While personal trainers push pre-workouts and other supplements, turns out there’s a superfood that can have offer similar benefits… and you can probably grow it in your backyard.
Scientists are currently researching the effects of beetroot juice as a pre-workout drink.
A team from the Hunter Medical Research Institute in Newcastle and the University of Newcastle is currently adding to previous research that suggests the vegetable is a beneficial food for pre-workout.
“There has been some evidence that beetroot juice may be beneficial and the evidence stems from the abundance of nitrate within the beetroot juice which, in the body, is metabolised into a beneficial substance called nitric oxide,” says Dr. Aaron Sverdlov from the Medical Research Institute.
“[Nitric oxide] improves the blood flow in the vessels, and it’s thought to improve cardiovascular health overall.”
Dr Doan Ngo from the University of Newcastle says previous findings have found that beetroot can improve oxygen delivery.
“We are hoping to use beetroot juice as an easy alternative, along with the patient’s normal dietary intake, to help boost the oxygen consumption in the muscles,” says Ngo.
“[That will] therefore improve exercises and promote exercise duration for patients with obesity, therefore helping them to lose weight and promote healthy cardio-respiratory fitness.”
Recruiting a group of 50 people, the study examined the effects of drinking 70 millilitres a day for eight weeks. The participants were split into two where one group consumed concentrated beetroot juice while the other took a placebo laced with a nitrate extract.
The study will monitor “how they feel, how much they exercise, and what else they’ve eaten or drunk…assessing cardiac fitness.”
Scientists expect the results to confirm numerous benefits on exercise based on previous studies. Although not a magic cure, the study could prove beetroot to be an option for overweight individuals.
“We’re really optimistic that tit will be an easy choice for patients to help boost their exercise capacity, as well as to improve their cardio-respiratory fitness, and therefore help in the reduction of weight loss to fit the obesity epidemic,” says Ngo.