BEETROOT juice can help lower blood pressure and even prevent dementia, stroke and heart attacks.
Researchers at the University of Exeter have discovered that a daily dose of raw beetroot juice can enable people to exercise for up to 16 per cent longer.
This has been common knowledge in the sports world for a while. British wheelchair athlete David Weir, winner of four gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games, told Boris Johnson it was instrumental to his success.
However the new research from Exeter has found not only the magic number but the ideal time to take it.
Andy Jones, research team leader, said: This new paper provides much clearer picture of when & how much is optimum.
“In particular, it underlines that there is no advantage to be gained from taking very large doses.”
Participants in the study consumed concentrated 70ml shots in doses of either one, two or four.
Two turned out to be the magic number, with the ideal time to consume the juice being two and a half hours before exercise.
The study revealed that performance peaks between two and three hours after having the juice and then it gradually declines.
Katie Lansley, a PhD student from the university’s Sport and Health Sciences department and lead author of the study, said: “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.”
Beetroot juice can help you after exercise as well because the anti-inflammatory effects help your muscles recover faster.
These results were reaffirmed by the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina this year, as well as revealing that it can lower blood pressure and improve vascular health in older people, even those with heart disease.
The reason for these effects are due to the nitrate content, which helps the heart consume less oxygen. Whether exercising or not, allowing more oxygen to reach other muscles. It can also widen the blood vessels which increases blood flow to your body and brain.
In the long term these effects can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Also can help prevent progression of dementia.
If all of this was not good enough beetroot is full of antioxidants. Therefore it is good for your immune system and helps prevent cancer.