Beetroot juice is loaded with a powerful nitrate powerhouse that could be considered one of the best pre-workout supplements in existence. Nitrates are found to convert into some important bioactive compounds which can importantly aid the exercise session.
The reduction of oxygen expenditure when applying muscular force. By increasing the oxygen efficiency of the routine, nitrates can boost performance in some of the most elite levels of aerobic performance with measurable results.
Beetroot is the common term for Beta Vulgaris, a robustly flavored root from a plant that grows internationally. Beetroot has a plentiful supply of top-quality Vitamin A and C as well as fiber, iron, and potassium. But the compound important to the theme here is nitrates.
Recent studies have shown that this level of dietary nitrates can serve as an effective supplementation source for boosting performance in exercise programs and especially in aerobic exercise.
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What Is Beetroot
There has been a great deal of media buzz about beetroot juice and the many benefits it has, in particular, the capacity to boost nitric oxide. This has made it an especially popular drink with the athletic and bodybuilding communities.
But before you go racing off to the supermarket for your own batch of bloody red goodness take a moment to look at the facts. Beetroot juice is loaded with a powerful nitrate powerhouse that could be considered one of the best pre-workout supplements in existence.
Nitrates are found to convert into some important bioactive compounds which can importantly aid the exercise session. The reduction of oxygen expenditure when applying muscular force.
By increasing the oxygen efficiency of the routine, nitrates can boost performance in some of the most elite levels of aerobic performance with measurable results.
Beetroot Supplements Overview
Beetroot is the common term for Beta Vulgaris, a robustly flavored root from a plant that grows internationally. Beetroot has a plentiful supply of top-quality Vitamin A and Vitamin C as well as fiber, iron, and potassium.
But the compound important to the theme here is nitrates. 1 kg of beetroot contains 1459 mg of nitrates. Recent studies have shown that this level of dietary nitrates can serve as an effective supplementation source for boosting performance in exercise programs and especially in aerobic exercise.
While there are actually many vegetables that have nitrate, leafy veggies in particular. This discussion will focus on the benefits of beetroot juice due to its ease of consumption and a significant quantity of nitrates.
These two qualities make it a choice drink of Olympic athletes attempting to gain an edge on the competition. There have been a great many studies that indicate supplementation with beetroot juice or taking extracts of Beta Vulgaris, can improve performance.
The benefits can include improved levels of endurance, greater stamina, and less fatigue. This means that it could actually increase your strength allowing to apply greater tension to your task and making greater achievements in each session.
In the end, this short-term boost provided by the beetroot supplementation will result in strong muscles with greater endurance that last longer before fatigue sets in. A good way to begin your own exploration into the great benefits of beetroot is, to begin with about 500 mg of extract.
There are also many dedicated pre-workout supplements that contain beetroot extract along with various other pre-workout supplements, like arginine and citrulline that both access the arginine-NO pathway.
The best time to take this supplementation will be between 30 and 60 minutes of your regular workout schedule. Another Time where performance enhancement should be boosted to the limits would be before engaging in sexual intercourse.
Ways that Beetroot Can Aid in Pre-Workout Formulas
The best benefit is the reduction of oxygen expenditures in the muscles. This is because dietary nitrate is believed to follow a specific process by which it is converted into nitrites and then into nitric oxide and other compounds.
This improves the efficiency of the muscles in action by lowering the amount of oxygen they will need for each task. While the exact mechanisms behind this remain a mystery and will be discovered shortly, there are two important ways this could work.
- One theory suggests that nitrate lowers the quantity of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) required by muscles for energy, ATP is the most important energy molecule in the muscle.
- Another idea is that the nitrate supplementation increases the efficiency of muscles and oxygen usage by improving the ways that mitochondria is used - this is an energy building structure that exists in many cells - this also reduces the required oxygen to synthesize ATP.
- It is also equally possible that both processes occur and this is why beetroot juice can improve energy efficiency.
Beetroot Supplement Benefits and Usages
The primary benefit of beetroot juice in workouts is due to the capacity it has to reduce the amount of oxygen needed for pique muscle performance. Nitrate allows the muscles to perform well with less oxygen needed for aerobic training and this has many benefits.
The most measurable results include the capacity to outperform previous personal records as well as continue for longer periods of time before exhaustion sets in. This is a well-documented and proven mechanism that many champion athletes will attest to.
Scientific Research on Beetroot Supplement Benefits
Human trials conducted on beetroot have shown very good benefits for aerobic activity - this includes any type of exercise that relies primarily on oxygen for the delivery of energy on.
1) The benefits of beetroot supplements on running and walking
Consuming 0.5 liters of beetroot juice for 6 days might reduce running's oxygen cost, and improve time till exhaustion by 15% during intense running. This frequently-cited crossover, the double-blind study tested the effects that consuming beetroot juice has on running and walking.
- Nine male participants were randomized to either receive a placebo or 0.5 liters of beetroot juice, which contained 6.2 mmol of nitrate (BR).
- On days 4 and 5 of their supplementation, they performed running and walking tests.
- It was found in the study the beetroot reduced oxygen cost of severe and moderate-intensity running by around 7% and showed a 15% increased time to failure while doing intense running.
It was concluded by the researchers that the results might have some important implications for enhancing athletic performance. The data indicate that BR ingestion has a positive physiological effect on exercise performance and blood pressure due to the high content of NO3.
2) The benefits of beetroot supplements on cycling
A single dose (0.5 L) of beetroot juice might improve performance for cycling racing. This crossover, randomized study examines whether oxygen cost reduction of exercise due to nitrate could result in enhanced performance.
- In the study, nine highly-trained male cyclists were either given 0.5 L of nitrate-depleted beetroot or 0.5 L of beetroot juice, which contained 6.2 mmol of nitrate (BR), 2.5 hours before a 16.1 km and 4 km race.
- Later all subjects switched to the other group so that both treatments were tried by everyone. BR improved the 16.1 race time by 2.7% and the 4 km time by 2.8%.
It was concluded by the research that dietary supplementation of a single dose (0.5 L) of nitrate-rich beetroot improved 16.1 and 4 km performance in well-trained cyclists.
3) The benefits of beetroot supplements on intense exercise performance
A 490 ml dose of beetroot juice might boost intermittent intense exercise performance. The main aim of this randomized, double-blind crossover study was examining the effects that dietary nitrate supplementation has one sport-specific team intense, intermittent exercise.
- In the study, fourteen male team recreational sports players either were assigned to take a nitrate-depleted placebo juice (PL) or 490 ml of beetroot juice (BR) rich in nitrate before performing an exercise test.
- They switched groups three days later so that both treatments were tried by all participants.
- The beetroot juice was consumed for a 30-hour time frame before a level 1 Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test was performed.
- The popular test has been designed to imitate bouts of high-intensity running that is found in sports such as soccer, as well as test fatigue resistance that occurs during intermittent exercise where both the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems are taxed.
It was found in the study that performance improved for the beetroot group by 4.2% compared to the PL group. It was concluded by the researchers that the study results suggest that nitrate might be an effective ergogenic aid for recreational team sports players’ performance in high-intensity intermittent exercise.
4) The benefits of beetroot supplements on the performance of the moderate-intensity exercise
A dose of 0.5 L/day of beetroot juice for 15 days might reduce moderate-intensity exercise oxygen cost. The study examined the short-term effects that beetroot juice (BR) supplementation has on the performance of the moderate-intensity exercise.
- Eight participants were either assigned to receive BR (0.5 L per day, 5.2 mmol nitrate/day) or a placebo for 15 days.
- The participants switched to the other treatment after 19 days, so that all of the subjects underwent both BR and placebo supplementation.
- A cycling ergometer test was included in the exercise with two moderate-intensity 5-minute bouts, and then a ramp test going to exhaustion, with all being separated by 10 minute rest periods.
- The exercise regimen was performed on days 1, 5 and 15 of the supplement, and conducted 2.5 hours after the supplement was taken.
- For the beetroot group the exercise oxygen cost was 5% lower, and by the 15th day of supplementation stayed reduced by 3-4%.
It was concluded by the researchers that there was a significant reduction in oxygen cost for moderate-intensity exercise 2.5 hours after ingesting one 0.5-liter nitrate-rich beetroot dose, and those effects continued to be maintained following continued supplementation at 5 and 15 days.
The results provide interesting new directions for potentially using dietary nitrate to enhance training adaptions in athletes.
5) Beetroot supplements might reduce the submaximal exercise oxygen cost
Dietary nitrate at a 0.1 mmol/kg body weight/day for a period of 6 days might reduce submaximal exercise oxygen cost.
- The placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study investigated whether or not dietary nitrate affects exercise performance.
- In the study, nine well-trained males were randomly assigned to either receive sodium nitrate (dose of 0.1 mmol/kg of their body weight daily) or a placebo for two different 3-day periods and after each period perform high-intensity and moderate-intensity cycling tests.
- The oxygen cost on submaximal cycling at moderate-intensity was decreased by 5% when compared with the placebo, however, during high-intensity maximal cycling, there was no effect found.
It was concluded by researchers that their findings showed a reduced oxygen cost throughout a submaximal workout following dietary nitrate supplement, in amounts that can be achieved through a vegetable-rich diet.
The focus of research to date has been on a nitrate supplement to enhance aerobic exercise. However, few studies have been conducted on using nitrate for anaerobic exercise like sprint running that has not shown any benefit.
Beetroot Supplements Pre-Workout Dosage
- It has been shown by medical research studies that 509 mmol of nitrate is an effective daily dose. This translates to around 0.5 liters per day if using beet juice.
- Ideally, nitrate should either be taken continuously as part of an overall healthy diet or supplemented for 1 to 15 days.
- The dose of beetroot supplements varies widely due to the number of different forms that are available, ranging from 1,000 mg/ml juice down to 500 mg capsules.
Beetroot Supplements Side Effects
There are no significant side effects associated with beetroot, exception for urine discoloration or reddish stool, which are completely harmless.
Available Beetroot Forms
You can find beetroot in the forms of:
- dietary supplement;
- beetroot juice;
- in its whole form;
- beetroot powder.