Science proclaims Beetroot as a Performance Booster
If you are fresh in the morning and start the day with a homemade freshly squeezed juice – then it is a good idea to add beets. Studies show that nature’s best source when it comes to increasing physical performance is beetroot juice. The juice streamlines your oxygen consumption during training, and this means that you can train at the same level, but keep the intensity for a longer time – or you can intensify the workout because your muscles use the oxygen more efficiently.
The natural source for increasing physical performance
Does nature have an answer to doping? How does it work? Why does it work? The simple answer is that your body needs more Oxygen, so make you perform better. When you train and improve your results, it is because your body becomes better at supplying oxygen to the muscles. Your lungs become able to take greater breaths, your heart rate and blood circulation are enhanced and your body even begins to produce more red blood cells to increase its oxygen-carrying capacity. It’s all about transporting oxygen ‘units’ to the cells in the muscles.
But the energy level, the raw energy output per. ‘Oxygen unit’ always stays the same – no matter who you are and what you do. You can train the body to send more oxygen, but not to utilize the oxygen more efficiently… or that is what we thought until we started investigating the capabilities of beetroot.
When using beet juice daily:
• Athletes could run, cycle and train at the same level as before, but consume less oxygen
• Athletes could run, cycle and train harder, but not get exhausted just as fast
• Free divers could hold their breath for an extra half minute
Nature’s best source for increasing physical performance. Beetroot juice streamlines your oxygen consumption during exercise. This means you can train at the same level but keep the intensity for longer. Or you can intensify your workout because your muscles use the oxygen more efficiently.
The science behind all this
Researchers put 8 men on bicycles and measured their oxygen consumption before and after a few days with a little beetroot juice in the diet. On the graph below are the dark red beetroot drinks, with the whites being the placebo group.
After just a few days of beetroot juice in the diet, the 8 cyclists were able to complete the exact same exercise but consume 19% less oxygen.
Then they speeded up the bikes to do a hard and intense stress test. Here they measured how quickly the test subjects became short of breath. The test subjects extended their time before exhaustion from 9 min. and 43 seconds to 11 min. and 15 seconds. An improvement in the time before exhaustion occurs of as much as 16%.
The researchers concluded that beetroot juice significantly prepares the body’s energy output. Researchers have repeated the experiment several times – in several different laboratories around the world – always with similar results. But the experiments have not only been repeated in laboratories, they have also been done out on the roads:
9 people were blind tested in a randomized placebo-controlled study. None of the test subjects knew if they were getting the right juice or the placebo juice. By single-start runs (time-trial / time-taking). At a distance of 4 and 16 kilometers, the researchers measured significant improvements after consuming beetroot juice. All 9 individuals completed both distances faster after drinking the beetroot juice.
The researchers took muscle biopsies from the individuals both before and after. Thereby they were able to provide evidence that their energy production at a sub-cellular level was improved.