A study of beetroot juice’s health benefits suggests the elderly or individuals having lung or heart conditions can benefit from its performance enhancing properties.
Beetroot juice has become a big story in sports science recently after it was found that it can enable individuals to exercise for as much as 16% longer. These findings have resulted in numerous athletes, from professional cyclists to Premiership footballers, exploring its potential uses.
In this study low intensity exercise was looked at and the researchers discovered that individuals made use of less oxygen when walking, and the effort it took to walk was effectively reduced by 12%.
As a person gets older, or for those who have conditions where the cardiovascular system is affected, the amount of oxygen that can be taken in to use when exercising is considerably reduced. As a result, even simple tasks such as walking might not be manageable for some individuals.
Beetroot juice was shown in this study to in fact reduce the amount of oxygen needed to carry out even low-intensity exercise. In theory, this effect may help individuals do things they wouldn’t normally be capable of doing.
Beetroot juice has 2 notable physiological effects when drunk. It first of all widens blood vessels, blood pressure is reduced and more blood flow is allowed. It also has an impact on muscle tissue by decreasing the amount of oxygen required by muscles while active. The combination of these effects has a significant effect on the performance of physical tasks, whether it involves high or low-intensity effort.
Until this study, research on the effects of beetroot juice has only been conducted on healthy younger individuals, but this study indicates that the effects of beetroot juice could help others.
There are high levels of nitrate in beetroot juice, and this study has shown that this is the main ingredient that leads to the increase in performance, as opposed to any other beetroot juice component.