People who drink beet juice regularly can boost their exercise endurance, a new study finds.
Beet juice (also known as "beetroot juice") contains high levels of inorganic nitrates, which the plants take up through their roots. In the human body, inorganic nitrate converts to nitric oxide, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels.
Previous studies have found that beet juice lowers blood pressure in people with hypertension. Now, a new study finds that these same factors can translate to higher exercise endurance.
A team led by University of California researchers performed an experiment in which they had 14 healthy male subjects drink beet juice for 15 days, during which they took measurements pertaining to blood pressure and heart function.
They found that drinking the beet juice lowered blood pressure and caused blood vessels to relax and widen. Their hearts consumed less oxygen during exercise after beet juice consumption.
The findings suggest that beet juice can be used as a dietary supplement to enhance oxygen delivery to the muscles and reduce the work the heart does during exercise, scientists said. This means athletes could achieve a longer workout time before fatigue sets in, the researchers said.
Beet juice is widely available at health food stores.
© 2022 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.