Beetroots are known to possess physical strength-enhancing properties. It’s not only athletes who can benefit from the performance-enhancing properties of beetroot juice. It’s physiological effects could help the elderly or people with heart or lung-conditions enjoy more active lives, suggests a new study.
The study has also revealed and highlighted that the physiological effects of drinking beetroot juice could help a much wider range of people.
The researchers also looked at low intensity exercise and found that the test subjects used less oxygen while walking, thus, effectively reducing the effort it took to walk. A study says: “As you get older, or if you have conditions which affect your cardiovascular system, the amount of oxygen you can take in to use during exercise drops considerably. What we’ve seen in this study is that beetroot juice can actually reduce the amount of oxygen you need to perform even low intensity exercise. In principle, this effect could help people do things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do,”
When consumed, beetroot juice has two marked physiological effects.
Firstly, it widens blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and allowing more blood flow.
Secondly, it affects muscle tissue, reducing the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during activity. The combined effects have a significant impact on performing physical tasks, whether it involves low intensity or high intensity effort.
So far, the research on the impacts of beetroot juice has only be carried out on younger people who are in good health, but the researchers believe there is no reason why the effects of beetroot juice wouldn’t help others. “While we haven’t yet measured the effects on the elderly or those with heart or lung conditions, there is the potential for a positive impact in these populations which we intend to go on and investigate further”.
Beetroot juice is also said to contain high levels of nitrate. The study has proved that this is the key ingredient which causes the increase in performance, rather than any other component of the beetroot juice.
A professor said, “In this study we were be able to use-for the first time- both normal beetroot juice and beetroot juice with the nitrate filtered out. Test subjects didn’t know which one they were getting. The drinks both looked and tasted exactly the same. Each time the normal, nitrate-rich juice was used, we saw a marked improvement in performance which wasn’t there with the filtered juice- so we know the nitrate is the active ingredient.”