Drinking beetroot juice boosts your stamina and could help you exercise for up to 16 percent longer. A new study shows for the first time how the nitrate contained in beetroot juice leads to a reduction in oxygen uptake, making exercise less tiring. The study reveals that drinking beetroot juice reduces oxygen uptake to an extent that cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training.
Doping with Beet Juice
The research behind beet juice and performance is compelling. It seems beet juice allows your muscles to perform the same amount of work while using less oxygen, somehow making your body’s energy production more efficient.
In this study, we hypothesized that dietary supplementation with inorganic nitrate in the form of beetroot juice (BR) would reduce the O2 cost of submaximal exercise and enhance the tolerance to high-intensity exercise. The reduced O2 cost of exercise following increased dietary nitrate intake has important implications for our understanding of the factors that regulate mitochondrial respiration and muscle contractile energetics in humans.
Runners who ate baked beets before running a 5 km time trial ran significantly faster, and had a lower rate of perceived exertion during the first part of the run.
Trained rowers improved their performance in 6 x 500m intervals and experienced a significantly slower rate of fatigue in the latter intervals.