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Science In Sport launch new Nitrate range that claims to help cyclists 'use less oxygen at higher workloads’

The new range “enables you to go faster for longer" they claim

The new range includes powders, shots, bars and gels for pre-loading and intra-session intake.

In the pursuit of those famous marginal gains, nutrition is key. There are plenty of products out there, from simple carbohydrate drinks through to the fancy-sounding and very expensive ketones. Some are genuinely useful and provide a tangible performance benefit. Some stray more towards snake-oil.

Review: Science in Sport Beta Fuel

The latest performance nutrition products from SIS centres around Nitrate which SIS’ Dr James Morton suggests “can improve […] cycling efficiency, by reducing the oxygen cost of exercise.” This, they claim, “enables you to go faster for longer.”

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SIS Performance Nitrate gel 2

The evidence that Morton references has lead to the recommendation that “chronic loading can further enhance performance compared to just pre-race strategies”. You will need to take quite a bit for the loading to be effective with “upwards of 1000mg nitrate per day for 3-7 days prior to a competition” needed.

What the known research states

Ingested nitrates are reduced to nitrite and nitric oxide on the tongue, in the stomach, within circulation and in the muscle. As nitric oxide is important in several processes that may support or enhance exercise performance, it is perhaps this nitrate-to-nitrite-to-nitric oxide journey that is crucial when considering the performance enhancing capacity of nitrate supplementation. Following intake, blood nitrate concentration peaks after 1-2 hours and blood nitrite peaks after 2-3 hours. The body stores of nitrate and nitrite may also be increased through dietary intake.

Using a combination of chronic loading, an acute dose and intra-session intake, plasma nitrate was significantly elevated after 90 minutes and plasma nitrite was significantly elevated after 120 minutes of riding when compared to chronic and acute dosing only. This elevated plasma nitrate and nitrite attenuated the rise in oxygen uptake from 30-120 minutes compared to placebo, resulting in a reduced oxygen cost of exercise for those using nitrates during exercise. 

Dr James Morton, Science in Sport - read more here

The new range includes a Performance Nitrate Gel for use during exercise. It packs 20g Carbohydrate & 250mg Nitrates per gel and is available in apple, blood orange or strawberry flavour. A box of 30 gels will cost £55.

SIS Performance Nitrate powder 2

For before & during exercise, the Performance Nitrate Bar offers 30g Carbohydrate & 250mg Nitrates per bar. The bars are available individually (£1.89) or as a box of six (£11). They are available in apple or strawberry flavour

For chronic loading in the days prior to a big event, the Performance Nitrate Power provides 48g Carbohydrate & 500mg Nitrates per serving. It is available in pink grapefruit or cherry cola flavour and will cost £23 for a 550g bag.

We’ll load up on nitrate and report back.

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