Beet juice is a dietary source of the molecule nitrate. When converted in the body, nitrate can dilate the blood vessels and increase blood flow, both important factors for exercise performance.
In a new study from American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, healthy male subjects who drank beet juice for 15 days had lower blood pressure and more dilated blood vessels at rest and during exercise.
Blood vessels also dilated more easily and the heart consumed less oxygen during exercise with beet juice consumption.
According to the researchers, the findings suggest that beet juice can be used as a dietary nutraceutical supplement to enhance oxygen delivery to the muscles and reduce the work the heart does during exercise. Exercise can be "performed at a given workload for a longer period of time before the onset of fatigue," the researchers added.
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