Beetroot Juice vs Nitrate Supplements: Which Is Better For Boosting Exercise Performance?

Beetroot Juice vs Nitrate Supplements: Which Is Better For Boosting Exercise Performance? Good news for athletes! A new study reveals that beetroot juice (BRJ) might be even better than nitrate supplements for improving exercise performance. Researchers compared the two and found that BRJ showed significant advantages, especially for high-intensity workouts.

Why is beetroot juice superior?

  • More than just nitrates: While BRJ is rich in nitrates, like supplements, it also packs a punch of other beneficial ingredients like potassium, magnesium, and polyphenols. These work together to enhance the performance-boosting effects beyond what nitrates alone can achieve.
  • Improved oxygen efficiency: BRJ may help your body use oxygen more effectively during exercise, leading to reduced oxygen uptake and better performance. This could be due to improved mitochondrial function.
  • Delayed fatigue: Studies show that BRJ can delay the onset of fatigue during intense workouts, allowing you to push harder for longer.
  • Reduced muscle soreness: Beyond performance, BRJ’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may help reduce muscle soreness after exercise, aiding recovery.

However, some questions remain:

  • Optimal nitrate dose: The exact nitrate dose needed for optimal effects with BRJ is unclear. While moderate doses seem most effective, more research is needed.
  • Blinding challenges: Studies comparing BRJ and supplements face the challenge of blinding participants due to their taste and color differences. This can introduce bias.
  • Mechanisms at play: While the synergy between nitrates and other BRJ components is suspected, pinpointing the specific mechanisms driving these benefits requires further investigation.
    The bottom line:

While nitrate supplements offer benefits, BRJ seems to go the extra mile. Its unique combination of nitrates, other nutrients, and potentially beneficial compounds could be the key to unlocking greater performance and recovery for athletes.

How much beetroot juice should be consumed to improve exercise performance?

The optimal amount of beetroot juice to consume for improving exercise performance is a subject of research and may depend on various factors. Some recommendations suggest consuming one to two 70ml shots a day for three to five days before competition, as well as two to three hours before.

The optimal dose is likely to be 600mg nitrate, equivalent to 2 x 70 ml concentrated beetroot shots.

Another source suggests that the optimal amount is 8.4 mmol of nitrate, but also points out that highly-trained individuals may require a slightly higher dose.

It’s important to note that the effects of beetroot juice on exercise performance can vary based on the individual’s fitness level, the specific exercise protocol, and other factors. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare or sports nutrition professional to determine the most suitable dosage based on individual circumstances.

What is the recommended time frame for consuming beetroot juice before exercise?

It is commonly recommended to consume concentrated beetroot juice 2-3 hours before a workout to get the full effects during the session.

This timing is suggested to allow for the peak levels of nitric oxide to be reached in the bloodstream, which is associated with the performance-enhancing benefits of beetroot juice.

Additionally, it is advised to consume one to two 70ml shots of beetroot juice a day for three to five days before competition, as well as two to three hours before the exercise.

This pre-exercise consumption timeframe is believed to be optimal for reaping the benefits of beetroot juice on exercise performance.

How long does the effect of beetroot juice last during exercise?

The effect of beetroot juice on exercise performance can last for a few hours. It is commonly recommended to consume concentrated beetroot juice 2-3 hours before a workout to get the full effects during the session.

According to a study, the supplement was taken 120-180 minutes before exercise in various research.

Another source suggests that beetroot juice could yield great effects if taken short-term before competition, from 2-6 days (and up to 15 days).

However, it’s important to note that individual responses may vary based on factors such as fitness level, training experience, and the specific type of exercise.

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