclear. This study is the first to investigate the effects of acute dietary nitrate supplementation during a high-intensity intermittent-sprint test to exhaustion.

Methods:

Team-sport athletes (9 male, age 22.3 ± 2.1 y, VO2max 57.4 ± 8.5 mL · kg−1 · min−1; 7 female, age 20.7 ± 1.3 y, VO2max 47.2 ± 8.5 mL · kg−1 · min−1) were assigned to a double-blind, randomized, crossover design. Participants consumed 70 mL of concentrated beetroot juice containing a minimum of 0.3 g of nitrate (NT) or 70 mL of placebo (PL) 2 h before a repeated-sprint protocol involving repeated 8-s sprints with 30-s recovery on a cycle ergometer to exhaustion.

Results:

Fewer sprints (NT = 13 ± 5 vs PL = 15 ± 6, P = .005, d = 0.41) and less total work (NT = 49.2 ± 24.2 kJ vs PL = 57.8 ± 34.0 kJ, P = .027, d = 0.3) were completed in NT relative to PL. However there was no difference in overall mean power output or the mean power output for each individual 8-s sprint.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that dietary nitrate is not beneficial for improving repeated-sprint performance, at least when such sprints are near-maximal and frequent in nature. The lack of an effect of nitrate at near-maximal oxygen uptake supports the suggestion that at greater exercise intensities nitrate does not have an ergogenic effect.

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Kristy Martin, Kevin G. Thompson, Richard Keegan and Ben Rattray

The aim of this study was to investigate whether individuals who engage in more frequent self-regulation are less susceptible to mental fatigue. Occupational cognitive demand and participation in sports or exercise were quantified as activities requiring self-regulation. Cardiorespiratory fitness was also assessed. On separate occasions, participants either completed 90 min of an incongruent Stroop task (mental exertion condition) or watched a 90-min documentary (control condition). Participants then completed a cycling time-to-exhaustion (physical endurance) test. There was no difference in the mean time to exhaustion between conditions, although individual responses varied. Occupational cognitive demand, participation in sports or exercise, and cardiorespiratory fitness predicted the change in endurance performance (p = .026, adjusted R 2 = .279). Only cognitive demand added significantly to the prediction (p = .024). Participants who reported higher levels of occupational cognitive demand better maintained endurance performance following mental exertion.