Taking each step all the way to the finish line can take a toll on a runner. It is a task that needs endurance and perseverance. It is for this reason that more and more athletes are embracing the usage of food supplements that are going to boost their endurance and by so doing, their perseverance. Lately, beet root has been touted as the next best thing that can help boost a runners performance as they push their bodies to the limit. However studies have been mixed on the overall advantage of beets for running. Below are some of the potential health benefits that beet juice may provide the body.
Various research has shown that with the use of beet juice, an athlete will experience an increased time to exhaustion. This is the time that a marathoner takes between starting to run and the time that he/she is too exhausted to continue running. Research conducted by the University of Exeter showed that athletes or individuals who took beet juice experienced an increased time to exhaustion as compared to before they started using beet juice. This study saw a potential 16% increase in stamina in subjects that were tested.
Reduction in Oxygen Consumption
Beet roots contain a lot of nitrates. The body uses these nitrates to make nitrite and nitric oxide, a gas which is used to widen blood vessels. This increases the body’s blood flow and supply of oxygen to the muscles. This therefore increases usage of oxygen by the body. Therefore, consuming more beet juice causes the body to use oxygen more efficiently. This increases an athlete’s performance during running because their body is able to make better use of the oxygen made available to it.
Other studies have also shown that consuming beet juice increased a cyclists time trials. One other study cemented the fact that beet juice increased performance for runners. Consumption of beet juice increased a runner’s performance over 5 km stretches and marathons. Marathoners who use beet juice could run faster over the last few kilometers as opposed to those who did not consume beet juice.
Beetroots also helps in recovery. They contain a good amount of phytonutrients which research has shown to function as anti-inflammatory compounds. This is very important if one is dealing with muscle soreness and injuries. The fact that beetroots are naturally sweet and rich in soluble fiber makes it a great energizing food. It provides longer lasting fuel for the body while helping you avoid energy dips. Beets contain iron and folate, two compounds that are important for red blood cells and oxygenation. This makes it an ideal food that helps with rejuvenation and recovery, a factor that is most suitable for runners. It therefore goes without saying that beet juice is suitable for marathon runners as it enhances their performance.
While there has been some research to show the potential benefits that beets can have for runners, there are also been studies that show the improvement may be limited to beginning runners. Experienced, well trained endurance runners may not get any significant performance increase as far as their times from the consumption of beet juice. However, less fit runners may see some benefits to their times. Even if it does not improve overall times, it still does possess many compounds, vitamins, and minerals that can positively impact your body.
Should I Get My Own Juicer?
While it may not make you a faster performer, juicing does provide numerous benefits to athletes as far as energy, recovery, and overall well-being. It is a great idea to get our own juice extractor to take your nutrition to a whole other level and it is highly recommended. Finding the right juicer for your personal needs and training schedule should not be that hard as their are many quality juice extractors currently on the market. If you need something that is quick and not much of a hassle, then a centrifugal juicer would be a great choice.
If you want the highest quality juice and juice yield from fruits and vegetables then a masticating juicer would be the best option, these are also the quietest juicers out there. Whatever type of juicer that you choose, it should be a big improvement to your diet and a great way to boost your training.
Beets should be no problem for any of the top juicers. You may get slightly more juice out of them by using a masticating machine. One thing to remember about juicing this veggie is that an increase in beet juice consumption may alter the color of your urine. This is normal, but it can be quite alarming if you are not expecting it. So when making your favorite beet juice recipe in your juicer, the color it comes out may be a little different than expected.
While there may be conflicting studies on both sides about the potential advantages that beet juice consumption may provide long distance runners, it probably would not hurt to try it. The usual recommendation is to consume it for a few days prior to a marathon or competition for the maximum benefits. It may or may not help your times, but it can aid you in recovery and oxygen usage. As always consult with your physician before making any significant training or dietary changes.