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Beetroot Juice - Is this the Answer ?


For years banned performance enhancing substances have made the news.  EPO, HGH, Testosterone, these and other terms have been synonymous with cheating in the world of sport for years.  But what if you could actually ingest something that would help you go faster without being illegal?  Would you take it?  If you’re like most age-group athletes particularly in the sport of triathlon who look for any competitive advance from a gear perspective, the answer might be yes.

Not that this is a new concept, however, it seems as though Beetroot Juice is making a comeback as being an effective natural supplement that is a rich source of nitrate which is thought to be the active ingredient in affecting an athlete’s performance. 

Research conducted by the University of Exeter and published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise , has shown drinking beetroot juice enables competitive-level cyclists to go faster over a measured distance.

In the study, nine  club-level competitive male cyclists competed in two time trials; one a 4km distance and a second at 16.1km. All riders competed both distances twice.  Prior to each TT they drank half a litre of beetroot juice beforehand; if you’ve ever completed a TT you will know that this feat seems rather difficult in and of itself without throwing up all over the place…Anyway, on one occasion that were given normal beetroot juice while on another occasion (unbeknownst to the cyclists), the beetroot juice had the key ingredient, nitrate, removed.

The athletes’ VO2 levels were monitored during the exercise to ensure that maximum output was being given.

The results showed that when the cyclists drank the complete beetroot juice they had an overall higher power output measured in watts for the same level of effort.  The conclusion suggested that their muscles and cardio-vascular system were responding much more efficiently.

On average, the riders were 11 seconds faster over the 4km distance and 45 seconds faster over the 16.1km distance.

Beetroot juice is a natural source of nitrate which is thought to be the active ingredient in affecting athletic performance.

Nitrate has two distinct effects.  It widens blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and allowing more blood flow. Secondly, it affects muscle tissue, which reduces the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during the activity.


The only drawback ? . . . . . . . . . It tastes awful !



What are your thoughts on this ?    Have you tried it ?

Could it really save you 45 seconds on a 10m TT ?

Do you want to volunteer as a guinea pig or put someone else forward for us to test it on ?

I have opened a 'FORUM' topic - put your views there.

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