The Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation
One of this year’s most popular supplements is the beetroot, and for good reason! Beets have been shown to provide numerous benefits due to their abundance of vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants. These benefits include support for cardiovascular and circulatory health, muscle health and physical performance. Here’s what you need to know.
Beetroot is a great source of naturally occurring nitrates that are converted into nitric oxide (NO) in your body. “Nitric oxide is important because it expands your blood vessels, therefore increasing blood flow and nutrients, as well as decreasing plaque growth and blood clotting,” reports Nutritional Consultant at InVite® Health, Rami Allen, BS, NASM-CPT. For the muscles, this is great news, especially for the heart. “If you have a healthy blood flow in your heart, NO production would also lead to improvements in other muscles in your body. This indirectly leads to an increase in muscle power and strength, which is especially important as you age.” If all of these benefits weren’t enough, beetroot is antioxidant rich and an inflammation-fighting superstar, which aids in recovery.
Exercise and Fatigue
If you thought that was enough, we’re not done just yet! “Drinking beetroot juice after exercise may reduce muscle soreness, and speeds the recovery process so you can get back without delay. This is primarily due to beetroot’s high betalain and carotenoid content, which are powerful antioxidants,” explains Rami Allen. Researchers also found that carotenoids have potential health-promoting effects in the exercise-induced fatigue. Betalains are plant derived dark, red-pigmented antioxidants and they have been shown to act as powerful anti-inflammatory agents by preserving muscle function and reducing oxidative damage. In addition, the betalain in beetroot helps to form Glutathione, which enables the body to neutralize toxins and make them water-soluble. This means the toxins can be easily excreted through urine and flushed out of the body, making beetroot one of the best methods to detoxify the body and boost all bodily functions. If there are too many toxins in the body, your body will not function optimally.
New research from Northumbria University reports that beetroot juice after exercise provided a boost in recovery in a fairly short amount of time.6 The research team observed 30 men who exercised twice a week with 100 drop jumps in order to induce muscle damage in the legs. Following the jumps, the men drank beetroot juice for three days.7 The results showed that those in the beetroot juice group jumped an average of 18% higher than those in the placebo group just two days after completing the workout. This study provides new information on the potential use of beetroot juice to aid recovery after exercise. Moreover, these muscle groups are not only in use with counter movement jumps and drop jumps, but are used in running, cycling and walking. Therefore, people who suffer from sore muscles after such activities could benefit from consuming beetroot or its juice.