Report Title

The Effect of Dietary Nitrate and Anthocyanins on Anaerobic Exercise Performance

Collective Title

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Research Reports 2019


Background: Previously, beetroot and tart cherry supplementations have been investigated for their effects on exercise performance and recovery separately. Beetroot containing nitrate has been used to improve blood flow to enhance exercise tolerance. Tart cherry extract containing anthocyanins has been shown to lower inflammation and improve recovery time in exercise performance.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate a possible synergistic effect of nitrate and anthocyanins on exercise performance in healthy individuals.

Design: This was a double-blind, randomized crossover study with a duration of twenty-nine days. Inclusion criteria included healthy individuals, able to exercise on a stationary bike, and willing to abstain from caffeine, mouthwash, and high antioxidant foods. Exclusion criteria included orthopedic injuries, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), known allergy to tart cherry and/or beetroot, and pregnant or breastfeeding.

Participants: Healthy men (n=6) and women (n=23), ranging between 19 and 35 years of age. Participants were recruited from Loma Linda University and surrounding cities.

Intervention: Participants were randomized into two groups after baseline. Treatment A was supplemented with 5.05g (3.62 mmol) of beetroot powder and placebo. Treatment B was supplemented with 5.05g (3.62 mmol) of beetroot powder and 480 mg tart cherry capsule for seven-days, followed by a seven-day washout period. Treatment was alternated at the end of the 14-day period.

Main outcomes: exercise performance (heart rate, speed, and distance)

Secondary outcomes: serum lactate and allantoin

Statistics: A mixed model analysis was used to measure changes in continuous variables. Mean and standard deviation were calculated for treatment A and treatment B.

Results: During the first five seconds of the 30 second sprint, heart rate of treatment A was significantly lower than treatment B. Difference in heart rate ranged from 1.6 to 2.7 BPM. Participants in treatment B pedaled five meters farther, than treatment A. This outcome was not statistically significant. No significant differences were observed between both treatments on rpm, blood pressure, lactate, and allantoin.

Conclusion: Supplementation with beetroot powder and tart cherry for seven days may synergistically improve anaerobic exercise performance by maximizing potential heart rate and energy output.

LLU Discipline

Nutrition and Dietetics


Nutrition and Dietetics


School of Allied Health Professions

First Advisor

JeJe Noval

Second Advisor

Gurinder Bains

Third Advisor

Bruce Bradley

Fourth Advisor

Pablo Mleziva

Fifth Advisor

Christine Wilson

Sixth Advisor

Sergio Ortiz

Seventh Advisor

Kristin Devore

Eighth Advisor

Keiji Oda

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Anthocyanins--Physiological effect; Exercise physiology; Inflammatory mediators


Research Report

Page Count

34 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Research Reports

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. University Libraries.