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Beetroot juice ingestion does not improve neuromuscular performance and match-play demands in elite female hockey players: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-01, 15:08 authored by Álvaro López-Samanes, Alberto Pérez-Lopez, Esther Morencos, Alejandro Muñoz, Adriaan Kühn, Violeta Sánchez-Migallón, Víctor Moreno-Pérez, Pablo González-Frutos, Anna Bach-Faig, Justin Roberts, Raúl Domínguez
Purpose Beetroot juice is a dietary supplement that contains high levels of inorganic nitrate (NO3-) and that its intake has proven effective at increasing blood nitric oxide (NO) concentrations improving endurance performance. However, the effect of this supplement in team sport performance, especially in female athletes, has been barely studied. This study aimed to compare the acute effects of beetroot juice supplementation on neuromuscular performance and match-play demands in elite female field hockey players. Methods Eleven elite female hockey players (22.8 ± 5.1 years) belonging to a bronze team medal in Eurohockey Club Champions Cup participated in this study. Participants were randomly divided into two groups undergoing a test battery with beetroot juice (70 mL, 6.4 mmol NO3−) or placebo (70 mL, 0.04 mmol NO3−) in two different days with one week between protocols. The neuromuscular test battery consisted of a countermovement jump, isometric handgrip strength (i.e., dominant hand), 20 m-sprint and repeated sprint ability test (RSA). Afterward, a simulated hockey match play (2 × 12.5 min) was performed and recorded by Global Positioning System (GPS). Results No statistically significant improvements were observed in any physical parameters analysed comparing beetroot juice compared to placebo ingestion, countermovement jump (p = 0.776, ES = 0.16), isometric handgrip strength (p = 0.829; ES = – 0.08), 20 m sprint test (p = 0.227; ES = – 0.23), mean repeated sprint ability (p = 0.955, ES = 0.03) and in any physical match demands measured by GPS (p = 0.243–1.000; ES = 0.02–0.47). Conclusion Acute beetroot juice supplementation did not produce any statistically significant improvement in neuromuscular performance or match-play demands in elite female field hockey players.



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European Journal of Nutrition




Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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  • Accepted version


  • eng

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Faculty of Science & Engineering

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