Beetroot juice has a special color and a special taste.
Although some people don’t like it, recent research has shown that the dark red drink has incredibly health benefits.
One important health benefit is lowering blood pressure.
In a recent study published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, researchers find that people with high blood pressure who drank about 8 ounces of beetroot juice had a drop in blood pressure of about 10 mm Hg.
The researchers explain that the beetroot juice contains about 0.2g of dietary nitrate. In the body, the nitrate is converted to a chemical nitrite and then to nitric oxide in the blood.
Previous research has shown that nitric oxide is a gas that can widen blood vessels and help with blood flow.
The study shows that the effect of beetroot was strongest 3-6 hours after drinking the juice and still present even 24 hours later.
Therefore, drinking beetroot juice could help control blood pressure. This can benefit people with high blood pressure.
Another health benefit of beetroot is improving exercise endurance.
So far, several studies have confirmed this benefit. One study from Indiana University shows that drinking beetroot juice could help improve exercise capacity in patients with heart failure.
In the study, 8 heart failure patients drank beetroot juice before exercise. Heart failure is a disease in which the heart cannot pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body.
These patients had to use more energy in the exercise. The researchers found that drinking beetroot juice strongly increased the patients exercise duration and oxygen uptake during exercise.
In another study from Wake Forest University, researchers show that beetroot juice could improve exercise performance in people with COPD.
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, makes it difficult for patients to breathe and worsens over time.
People with the disease often complain of shortness of breath with exertion, so physical tasks like climbing steps can leave them gasping for air. COPD can make patients more sedentary.
In the study, the researchers found that patients who drank beetroot juice were able to extend their exercise time, and that they had reduced exercise diastolic and resting systolic blood pressures.
In a third study, the researchers from Wake Forest University find that drinking a beetroot juice supplement before working out can make the brain of older adults perform more efficiently.
The brain study showed that adding a beet root juice supplement to exercise resulted in brain connectivity that is very similar to what in younger adults.
It seems that beetroot juice can turn old brains into younger ones during exercise.
Again, the researchers explain that the health benefit is from dietary nitrate, which can be converted to nitric oxide when consumed.
Nitric oxide can increase blood flow in the body and improve exercise performance regardless the age.
So, the advice is that you can combine beetroot juice with regular exercise. They can help deliver more oxygen to the body and the brain and make you stronger.
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