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Research & development

Beetroot juice and athletic performance
3 okt

Beetroot juice and athletic performance

Beetroot juice and athletic performance

More and more evidence exists that beetroot juice boosts your endurance performance. But how exactly does it help? Beets are a vegetable rich in inorganic nitrates. In the body nitrate is converted to nitric oxide which improves muscle oxygen efficiency during exercise, meaning that the oxygen cost of exercise at a particular intensity is reduced, i.e. more power can be produced for the same effort. We asked ourselves: Does beetroot juice benefit athletic performance at altitude? At altitude less oxygen is delivered to the muscles. For that reason improved muscle efficiency could be especially helpful at altitude. In our altitude facility at the KU Leuven (Bakala Academy), 15 young healthy volunteers participated in three experimental sessions according to a cross-over study design. One baseline session was performed at sea level. The two others sessions were at altitude and subjects received from 6 days prior to each session either beetroot juice [500 ml (≈ 300 mg nitrate)] or a placebo drink. The session consisted of a submaximal cycling test at 45%VO2max and a maximal incremental test to exhaustion (50 W + 20 W/min). During the submaximal cycling test at altitude, beetroot juice improved oxygen efficiency by +4% (P

 

Free full text paper can be found here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22773768

 

Evi Masschelein

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