According to a new study, drinking beet juice regularly may help improve exercise performance and endurance. Findings were published ahead-of-print in the American Journal of Physiology–Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

Beetroot juice is a dietary source of nitrate, which when converted in the body can dilate the blood vessels and increase blood flow, both important factors for exercise performance. The study included 14 healthy male subjects and compared the effects of both beetroot juice and nitrate-depleted beetroot juice (NDBRJ) supplementation for 15 days. Compared to NDBRJ, beetroot juice reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, and total peripheral resistance at rest and during exercise.

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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