Serious athletes and weekend warriors alike, start your juicers! After drinking about 2 cups of organic beetroot juice daily for a week, a small group of men age 19 to 38 were able to work out on exercise cycles 16 percent longer before tiring out.
Researchers at the University of Exeter said drinking the beet juice doubled the amount of nitrate in study subjects’ blood, which helped muscles work more efficiently and use less oxygen.
“Our study is the first to show that nitrate-rich food can increase exercise endurance,” said study leader professor Andy Jones. “We were amazed by the effects of beetroot juice on oxygen uptake because these effects cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training.”
Jones said he hoped this news would not just benefit endurance athletes, but also could benefit elderly people or those with cardiovascular, respiratory, or metabolic diseases.
I am thrilled at this news because sweet, earthy beets are a passion for me. My favorite fresh juice is called the Vampira (Vampire) in Mexico, where I first tried it. If you have a juicer, throw in a couple of beets, a few carrots, and if you love ginger as much as I do, a length of fresh gingerroot (which helps with digestion and always seems to wake me up!). Or ask for this combo (or straight beet juice) at your local juice bar.
And for delicious beet recipes, including Goat Cheese Tart with Marinated Beets and Arugula, or just type beets in the Search Box.