Instead of consuming sports beverages and other high-sugar items as a way to replace liquids and electrolytes after high-performance exercise endeavors, athletes are turning to nutrient-dense options instead.
One of the most recent innovations to have a positive impact on the way athletes exercise is beetroot juice.
Beets offer a potent source of antioxidants that help to fuel the body. They contain high levels of nitrates as well, which improves the health of the athlete will encouraging a sustained performance. It converts into nitric oxide once consumed.
Why Is a High Level of Nitric Oxide Essential for Health?
If you have high levels of nitric oxide in your blood, then several health benefits occur. You can experience improved lung function, strengthen muscle contractions, and increase blood flow throughout the body.
This combination of forces results in an improvement in the cardiovascular and respiratory endurance for the athlete, which creates a sustained performance.
Nitric oxide also works as a signaling molecule in the body. It communicates with your soft tissues and cells to ensure an adequate level of oxygen occurs in the muscle groups which require it the most.
Consuming beetroot juice during a prolonged workout can improve your performance by up to 16%.
Does Beetroot Juice Always Help Athletes?
Although the early scientific evidence that links beetroot juice and performance is strong, there are some instances when it may not offer as many benefits.
If you train at a higher altitude where the air is thinner, then the decreased oxygen supply cannot feed your muscle cells as effectively. The beetroot juice still offers a transportation benefit, but it cannot create new oxygen supplies when there isn’t enough available.
Higher elevations also impact how nitric oxide works in the body, further decreasing the transportation benefit.
Some people may be allergic to beets, which would prevent them from drinking this juice as a way to encourage better performance.
Beetroot juice may also cause gastrointestinal issues in some individuals.
Are There Other Benefits that Come with Beet Juice?
Drinking beetroot juice may help people who are struggling with hypertension. The nitric oxide that occurs after consumption works to dilate and relax blood vessels, which improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system.
The phytonutrients found in beetroot juice are biologically active, with a profile that is similar to the compounds which are used in the recent fight against cancer. Betanin, which is a food dye that comes from beets, can reduce the size of prostate and breast cancer cells.
Beetroot juice offers a detoxification benefit as well. The nutrients help to cleanse the liver to prevent toxins from being absorbed by the body. You’ll receive higher levels of betaine when you drink the juice instead of consuming cooked beets, encouraging anti-inflammation effects in the body too.
If you find that you’re struggling to make it through your workout routines, then consider adding some beetroot juice to the mix. You may see that it can improve your energy, promote healing, and increase the efficiency of your exercise efforts.