Snack Size Science: Beetroot catches up with sports nutrition

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beetroot juice, Metabolism

NutraIngredient’s Snack Size Science brings you the week's top science every two weeks. This week we catch up on the science behind beetroot juice’s sport nutrition potential.

The following is a transcript of this podcast:

This is NutraIngredients’s Snack Size Science​. I’m Stephen Daniells - bringing you the week’s top science in digestible amounts.

This week we catch up on how beetroot juice may keep you running for longer. As formulations within the sports nutrition market become ever more sophisticated, new results from the University of Exeter suggest that a simple juice from the humble beetroot could be a new contender for the crown of top sports drink.

According to findings published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, ​drinking half a litre of beetroot juice every day helped men to extend their ability to exercise by about 16 per cent, compared with when they drank a blackcurrant cordial.

There may also be benefits for people whose best sporting days are behind them, with the findings also potentially relevant to elderly people or those with heart, breathing or metabolic diseases.

The juice’s remarkable effects have been linked to its high nitrate content, which is converted into nitric oxide by the body, and leads to less oxygen being burned during exercise.

The study is the first of its kind, and it is clear that more research hurdles need to be cleared. If they are, beetroot juice may be only a hop, skip and jump away from being a winner for sports nutrition.

For NutraIngredients’ Snack Size Science​, I’m Stephen Daniells.

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