Washington: A new study has revealed that beetroot is beneficial for athletes and may help in boosting their performance.
The study found that the nitrate found in beetroot concentrate increases blood flow to skeletal muscles during exercise.
In addition to improving athletic performance, the research also found that beetroot juice can improve the quality of life for heart failure patients.
Scott Ferguson, doctoral student in anatomy and physiology, said that when consumed, nitrate is reduced in the mouth by bacteria into nitrite, which is swallowed again and then reduced to nitric oxide, which is a potent vasodilator. The nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels, similar to turning on a water faucet, and allows blood to go where it needs to go.
The amount of nitrate in one 70-milliliter bottle of beetroot juice is about the same amount found in 100 grams of spinach and the beetroot juice consumption resulted in a 38 percent higher blood flow to the skeletal muscles during exercise and was preferential to the less-oxygenated, fast-twitch muscles.
The study was published in the Journal of Nitric Oxide, Biology and Chemistry.