Beets have been in the news recently with new studies showing that beet juice improves athletic performance in many different sports. The inorganic nitrates in beets have been shown to have beneficial aspects in many different areas.
Beets improve blood flow and help reduce oxygen demand, potentially making them a big help to swimmers who hold their breath for long periods of time. Beetroot juice has also shown a link to improved strength by helping muscle contractility and has shown up to a 15% improvement in exhaustion.
These factors are a great help in any athletic field. They have already been tested on runners and cyclists. Testing is now starting on swimmers which could show to be the most helpful of all.
- Increases the strength of muscles due to better contractility
- Hampers mitochondrial respiration which lessens tissue’s oxygen needs
- Dilates vessels for better blood flow
“In swimming, a recent study involving trained masters swimmers showed an increase in the workload at anaerobic threshold which was significantly increased by beet juice”