Beetroot, or beets, have been gaining popularity in the athletic community for their potential to improve athletic performance. Beets are rich in nitrates, which have been shown to improve blood flow, oxygenation, and exercise endurance. In this article, we will explore the power of beetroot for improved athletic performance and provide tips for incorporating it into your diet.
Benefits of Beetroot for Athletic Performance
- Improved Blood Flow
Beetroot is rich in nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps to dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow and oxygenation to muscles during exercise. This can lead to improved endurance and exercise performance.
- Reduced Fatigue
Beetroot may also reduce fatigue during exercise. Nitrates in beetroot can improve the efficiency of the mitochondria, which are responsible for producing energy in cells. This can delay fatigue and improve exercise performance.
- Improved Cardiovascular Health
The nitrates in beetroot can also improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure and improving blood flow. This can lead to improved heart health and overall fitness.
- Reduced Inflammation
Beetroot is also rich in antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body. This can improve recovery time and reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
Tips for Incorporating Beetroot into Your Diet
- Raw Beetroot
Raw beetroot can be grated or sliced and added to salads or sandwiches. It can also be juiced for a refreshing drink.
- Roasted Beetroot
Roasted beetroot is a delicious and easy way to incorporate beets into your diet. Simply roast beets in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and your favorite seasonings.
- Beetroot Powder
Beetroot powder can be added to smoothies or mixed with water for a quick and easy way to get the benefits of beets.
- Beetroot Supplements
Beetroot supplements are available in pill form for those who want to take advantage of the benefits of beets without consuming them in food.
Beetroot is a powerful superfood that can improve athletic performance through improved blood flow, reduced fatigue, improved cardiovascular health, and reduced inflammation. Incorporating beetroot into your diet can be easy and delicious, whether you choose to eat it raw, roasted, in powder form, or through supplements.
Murphy, M., Eliot, K., Heuertz, R. M., & Weiss, E. (2012). Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(4), 548-552.
Clifford, T., Howatson, G., West, D. J., & Stevenson, E. J. (2015). The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. Nutrients, 7(4), 2801-2822.
Jones, A. M. (2014). Dietary nitrate supplementation and exercise performance. Sports medicine, 44(1), 35-45.
Lansley, K. E., Winyard, P. G., Bailey, S. J., Vanhatalo, A., Wilkerson, D. P., Blackwell, J. R., ... & Jones, A. M. (2011). Acute dietary nitrate supplementation improves cycling time trial performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 43(6), 1125-1131.
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