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Power up with beet juice?

A small new study suggests beet juice can almost immediately crank up your muscle power.

More evidence suggests you might want to beet your way to the juicer if you’re hoping to buff up the bod. A small study found that a tiny serving of beet juice almost immediately boosted the muscle power of subjects.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis measured the changes among nine subjects with heart failure (selected because it’s easier to measure improvement in their muscles, as they’re not as powerful).

They gave subjects 140 milliliters of concentrated beet juice, tested them, and found that almost instantly their muscle power increased by an average of 13 percent.

That's a dramatic boost, on par with the sort of improvement a person can expect after two to three months of resistance training, Andrew Coggan, a study coauthor and assistant professor of radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, told NPR. The study appeared in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

Beets can also empower healthy people, as well, according to two other studies Coggan and coauthor Linda Peterson conducted. One that focused on 12 healthy individuals was recently published in the journal Nitric Oxide, and another recently submitted for publication looked at 13 trained collegiate athletes. All the groups experienced marked improvements in muscle power after drinking beet juice." And we're seeing these improvements within about an hour and a half to two hours after ingestion," Linda Peterson told NPR. "It's pretty dramatic."

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