Red Beet Juice PowerSeptember 23, 2011 Written by JP [Font too small?]
In the field of athletics, the term “performance enhancers” has taken on a negative connotation of late. The very mention of it frequently conjures up images of professional athletes “juicing up” on anabolic steroids or synthetic stimulants. Fortunately, in recent years, scientists have uncovered an all natural and much safer alternative that may just improve physical capacity and support cardiovascular health.
According to several, peer-reviewed scientific studies, the solution may lie in the humble red beet (Beta vulgaris). Athletes who consume red beet juice, a rich source of naturally occurring antioxidants and nitrates, consistently find benefits in trial performance in a number of activities ranging from bicycling to knee-extensor exercises. The key to the greater stamina reported likely involves the ability of beet juice to improve circulation and increase peripheral tissue oxygenation. What’s more, beet root juice also supports cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure, irregular blood clotting and, possibly, high triglycerides as well.
If there is a down side to drinking red beet juice, it would be its high sugar content. The best way to derive the benefits of beet juice while limiting sugar intake is to supplement with beet root juice extracts or powders. For instance, one the most popular products on the market yields only 5 grams of sugar per concentrated tablespoon of beet juice powder. Finally, if you decide to try beet root juice and you find a distinct reddening when you use the bathroom, don’t worry. This is a well known reaction known as beeturia which affects approximately 14% of the population.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Acute Dietary Nitrate Supplementation Improves Cycling Time … (link)
Study 2 - Dietary Nitrate Supplementation Enhances Exercise Performance … (link)
Study 3 - Dietary Nitrate Supplementation Reduces the O2 Cost of Walking … (link)
Study 4 - Acute and Chronic Effects of Dietary Nitrate Supplementation On … (link)
Study 5 - Dietary Nitrate Supplementation Enhances Muscle Contractile … (link)
Study 6 - All-Natural Nitrite and Nitrate Containing Dietary Supplement … (link)
Study 7 - Acute Blood Pressure Lowering, Vasoprotective, and Antiplatelet … (link)
Nitrate-Rich Beet Juice May Lower Blood Pressure
Source: Hypertension. 2010 Aug;56(2):274-81. (link)
Tags: Circulation, Heart Health, High Blood Pressure
Posted in Exercise, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements