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  • Author: Julia R. Casadio x
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Joseph A. McQuillan, Julia R. Casadio, Deborah K. Dulson, Paul B. Laursen and Andrew E. Kilding

Purpose: To determine the effect of NO3 consumption on measures of perception, thermoregulation, and cycling performance in hot conditions. Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, crossover design, 8 well-trained cyclists (mean ± SD age 25 ± 8 y, V˙O2 peak 64 ± 5 mL · kg−1 · min−1) performed 2 separate trials in hot (35°C, 60% relative humidity) environments, having ingested either 140 mL NO3-rich beetroot juice ∼8 mmol NO3 (NIT) or placebo (PLA) daily for 3 d with a 7-d washout period separating trials. Trials consisted of 2 × 10-min bouts at 40% and 60% peak power output (PPO) to determine physiological and perceptual responses to the heat, followed by a 4-km cycling time trial. Results: Basal [nitrite] was substantially elevated in NIT (2.70 ± 0.98 µM) vs PLA (1.10 ± 0.61 µM), resulting in a most likely (ES = 1.58 ± 0.93) increase after 3 d. There was a very likely trivial increase in rectal temperature in NIT at 40% (PLA 37.4°C ± 0.2°C vs NIT 37.5°C ± 0.3°C, 0.1°C ± 0.2°C) and 60% (PLA 37.8°C ± 0.2°C vs NIT 37.9°C ± 0.3°C, 0.1°C ± 0.2°C) PPO. Cycling performance was similar between trials (PLA 336 ± 45 W vs NIT 337 ± 50 W, CV ± 95%CL; 0.2% ± 2.5%). Outcomes for heart rate and perceptual measures were unclear across the majority of time points. Conclusions: Three days of NO3 supplementation resulted in small increases in rectal temperature during low- to moderate-intensity exercise, but this did not appear to influence 4-km cycling time-trial performance in hot climates.

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Emiel Schulze, Hein A.M. Daanen, Koen Levels, Julia R. Casadio, Daniel J. Plews, Andrew E. Kilding, Rodney Siegel and Paul B. Laursen


To determine the effect of thermal state and thermal comfort on cycling performance in the heat.


Seven well-trained male triathletes completed 3 performance trials consisting of 60 min cycling at a fixed rating of perceived exertion (14) followed immediately by a 20-km time trial in hot (30°C) and humid (80% relative humidity) conditions. In a randomized order, cyclists either drank ambient-temperature (30°C) fluid ad libitum during exercise (CON), drank ice slurry (−1°C) ad libitum during exercise (ICE), or precooled with iced towels and ice slurry ingestion (15g/kg) before drinking ice slurry ad libitum during exercise (PC+ICE). Power output, rectal temperature, and ratings of thermal comfort were measured.


Overall mean power output was possibly higher in ICE (+1.4% ± 1.8% [90% confidence limit]; 0.4 > smallest worthwhile change [SWC]) and likely higher PC+ICE (+2.5% ± 1.9%; 1.5 > SWC) than in CON; however, no substantial differences were shown between PC+ICE and ICE (unclear). Time-trial performance was likely enhanced in ICE compared with CON (+2.4% ± 2.7%; 1.4 > SWC) and PC+ICE (+2.9% ± 3.2%; 1.9 > SWC). Differences in mean rectal temperature during exercise were unclear between trials. Ratings of thermal comfort were likely and very likely lower during exercise in ICE and PC+ICE, respectively, than in CON.


While PC+ICE had a stronger effect on mean power output compared with CON than ICE did, the ICE strategy enhanced late-stage time-trial performance the most. Findings suggest that thermal comfort may be as important as thermal state for maximizing performance in the heat.