Beetroot Juice Improves Endurance and Cardiovascular Function

Beetroot juice (BRJ) improves endurance capacity, boosts oxygen delivery and reduces the work of the heart during exercise— according to researchers from Korea and the University of California, Davis. College-aged males were fed beetroot juice or nitrate-depleted beetroot juice for 15 days. BRJ doubled blood nitric oxide, a critical chemical for controlling blood flow. BRJ reduced systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure and total peripheral resistance at rest and during exercise. It also lowered the load on the heart during exercise as measured by rate-pressure product (heart rate times systolic blood pressure). Beetroot juice is an important supplement for improving cardiovascular health and enhancing endurance capacity. Other studies have found that a single glass of beetroot juice increased performance in kayaking and cycling. (American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, published online June 17, 2015)

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