Health Boosting sports performance – with salad.

Boosting sports performance – with salad.

A bowl of vegetables could be the difference between coming first in a race or finishing outside the top ten, say researchers from the University of Queensland.

They have been studying the effects of dietary nitrates on endurance exercise performance.

“Dietary nitrates and their role in vascular function have led to them becoming progressively more popular among athletes attempting to enhance performance,” said UQ researcher Nick McMahon.

“We found a 0.8 per cent improvement in time trial performance following dietary nitrate supplementation which may be meaningful for athletes.”

“To put it into perspective, the difference between first and 12th place in the 10,000m running final at the London Olympics was only 0.66 per cent.”

The study formed part of a larger project to ensure the safest and most effective use of supplements in sport.

“The amount of dietary nitrates ingested in the trials was similar to that found in a typical green leafy bowl or bowl of vegetables,” Mr McMahon said.

“This means you could potentially improve your endurance exercise capacity through everyday foods.”

Mr McMahon’s research was conducted in collaboration with Dr Michael Leveritt of UQ, and Dr Toby Pavey of the Queensland University of Technology.

Read more about the study’s findings here. Story credit: University of Queensland newsroom.

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