The nitrate found in beet and other foods can be metabolized into nitric oxide (NO) which improves athletic performance and cardiovascular health. In fact, beet juice has become one of the most popular ergogenic supplements for athletes.
The importance of cardiorespiratory fitness for athletes and active adults is essential. This component of fitness refers to the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to working muscles during prolonged exercise. Did you know tnah beets containing a lot of nitrate help in this sense !
Beets are a rich source of powerful antioxidants, such as vitamin C, carotenoids, phenolic acids and flavonoids, as well as nitrates. Nitrate is a chemical that occurs naturally in some foods and is converted to nitric oxide when consumed.
A study [] conducted by researchers at Washington University of Medicine showed beneficial effects of beets on cardiovascular health, muscle efficiency and physical performance []. bacteria in the mouth convert nitrate into nitrite which is converted into nitric oxide which is a vasodilator. This dilation of the blood vessels causes a drop in blood pressure and therefore an increase in blood flow to the muscles and the heart which are thus better supplied with oxygen.
The demand for oxygen and therefore energy drops during exercise by up to 15%. Drinking 0.5 liters of beet juice [] would increase endurance and athletic performance thanks to its nitrate concentration.
Where to find nitrates outside of beets
Nitrates content (mg / 100g fresh weight)
Artichoke, asparagus, broad bean, eggplant, garlic, onion, green bean, mushroom, pea, pepper, potato, summer squash, sweet potato, tomato, watermelon
20 to <50
Broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, pumpkin, chicory
50 to <100
Cabbage, dill, turnip, kale
100 to <250
Celeri root, Chinese cabbage, endive, fennel, kohlrabi, leek, parsley
Celery, watercress, chervil, lettuce, beetroot, spinach, arugula
500 ml of beet juice during the 6 days preceding the competition. 1 drink, two and a half hours before the start on the day of the competition. To avoid digestion problems, take beet juice cures during periods of no competition. Take 2 week breaks between treatments for an improved effect.
The other benefits of beets
· decreases hypertension
According to studies about chronic hypertension, beet juice is high in nitrate. When you eat beets or drink beet juice, the nitrate is converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator and works by relaxing and dilating your blood vessels to increase blood flow. It directly affects the pressure in your blood vessels. Research indicates a significant decrease in blood pressure three hours after drinking 500ml of beet juice.
lThis beetroot extract contains anti-cancer compounds similar to some prescription anti-cancer drugs. betanin helps reduce the size of breast and prostate cancer cells.
Beets and beet juice are a rich source of betalains. Betalains are phytonutrients that help reduce inflammation in the body. They work by decreasing the activity of certain enzymes that can trigger inflammation.
Cut the leaves and brush and wash the beets well, making sure to get rid of any soil residue. Then, soak them for 10 minutes in vinegar water and rinse them with water. Immerse the beets in boiling water with vinegar and simmer for 45 minutes until soft. Filter the beet juice through a colander. Put the cooled juice in the refrigerator and consume for up to a week in the fridge. With grated or cubed cooked beets, you can make a salad (remember to remove the skin). With the leaves and green shoots set aside we can make a soup.
Beets can be eaten by cooking the vegetable, drinking the juice, or even via a dehydrated powdered supplement. Drinking a glass of beet juice before your next workout may just give you the boost you need.
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 Coggan et al., « Acute Dietary Nitrate Intake Improves Muscle Contractile Function in Patients With Heart Failure ».  Jones et al., « Dietary Nitrate and Physical Performance ».  « Using beetroot juice to enhance sport performance | REF2014 | University of Exeter ».