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Beat your competitors with the help of beetroot juice

Since the Olympics the sporting world has gone absolutely crazy for beet juice – a natural juice that has been scientifically proven to improve sporting performance whilst being completely legal.

Rugby player Ben Foden, runner Helen Davies and a variety of other famous athletes are all fans of this “super root” juice that is fast becoming a countrywide sensation.

The juice – made from the humble beetroot – is rich in potassium, antioxidants and folic acid, and also has the additional benefit of having been found to help lower blood pressure.

Back in 2009, a study carried out by the University of Exeter and published in the Journal of Applied Physiology revealed that individuals consuming 500ml of beetroot juice before exercising experienced an improvement in their stamina. In addition, a second study conducted by the same university in 2011 found that drinking the juice could shave seconds off lap times for cyclists.

According to Professor Andy Jones from the sport and health sciences department at Exeter, it is nitrate, a nutrient found in soil, that holds the key to beetroots success in building stamina. This converts into nitrate in the body and then into nitric oxide, which widens blood vessels and increases blood flow to promote efficiency in the muscles.

Commenting on the studies Prof Jones said: “We found this works most effectively in high-intensity exercise, typically races that last up to 30 minutes.” Prof Jones then went on to say that the average runner may feel the benefits of the juice more than a professional, as their muscles will not be so efficient.

View and comment on the original Telegraph article.

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Written by Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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