Beetroot shows potential for improving athletic performance and endurance

A review published in HerbalGram support the use of beetroot (Beta vulgaris) as a natural way to boost athletic performance and endurance and cognition. The review aimed to determine the mechanisms of action of beetroot and how it may help support body systems, such as cardiovascular health and cognitive function.

  • In one of the studies reviewed, the study’s researchers aimed to determine the effects of dietary nitrate supplementation on physiological functioning and exercise performance in trained runners and triathletes during short- and long-distance time trials.
  • The 2017 study revealed that supplementation with nitrate-rich beetroot juice may be ergogenic, meaning it can enhance athletic performance.
  • However, it was only effective during shorter-distance time trials at a high work rate and not during longer-distance time trials at a lower rate.
  • Another 2017 study reviewed looked at the effect of beetroot on high-intensity or intermittent-type exercise.
  • The study examined whether a six-day nitrate-rich beetroot juice supplementation would improve exercise performance in trained soccer players.
  • Researchers found that supplementation with nitrate-rich beetroot juice could be an effective way to boost exercise performance.
  • In terms of cognitive performance, beetroot juice also has beneficial effects.
  • A study published in 2016 investigated whether beetroot juice might have a synergistic effect with exercise on neuroplasticity.
  • Results of the study showed that older men who drank beetroot juice for six weeks with exercise had brain networks closely similar to those of younger adults, suggesting that beetroot juice combined with exercise potentially enhanced neuroplasticity.
  • In addition, they had lower mean heart rates compared to the placebo group.

In conclusion, these findings suggest that beetroot consumption can potentially improve athletic performance and endurance, as well as cognitive function, suggesting improvements in physical and brain health.

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Journal Reference:

Raterman K. NEW BUZZ ABOUT BEETS: ENHANCING SPORTS PERFORMANCE AND COGNITIVE FUNCTION. HerbalGram – The Journal of the American Botanical Council. 2017; 115: 37-38.

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