Influence of Beetroot Juice Ingestion on Neuromuscular Performance on Semi-Professional Female Rugby Players: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study.

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Purpose: Beetroot juice (BRJ) is considered an ergogenic aid with good to strong evidence for improving human performance in sport modalities with similar demands to rugby. However, most of the studies were realized in male athletes with limited evidence in female athletes. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore the acute ingestion of BRJ in female rugby players. Methods: Fourteen semi-professional female rugby players (25.0 3.7 years) belonging to a team from the First Spanish Female Rugby Division participated in this study. Participants were randomly divided into two groups that realized a neuromuscular battery after BRJ (140mL, 12.8 mmol NO3 �����) or placebo (PLAC, 140 mL, 0.08 mmol NO3 �����) ingestion on two different days separated by one week between protocols. The neuromuscular test battery consisted of a countermovement jump (CMJ), isometric handgrip strength (i.e., dominant), 10-m and 30-m sprint, agility t-test and Bronco test. Afterwards, participants reported a rate of perception scale (6–20 points) and side effects questionnaire associated with BRJ or PLAC ingestion. Results: Statistically significant improvements were observed in CMJ (7.7%; p = 0.029; ES = 0.62), while no differences were reported in dominant isometric handgrip strength (�����1.7%; p = 0.274; ES = �����0.20); 10-m and 30-m sprint (0.5–0.8%; p = 0.441–0.588; ES = 0.03–0.18); modified agility t-test (�����0.6%; p = 0.503; ES = �����0.12) and Bronco test (1.94%; p = 0.459; ES = 0.16). Conclusions: BRJ ingestion could improve neuromuscular performance in the CMJ test, while no differences in sprint (10-m and 30-m sprint test), agility, isometric handgrip strength and endurance performance (i.e., Bronco test) were reported

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Female athletes, Endurance, Ergogenic aids, Nitrates, Sport nutrition