Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
We often get questions about workout routines and what people should be taking pre-workout or post-workout. I want to focus on beetroot because many times, when we are thinking about beetroot extract, we are thinking about it in terms of its benefits when it comes to heart health and brain health. But certainly, there is an enormous amount of research studies now that have shown how effective beetroot extract can be for pre-workout in particular, but also for post-workout.
I want to talk about the science behind why that is and highlight our Beets Hx formulation, which is a combination of not only beetroot extract, which is incredibly powerful, but it also contains tart cherry extract, which has also been studied in the setting of athletic performance. I want to talk about utilizing beetroot extract as part of your pre-workout routine. This is even if you’re not a gym junkie and you workout minimalistically, but it would still be advantageous if you’re going to take a walk.
Benefits of beetroot
In recent years, there’s been a growing interest in the biological activity of beetroot extract in terms of all of its health-promoting and potential disease-preventing abilities. One of the main ways in which beetroot extract has primarily been focused on is its ability to increase nitric oxide production within the body. When we have low levels of nitric oxide, this is going to exacerbate many different conditions including high blood pressure and endothelial dysfunction.
Beetroot, as well as tart cherry, have both been shown to target oxidative stress as well. The environment in the human body in which oxidative stress develops is quite high, so the more antioxidants that we have on board, the better off we are. We have seen many different studies on beetroot extract showing how protective it is against DNA damage, even at a cellular level.
What’s interesting about beetroot extract is the way that it’s been looked at beyond just targeting oxidative stress. Researchers have also been able to realize that inflammation is widely targeted with the ingestion of beetroot extract as well. Those betanins from the beetroot extract have emerged as a very potent anti-inflammatory agent. I think that this is key because they’ve been able to recognize that when people ingest beetroot extract, it starts to interfere with a lot of the proinflammatory signaling pathways including NF-kappa beta and TNF-alpha, which means it’s downregulating inflammation.
Learn about additional benefits of beetroot extract by listening to the full podcast episode.
Beetroot for athletes
Auburn University was known for their pre-game ritual of taking beetroot extract. They would have their football players take beetroot extract before the game. In the Journal of Physiology, what they were looking at was how that nitric oxide production that was occurring helped to increase blood flow to the skeletal muscles during the football game. They thought that this gave them this extra edge because they were getting better blood flow and oxygenation up to the tissues.
Beetroot extract has been shown to be beneficial in the setting of athletes and when it comes to the potential performance enhancement. But even if you’re just going for a walk, having a glass of the beetroot extract before doing that would be quite advantageous.
In the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, they were looking at the effect of beetroot supplementation on intermittent, high-intensity exercise. In this particular study, they analyzed the use of beetroot extract and then gave these athletes this intermittent activity, such as cycling, to do in short bursts. They were then looking at the amount of nitric oxide that was being dispersed. It was really very interesting to see that the nitric oxide production made such a significant difference and that improvement was observed much faster than they were actually expecting. Finding that ability of the beetroot extract to allow for better muscle perfusion of blood and oxygen, the researchers said that this would not only help for the time being, but actually also post-exercise when it came to the muscular fatigue that many people can experience.
Even if you’re not working out and you’re just going to take a walk around the block but you come back and you’re feeling exhausted, having that beetroot extract can really help to support the ability for your muscles to fend off the oxidative stress and lactic acid that potentially build up. Tart cherry extract has also been studied in the setting of athletes and shown to really allow for better performance under high-stress environments. This is why I wanted to highlight the Beets Hx. It’s so easy to add into your routine. You just take one scoop of Beets Hx mixed in with six or eight ounces of water and drink that down. You are now packing your body with all of these powerful polyphenols and antioxidants that are targeting oxidative stress and inflammation while also helping to enhance proper blood flow throughout the entire body.
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