Beetroot, bananas, superfoods and more.
More elite athletes than ever before are turning to nature to fuel their high performance needs.
If you watch closely, you’ll notice more athletes turning to coconut water to rehydrate during competition, snacking on bananas in between sets to help replace lost electrolytes, and turning to beetroot juice before competition to give them the boost and edge they need.
It is this beet juice, which is a personal favorite of mine, that we are going to take a closer look at today. We’re going to see how this is a must-have for you, elite athlete or otherwise, as well as my preferred way to drink it.
Beetroot Juice Increases Circulation
Beets contain loads of dietary nitrates, which cause the body to increase production of nitric oxide in the body.
Why is nitric oxide important?
Increased production of nitric oxide in the body causes blood vessels to relax and expand, thereby allowing for greater blood circulation. Greater blood circulation causes more oxygen and nutrients to be delivered via the blood to your cells.
To prove the effect beetroot juice has on circulation and energy, the University of Exeter conducted a couple of studies on male subjects that showed the participants were able to run up to 20 percent longer than a group of participants who drank a placebo.
Why might this be? Research conducted by Kansas State University showed that the nitrates found in beetroot increased blood flow to skeletal muscles during exercise by 38 percent!
Results like this show why products like SuperBeets have taken off in popularity. Fortunately, beets have a semi-sweet flavor, so turning them into a juice is not so distasteful as many other superfoods.
Heart Benefits of Beetroot Juice
The benefits of beet juice are for more than just athletes. There is a tremendous benefit to heart health and those dealing with heart disease generally as well.
The researchers at Kansas State noted that one of the most beneficial therapies for those with heart disease is getting up and moving around. The problem is, with decreased blood circulation, getting up and moving around can be very difficult and the therapy harder to come by. It can end up creating an endless loop that is harder to get out of. By increasing the blood flow, however, patients are more easily able to get up, walk around and interact with their families and friends, getting themselves out of that loop and into a beneficial therapy.
This isn’t just a theory, though. A study, albeit small, conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, showed subjects who drank beet juice gained a 13 percent increase in muscle power among the muscles that extend the knee. This is obviously very important for mobility, pointing directly to the Kansas State researcher’s assertion.
Staying on the theme of heart health, beetroot juice has also been shown to decrease blood pressure, it is assumed due to its ability to relax blood vessels, making blood flow easier and less restrictive.
The word is out, and there are a lot of beet juice products on the market
So, if you’re interested, take a look around and see if one works for you.
And always consult with your licensed health care practitioner whenever starting or changing any exercise, diet or treatment program.
Here’s to your health!
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