New research from the University of Exeter suggests that Beetroot Juice could be beneficial to the performance of endurance athletes.
The research was carried out on a trial group of cyclists and showed that when the group drank ordinary beetroot juice they had a higher power outputs, suggesting their muscles and cardio-vascular system were working more efficiently.
Beetroot juice is a natural source of nitrate, which is thought to be the active ingredient affecting athlete’s performance.
The nitrate has two physiological effects. Firstly, it widens blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and allowing more blood flow. Secondly, it affects muscle tissue, reducing the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during activity. The combined effects have a significant impact on performing physical tasks, whether it involves low-intensity or high-intensity effort.
Full details of the research are at: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/research/news/title_145007_en.html