Nitrate-rich beetroot juice offsets salivary acidity following carbohydrate ingestion before and after endurance exercise in healthy male runners

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Abstract

There have been recent calls for strategies to improve oral health in athletes. High carbohydrate diets, exercise induced dehydration and transient perturbations to immune function combine to increase oral disease risk in this group. We tested whether a single dose of nitrate (NO3-) would offset the reduction in salivary pH following carbohydrate ingestion before and after an exercise bout designed to cause mild dehydration. Eleven trained male runners ( 53 ± 9 ml∙kg-1∙min-1, age 30 ± 7 years) completed a randomised placebo-controlled study comprising four experimental trials. Participants ingested the following fluids one hour before each trial: (a) 140 ml of water (negative-control), (b) 140 ml of water (positive-control), (c) 140 ml of NO3- rich beetroot juice (~12.4 mmol NO3-) (NO3- trial) or (d) 140 ml NO3- depleted beetroot juice (placebo-trial). During the negative-control trial, participants ingested 795 ml of water in three equal aliquots: before, during, and after 90 min of submaximal running. In the other trials they received 795 ml of carbohydrate supplements in the same fashion. Venous blood was collected before and after the exercise bout and saliva was sampled before and repeatedly over the 20 min following carbohydrate or water ingestion. As expected, nitrite (NO2-) and NO3- were higher in plasma and saliva during the NO3- trial than all other trials (all P<0.001). Compared to the negative-control, salivary-pH was significantly reduced following the ingestion of carbohydrate in the positive-control and placebo trials (both P <0.05). Salivary-pH was similar between the negative-control and NO3- trials before and after exercise despite ingestion of carbohydrate in the NO3- trial (both P≥0.221). Ingesting NO3- attenuates the expected reduction in salivary-pH following carbohydrate supplements and exercise-induced dehydration. NO3- should be considered by athletes as a novel nutritional strategy to reduce the risk of developing acidity related oral health conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0243755
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020

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