Beet Juice And Athletic Performance Benefits

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.

Endurance

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.

Performance

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.

Improved Recovery

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.

Contradicting Studies

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.

Juicing Beets

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.

Summary

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.

Why Does Chopping Onions Make You Cry?

Dicing onions

Onions are a great addition to any recipe since they add to the taste and give wonderful texture. But anyone who has ever worked with onions can attest to what a painful experience it can be. When you are tasked with chopping or dicing them, it is a race against the clock. If you rush it, you might end up cutting yourself and if you go too slow, the inevitable tears start to stream down your face. If you ever wondered why onions have this effect on people, then you are not alone.

Onions, together with many other plants such as garlic that belong to Allium species, absorb sulfur from the soil as they grow. When you cut the juicy edible part of the onions known as scales, you end up breaking cells within it, releasing certain enzymes. Consequently, the released enzymes react with the absorbed sulfur to create amino acid sulfoxides. These, in turn, create a substance known as syn-propanethial-S-oxide that is highly unstable. When this substance, in a gaseous state, gets in contact the moisture present in your eyes, it causes a burning sensation.

Tears in your eyes are normally controlled by lachrymal glands that are positioned just above your eyelids. Once your brain gets a message that there is such an irritant in your eyes, which is causing a burning sensation, it signals the lachrymal glands to secrete tears in order to flush the irritant out of your eyes. However, cooked onions do not produce such an effect since the process of cooking them inactivates the enzymes responsible for making the syn-propanethial-S-oxide. Therefore, you can comfortably chew cooked onions without getting teary-eyed.

Tips To Avoid The Tears

Fortunately, there are several proven ways that will stop onions from watering your eyes as you chop them.

Refrigerate onions for at least 10 to 15 minutes prior to cutting them

By chilling or cooling the onions, the sulfoxides/enzyme reaction rate is slowed down. This, in turn, minimizes production of the syn-propanethial-S-oxide. This process will have zero effect on taste. Alternatively, you can just run water over the onions as you chop them.

Use a super-sharp knife when chopping the onions

The enzymes are usually released when the cells within the onion are crushed or broken. A very sharp knife will slice through the onion instead of crushing and therefore, fewer enzymes are released. In fact, it is recommendable to use a very sharp knife every time you cut onions regardless of the different tactic you want to apply.

Use a food processor

If you buy this appliance for just one cooking task, then cutting onions would be the main benefit. Not only can you avoid knife mishaps and tears, but it will tremendously speed up your food preparation for the most arduous recipes. Anything that involves a lot of slicing, dicing or chopping can great benefit from one of these machines. You can check out reviews of the top food processors and see that they can do a lot more than saving you from the wrath of the onion. These are a godsend to have in the kitchen and well worth the investment for anyone who loves to cook.

Soak the onions in water before cutting them

When you soak the onions in water, you create a water-air boundary which inactivates the enzyme. This tactic is especially helpful for those who do not own a freezer or refrigerator. However, this process may eliminate some flavor and will also make the onion a little more slippery than normal.

Wear a gas-tight mask or onion goggles

You can use onion goggles or even your pair of swimmer’s goggles that perfectly fit your face. Since they are gas-tight it means that the gaseous substance will not get into your eyes.

Cut onions next to a window or a fan

Cutting the onions close to a fan or a window helps pull the gas away from your eyes.

Some of these will work better than others. The top two ways are to chill your onions or to use a food processor. While using goggles might work, you might find the whole idea rather silly.  Onions are quite a popular vegetable, and for good reason. There are ways around the crying that should let you enjoy them even more. Don’t be afraid the next time your recipes call for chopping some onions.

10 Health Benefits That Spinach Can Provide

Leafy green spinach

If you are looking for easily accessible foods that can really help you turn your diet around, then spinach may be just what you are looking for. We’ve all seen what it does for Popeye, but in the real world it can have almost the same dramatic impact on your health if regularly consumed. Whether you like to juice it, add it to your salad, grill it, or eat it out of a can, there is really no downside to this powerhouse veggie. Below are 10 reasons why you should consider to get more spinach into your diet.

1.Enhances detoxification

Like most green leafy vegetables, spinach is essential in the body as it aids detoxification. From its color, it is clear that this vegetable has lots of chlorophyll which contains several antibacterial elements. These elements help the liver and colon in eradicating all toxic substances in the body.

2.Promotes healthy heart functioning

Spinach can also promote the heart’s health and functioning. This leafy vegetable has antioxidant properties like carotene and Vitamin C that prevents harmful cholesterol oxidation that can lead to several major heart complications. It also improves blood circulation by opening up blood vessels and also lowering blood pressure.

3.Treats inflammation

Spinach can come in handy when dealing with cases of inflammation as it has flavanoids and carotenoids. These two elements have been known to have effective anti-inflammatory elements. Spinach also contains alpha-linolenic acid that is also known for its anti-inflammatory effects.

4.Keeps cancer at bay

This vegetable contains flavonoids and antioxidants that can combat a variety of cancer and reduce its spread. Research shows that the carotenoids lutein, neoxanthin and zeaxanthin, all found in spinach can eradicate the free radicals from the body before they cause any damage thus reducing the risk of ovarian, prostate, endometrial and lung cancer.

5. Rich source of iron

Spinach is also considered among the best sources of iron which is among the key elements that form hemoglobin which transports oxygen in the blood. Lack of enough hemoglobin can cause fatigues, affect brain and immune system performance and also lead to anemia. With this in mind, it is necessary that you incorporate spinach in your diet to give your body more iron.

6.Enhances muscle strength

Spinach can also boost muscle strength in the sense that it reduces the amount of oxygen that is required to power our muscles during exercises by almost 5 percent. It also has energy boosting nitrate elements that make the mitochondria function more efficiently thus making muscles run more smoothly and efficiently.

7.Improves digestion

This vegetable can also aid in digestion as it is a rich source of fiber. Regular intake of spinach provides our digestive system with adequate fiber that keeps conditions like constipation, and binge eating at bay. It also reduces the risk of colon cancer.

8.Enhances skin health

Spinach contains Vitamin E, Vitamin C and beta-carotenes. All these elements are known to be beneficial in the skin’s development as they keep the skin aerated, supple and moisturized.

9.Improves vision

Spinach can also be instrumental in your vision’s development and it can help prevent some eye conditions. This vegetable contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which are known to prevent diseases like macular degeneration and cataract. They also promote the general well being of the eyes.

10.Enhances cognitive function

Even though this might not be directly felt, spinach can enhance our cognitive functioning./ Just like most vegetables, spinach contains Vitamin K which is widely considered as a cognitive catalyst. It helps in the brain’s development as well as treating age related memory loss.

Ways To Get Spinach Into Your Diet

Since this is a leafy vegetable, most folks have no trouble adding this to their favorite salads. This is a simple way to consume more of this veggie, but it is also quite boring, especially if you are not a salad eater.

Juicing is a fabulous way to get the benefits of this leafy vegetable without having to munch all day. You can simply drink a glass of concentrated nutrients quickly without any wait. Adding spinach to your juicing recipes can really do wonders for your body. Having a juicer will get your diet on track and give you a means to enjoy the power of spinach.