Why a little beet it goes a long way

Why a little beet it goes a long way
Two concentrated beetroot “shots” a day are better than one.

(Medical Xpress)—Athletes no longer ask whether beetroot juice improves sporting performance - they just want to know how much to drink, and when.

A new study has the answers. The latest research, by the University of Exeter, suggests that two concentrated beetroot "shots" a day (with about 0.6g natural dietary nitrate) are better than one, and the best time to take them is about 2.5 hours before maximum exertion.

The University's Sport and Health Sciences department, has published a new paper in the Journal of Applied Physiology looking at the effects of taking three different doses of beetroot juice on different exercise patterns.

The research team, led by Professor Andy Jones, used Beet-It, concentrated beetroot juice, which is sold in 70 ml shots. The three doses used in the study were 1 shot, 2 shots, or 4 shots.

Professor Andy Jones said: "Our original research indicated that the amount of dietary nitrate makes a difference to its impact. This new paper provides a much clearer picture of when and how much is optimum. In particular, it underlines that there is no advantage to be gained from taking very large doses".

Previous research has indicated that beetroot improves sporting ability and because of its high nitrate content.

This latest study suggests that effect on performance is at its peak 2-3 hours after , and that the effects gradually decline, with little improvement being seen after about 12 hours.

In the study, the amount of oxygen required to maintain a given level of decreased after taking beetroot juice - in effect, it took less energy to cycle at the same pace. The best results decreased by about three percent.

The sample groups also did a cycle test to exhaustion. Interestingly the group which took two doses gave the best performance results, suggesting that larger quantities may not lead to greater stamina for athletes.

Beetroot juice has already been attracting a lot of attention from the sports world. Memorably David Weir, winner of four gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games, told Boris Johnson it was instrumental in his success.

Beet It is produced in Britain by James White Drinks Ltd, which has worked closely with beetroot juice research teams throughout the world since 2008. The company, based in Suffolk, has recently expanded its beetroot pressing operations with the help of EEC funding.

It has also launched two new beetroot juice blends (with ginger and with passionfruit) to widen its appeal.

Lawrence Mallinson, owner of James White, said: "As producers of Beet It, we are proud to be the beetroot juice supplier for this fascinating research. We are now supplying Beet It to almost 50 universities across the world where a wide range of studies are being carried out to discover more about the many health benefits of drinking ."

More information: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23640589

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How eating bread can lower your blood pressure

Mar 22, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- A new study from the University of Reading has found that even small doses of beetroot juice lower blood pressure. In addition, bread enriched with either white or red beetroot had a similar ...

Beetroot juice could help people live more active lives

Dec 17, 2010

New research into the health benefits of beetroot juice suggests it's not only athletes who can benefit from its performance enhancing properties – its physiological effects could help the elderly or people with heart ...

Research reveals new secret weapon for Le Tour

Jul 01, 2011

Winning margins in the Tour de France can be tight – last year just 39 seconds separated the top two riders after more than 90 hours in the saddle. When every second counts, riders do everything possible to gain a competitive ...

Recommended for you

CDC: Almost everyone needs a flu shot

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Less than half of all Americans got a flu shot last year, so U.S. health officials on Thursday urged that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the coming flu season. "It's really unfortunate ...

Can you train your brain to crave healthy foods?

6 hours ago

The mere sight of a slice of gooey chocolate cake, a cheesy pizza, or a sizzling burger can drive us to eat these foods. In terms of evolution we show preference for high calorie foods as they are an important ...

User comments