Study Shows: Beet Root Juice Increases Exercise Tolerance

hot girl with jumpropeA paper published in 2011 in the Journal of Applied Physiology reviews a study which has demonstrated that beet root juice consumption increases exercise tolerance by decreasing oxygen consumption during exercise. An additional benefit of beet root juice observed in the study is decreased resting blood pressure.

One group of participants consumed 500 mL of beet root juice daily, the equivalent of one small glass, for a period of six days. The placebo group consumed 500 mL of a beet root juice from which the NO3 had been removed for six days. NO3 is the constituent of beet root juice that is believed to be responsible for the effects observed, as the group consuming the beet root juice which included NO3 experienced the benefits of increased exercise tolerance and decreased resting blood pressure while the group consuming the NO3-free juice did not experience these benefits. It is believed that consuming NO3 as a supplement would have the same effects observed in the study as consuming actual beet root juice, though a NO3 supplement would not provide the other health-promoting constituents of beet root juice such as its antioxidant polyphenols.

The observed effects of beet root juice were experienced within 2.5 hours after consumption, and promoted an increase in tolerance to cardiovascular type exercise. An increased tolerance to exercise may promote reduced fatigue and increased performance. While the study was performed using cardiovascular exercise as the exercise type, the effects of beet root juice may be of benefit to those performing other types of exercise as well.



Ferreira LF, & Behnke BJ. (2011). A toast to health and performance! Beetroot juice lowers blood pressure and the O2 cost of exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). 110(3), 585-6.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cassie is a chemistry major and national level bodybuilder. Questions or comments? Talk to Cassie on the FORUM or on FACEBOOK.

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