The science behind beetroot
Dietary nitrate supplementation is widely recognised as one of the main innovations in sports nutrition over the last decade, due to its ability to enhance performance in a number of sports and exercise activities, including cycling, running and team-based sports.
Beetroot contains high amounts of dietary nitrate. Nitrate is absorbed into the blood and is converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is known to play a number of important roles in the regulation of blood flow and metabolism
After the consumption of nitrate, there are numerous physiological effects. One of the most striking is a reduction in the oxygen cost of exercise, which suggests that muscle has become more economical, or more efficient. There is a dilation of blood vessels to allow more blood and more oxygen to flow to the areas within the muscles that need it the most. , This is obviously a huge benefit . And of course, if you can improve muscle economy, then you ought to be able to improve performance.
“Most of our work has looked at the effects of nitrate pre-exercise, but there is some literature now looking at what happens post-exercise – in other words, recovery from exercise. And there’s some indications that it may be beneficial there as well. Now that could be because we get some dilation of blood vessels which enables oxygen to continue to flow and for waste products to be removed, but equally it seems that muscle damage which can occur following an unaccustomed bout of exercise is less pronounced when beetroot juice is consumed within that immediate recovery period.” (Beetitsport)
Beetroot juice contains a whole variety of other components as well including polyphenols and antioxidants and flavonols and such alike, therefore a factor of components within beetroot can contribute to these benefits and not solely nitrate.
Personal use – All of my PBs have come from when i have followed the dosing Guidelines mentioned below. I am not suggesting Beetroot is the reason but it 1000% helps in making sure my body is optimised to perform at my very best.
*This is not medically proven* but i have a Heart problem, which symptoms seem to ease when i consume beetroot juice mixed with orange juice. This may just be a placebo but a trend is there. This suggests many health benefits beetroot has can improve day-to-day health as well as athletic performance.
I have always searched for answers on how to improve my fitness or how to improve my running performance and Beetroot always seems to come up, along with other foods such as Dark chocolate which i will cover in another article.
Beet It sport –
Consume 1-2 shots one to three hours before training and for up to 6 days prior to competition
Beet It Sport is used by an extraordinarily high percentage of the worlds sporting elite; including teams in English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, International Rugby Union, NFL, NBA, MLS, NHL and individual Olympic and Paralympic athletes from a range of sporting disciplines. When you are testing the limits of endurance, give yourself no excuses.
The NN running team are fuelled by Beet it Sport. Arguably the strongest distance team in the world, it includes the likes of Eluid Kipchoge and Geoffrey Kamworor who hold World records in the half and full marathon.
Some recent studies you may want to further research are:
Chronic high-dose beetroot juice supplementation improves time trial performance of well-trained cyclists in normoxia and hypoxia – Nitric Oxide – Rokkedal-Lausch et al (2019) – Aalborg University, DK
Effects of Citrulline Malate and Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Blood Flow, Energy Metabolism, and Performance during Maximum Effort Leg Extension Exercise -Journal of Strength and ConditioningTrexler et al (2019) – North Carolina University, US
“Beet” the cold: beetroot juice supplementation improves peripheral blood flow, endothelial function, and anti-inflammatory status in individuals with Raynaud’s phenomenonJournal of Applied PhysiologyShepherd et al (2019) – University of Portsmouth, UK
To read more on this please click here to head over to Beet it sports website.
Any feedback in the comments is welcome and any suggestions or questions are always helpful. Thanks for reading!!!