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Want to increase your endurance while doing something good for your overall health? Drink beet juice regularly, and you could soon be exercising up to 16% longer, according to a 2009 study conducted at the University of Exeter.
Professor Andrew Jones, who led the study, writes:
“We were amazed by the effects of beet juice on oxygen uptake because these effects [including a 16% boost in cyclists’ endurance, at greater speed] cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training.”
So how does it all happen? Beets contain dietary nitrate, which goes through a process in your body that causes you to need less oxygen to complete an endurance workout. Dr. Jarret Morrow breaks it down like this:
“Basically, the dietary nitrate source is reduced and converted in your body to nitrite, then to nitric oxide, NO, and possibly other biologically active nitrogen oxides. This pathway is actually enhanced during times of low oxygen tension and acidosis—which occurs while you’re exercising. In fact, this initial study found that the nitrate in the equivalent of 100-300 g of nitrate-rich vegetables such as spinach or beetroot when taken in the form, sodium nitrate (.1mmol/kg/day) resulted in a statistically significant trend towards increasing time to exhaustion. “
Subjects in the University of Exeter study were given 1 pint a day before working out. If you can’t stand the taste of beet juice, try adding some apple juice to the mix.
Do you drink beet juice regularly? If so, have you seen an improvement in your endurance? Beet juice is a staple in my household, so now we have all the more reason to drink up!
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