Organic Beetroot Juice as a Performance Enhancing Drink.
In the UK there have been studies observing the effects of organic beetroot juice to boost stamina and as an enhancer to athletic performance. Studies carried out in Exeter University showed very promising results that when compared with a group of men taking a placebo of blackcurrant juice the target group actually performed above average in their ability to cycle on an exercise bike.
The groups were given 500ml a day of their respective drinks over a seven day period and then completed the second set of cycling tests to compare the before and after results. The conclusions from the results were that those taking the beetroot juice increased endurance and were able to cycle for a considerably longer time than those that had not. Another observation was that this group also had a lower resting blood pressure than those drinking blackcurrant juices.
It is believed that the beetroot juice with its rich nitrate source have the ability to reduce the amount of oxygen burnt up by the body during the exercise. The beetroot juice reduces blood pressure and was shown to be significantly lowered within a 24 hour period of first consuming the beetroot juice; this was even in people with a normally low blood pressure.
The scientists believe it is the inorganic nitrate that is changed into a gas when digested has the ability to open and relax the blood vessels in the body thus keeping the blood pressure down. Beetroot is also a high source of carbohydrate so this will have the effect of carbohydrate loading such as what athlete do in preparation for an event.
This research is not only promising to those who are interested in increasing their performance in sports but also for those who may be either suffering from or at risk of developing high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, hypertension or stroke. In this case it may be of interest to older people to include beetroot in their diet or beetroot in capsule form.
The study may be based on the consumption of organic beetroot juice over a set period of time, the way athletes will increase the amount of carbohydrate they ingest before a big race to ensure they have the fuel they need. However, it may be possible to improve blood pressure by taking beetroot in capsule form or simply by including it in your regular diet. Also it is possible that by taking nitrate capsules you would receive these same effects though I have to say I believe in consuming foods in their natural form so would prefer to juice and increase beets in my regular diet.