It has been known for quite some time that consuming beetroot is beneficial to health, but it took some good-looking Olympic athletes singing the praises of beetroot juice for us to take it seriously as a performance enhancer and dig a little deeper on the subject.
The nutrient rich beetroot contains:
Betacyanin, Silica, Glycine Betaine and Methionine (essential amino acid).
Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Copper, Selenium, Zinc, Iron and Managanese.
Flavenoids and Carotenoids.
Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B9 (folic acid) and C.
What this means for health and sporting performance:
You can already tell that I am going to reel off an extensive list of benefits just by looking at the list above. As well as the obvious benefits that accompany the intake of an array of vitamins and minerals, there is much more to this super juice!
The antioxidants present in beetroot juice work to prevent cell and DNA damage which can slow down the signs of aging. If you want healthy, young looking skin this will certainly do the trick!
Betacyanin is responsible for the deep red colour of beetroot. It has also been backed by scientific study as an anti-cancer agent for colon cancer and was rated as the most popular alternative cancer treatment by patients in a German study.
The Silica present in beetroot juice helps the body to utilise calcium effectively, strengthening bones and enhancing teeth, nails, hair and skin!
Glycine Betaine and Methionine support liver detoxification while protecting the integrity of cells. Beetroot juice is also known to improve digestive health and regulate metabolism.
The high nitrate content of beetroot juice is supported by clinical research as effective in decreasing blood pressure within 1 hour of consumption. This helps to prevent cardiac issues such as myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke.
It has also been found to help with anaemia by aiding the absorption of iron, increasing the blood count of erythrocytes (red blood cells) and improving circulation.
Now for the main reason that athletes drink beetroot juice (as if this list wasn’t convincing enough); it boosts stamina! Beetroot juice helps to maximise the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells which increases the efficient uptake of oxygen during exercise. It also decreases the oxygen required for performance so we feel less fatigued, more energetic and don’t even see ‘the wall’ let alone crash through it! It has even been referred to as ‘legal blood doping’ by a few newspapers because of its effectiveness.
If you want to improve overall health and endurance or you are looking for an alternative to nitric oxide supplements, this is an amazing juice to try! If you don’t want the hassle of preparing a juice yourself, you could try Optimum Health Beetroot capsules.
Ferreira LF, Behnke BJ, A Toast To Health And Performance! Beetroot Juice Lowers Blood Pressure And The Oxygen Cost Of Exercise, Journal of Applied Physiology, 2011, 110(3): 585-6.