The Secret is in the Beats... I mean Beets...

Extreme athletes are bar none the best sources when it comes to uncovering the best tools to maximize performance. Most of them have made it their life's work to uncover secrets that will give them a sustainable edge. Yes, there are those that cheat and take HGH or steroids or androstenedione but the vast majority of super athletes - especially athletes like ultra marathoners and triathletes rely on more home-spun solutions. The typical cheats just won't work when you're running 130 miles.

Recent research is confirming that beetroot juice seems to be one of these super solutions. A recent set of studies done at the University of Exeter has shown that drinking just 500 ml of beetroot juice boosts stamina up to 16% over placebos. How does it work? Truth is the researchers are still trying to work that out. They know beetroot juice is full of nitrates and suspect this might play a role in reducing the oxygen requirements of muscles (or at least the cost of exercise on the muscles). The less oxygen muscles consume when exercising, the more it leaves to exercise longer. Simple enough but is that what is happening? Whatever it is, the results are indisputable - beetroot juice contributes to a 2% reduction in time over a set distance.

Case in point: Ultra marathoner Chris Carver covered 140 miles (222 KM) in Scotland's 2009 24-hour Ultra. For 2010 he decided to add beetroot juice to his last week of training. The results? This year Chris did 148 miles (238 KM) in the 24 hours. That's almost a 6% improvement just for drinking beets! I know most of us don't plan on ever running that far but the potential is there for us to take advantage of: even if you're going for a brisk walk or to hit the local stairs.

So sure the beats in your MP3 may help you stay motivated and keep a steady tempo, but the beets in your juice will really give you a boost to push that extra little bit!

Link to Exeter University Press Release

Comments

workout

Well, that is a something that extreme athletes should add to their diets. Beetroots gives nutritional and health benefits that suits what sports enthusiasts requires for their body. Aside from regular exercise routines it is said that is best to do it accompanied with inspiring workout tunes. Your heart can beat faster and also you can move faster to go along with the beat of the music. Plus, drinking beverages with beetroots to make it more effective.

It works

Funny that I saw this article because I starting drinking beetroot juice when I found out about it 6 or so months ago and it does work. For me these was increased energy and stamina and a noticeable reduction in muscles soreness - especially on my longer runs (training).

Since I run many long races each year, this was a tip I was happy to find. I suggest that anyone who is into running a lot try this.

Jenn