Beetroot juice has become a hot nutrient in the sports world; the Auburn football team, for example, recently revealed that they down it before games for an extra boost. A new animal study now contributes additional evidence that beetroot juice could increase athletic performance. Published in the journal, Nitric Oxide: Biology, and Chemistry, the study compared the effects of administering either beetroot juice or water to 12 rats for five days. Here are the results:
Rats receiving beetroot juice had increased blood flow to skeletal muscles by around 40%.
There was particular benefit to fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are used for explosive movement in human athletes.
According to the researchers, the findings also suggest a possible benefit for heart failure patients because of their increased reliance on fast-twitch muscle fibers. Nevertheless, more studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis.
Source: Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry