Beetroot Could be Key to Enhancing Athletic Performance
Looking to perform better for a sport or boost your personal records at the gym? According to new research on the many biological advantages of beetroot, the root vegetable could soon be included in virtually all Olympic diet programs. Using beetroot as a pre-workout meal, participants were found to run faster and maintain enhanced overall performance. When compared to cranberries, those who ate beetroot were actually revealed to run 5 kilometers faster.
Beetroot Provides a Surge of Energy
It was the St. Louis research team that organized and evaluated the research using 11 fit and healthy individuals — both men and women. Following previous studies that have determined beetroot juice to be an effective workout booster and allow muscles to perform more efficiently, the scientific team decided to observe the effects through racing. Before the first trial run, all participants consumed a selection of baked beetroot — 200 grams (7 ounces), to be specific. After taking in the beetroot just an hour before the race, performance was measured.
To test the results, the runners were given cranberries just before the second run. Eating the same amount of cranberry relish as they had beetroot, the researchers discovered that beetroot outperformed cranberries in peak performance by a wide margin.
After eating the cranberry dish, the runners averaged a speed of 11.9 kilometers per hour, or 7.3 mph. When eating beetroot, the participants hit 12.3 kilometers, or 7.6 mph. Amazingly, the effects were most observed during the last section of the run — often the most difficult for runners. The scientists say that beetroot could potentially unlock athletic possibilities that athletes without the proper fuel could not possibly do otherwise. The lead author of the study Katie Lansley explained:
“What we’ve seen in this study is that beetroot juice can actually reduce the amount of oxygen you need to perform even low-intensity exercise. In principle, this effect could help people do things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.”
Beetroot is one of the simplest things to grow through organic gardening, and can be very rewarding to your health.
Natural Society staff contribution