Rachel Tan
PhD student

Research

Research projects

Project Title: The effect of dietary nitrate supplementation during moderate intensity exercise on glycogen depletion, cardiopulmonary function, and exercise performance

Supervisors: Professor Andy Jones, Dr. Bryan Taylor, Dr. Anni Vanhatalo

Funding Body: Self-funded

Project Description:
An acute dose of nitrate-rich beetroot juice (BR) can significantly reduce the time to complete a 4.0 and 16.1 km (Lansley et al., 2011) but not a 50 mile (Wilkerson et al., 2012) time trial. Performance benefits have been significantly correlated with the reduction in plasma [nitrite] during exercise. This greater reduction of plasma [nitrite] likely increases the bioavailability of NO, which would induce the following purported effects: improving blood flow and distribution (Ferguson et al., 2013), improving the force production per ATP cost (Hernandez et al., 2012) and improving mitochondrial efficiency by having NO be a substitute in the electron transport chain instead of O2 (Larsen et al., 2011), in aggregation contributing to reducing the O2 cost of exercise (Lansley et al., 2011). During longer exercise bouts (2+ hours), plasma [nitrite] may be substantially reduced during the initial phase of exercise (~1 hour) such that performance benefits of supplementation may not be elicited late in prolonged exercise. It is possible that additional ingestion of BR during exercise may maintain elevated plasma [nitrite] and thus provide an ergogenic effect. This may also alter substrate utilisation, slow the depletion of muscle glycogen and improve pulmonary perfusion. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the performance benefits of ingesting BR prior to, and during 2 hours of cycling and to establish the effects of supplementation on glycogen depletion and cardiopulmonary function during exercise.

Publications/Presentations:

(i) Articles Submitted to Refereed Journals

Gillen JB, Percival ME, Skelly LE, Martin BJ, Tan RB, Tarnopolsky MA, Gibala MJ. Three minutes of all-out intermittent exercise per week increases skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and improves cardiometabolic health. [Accepted to PLOSONE on September 10th, 2014]

Martin BJ, Tan RB, Gillen JB, Percival ME, Gibala MJ. No effect of short-term green tea extract supplementation on metabolism at rest or during exercise in the fed-state. [Ahead of print June 5th, 2014, IJSNEM-0202-2013]

(ii) Non-Refereed Contributions

Gillen JB, Skelly LE, Tan RB, Martin BJ, Percival ME, Tarnopolsky MA, Gibala MJ. Sex specific adaptations to very low-volume high-intensity interval training in overweight men and women. Med Sci Sports Exerc 46:S557, 2014.

Martin BJ, Tan RB, Gillen JB, Percival ME, Gibala MJ. No effect of acute green tea extract supplementation on exercise metabolism or time trial performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 45:S551, 2013.

(iii) Conference Presentations

Tan RB*, Nederveen JP, Gillen JB, Parise G, Gibala MJ. Fibre-type specific angiogenic response of human skeletal muscle to very low volume high-intensity training. Bertha Rosenstadt National Research Conference; oral (National – 4th year thesis work)

Tan RB*, Nederveen JP, Gillen JB, Parise G, Gibala MJ. Fibre-type specific angiogenic response of human skeletal muscle to very low volume high-intensity training. 5th Annual Muscle Health Awareness Day; poster (Provincial – 4th year thesis work)

Tan RB*, Nederveen JP, Gillen JB, Parise G, Gibala MJ. Fiber-type specific capillarization in human skeletal muscle following low-volume high-intensity interval training. Ontario Exercise Physiology Annual Winter Meeting; oral (Provincial – 4th year thesis work)

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