Bodybuilders and athletes worldwide are on a constant hunt for prime supplements which are bound to optimize their workout performance. From plastic capsules to natural extracts, you have probably heard them all. But, what if someone told you that something as straightforward and natural as a beetroot could work miracles on your endurance?
In recent years, the supplement industry has heavily invested in beetroot-based products with beetroot powder being one of the most popular options. You are probably wondering how this all-natural workout supplement can boost your training profile. The answer lies a few lines away.
What is Beetroot Powder?
You probably know all about the beneficial effects of vegetables on your health. However, it wasn’t until 2009 when research shed light on the benign side of dietary nitrate (abundant in beetroots) on those who train consistently. As soon as this discovery took place, the fitness community turned to beetroots for that extra punch. So did the supplement industry. In fact, supplement companies filled the market’s gap by introducing beetroots in the form of powder. This way users can include their favorite supplement in smoothies, juices, or anywhere they deem appropriate.
How Beetroot Powder Can Boost Your Workout Performance
Beetroot powder is loaded with nitrate. That is where the journey begins.
From Nitrate to Nitric Oxide
Nitrates are the precursor to Nitric Oxide (NO). Once in your mouth, nitrates are quickly broken down and converted into nitrite. In its turn, nitrite converts into Nitric Oxide inside your stomach. From there, NO is being absorbed via your gastrointestinal tract and gets down to business. What is fascinating about this procedure is that it requires no oxygen. So, you don’t need to take more breaks to catch your breath.
From Nitric Oxide to Muscle Mass
Nitric Oxide (NO) is a multidimensional molecule that helps your body function properly in many ways. Among others, NO is a strong vasodilator. That is why it is being used in heaps in supplements to promote athletes’ and bodybuilders’ endurance. Once in your bloodstream, NO puts its vasodilator properties to use.
When it comes to training and exercise, it promotes the blood flow towards your muscles where your power storehouses (mitochondria) are forced to produce more energy. Also, the fact that NO is independent of oxygen results in your spending energy more gradually. The more energy you have, the more intense your workout performance.
From Research to Reality
Numerous studies confirm the beneficial nature of beetroot extracts (such as powder) on your athletic performance and endurance. In cyclists subject to exercise trials in this study, there was a significant improvement in terms of time and energy output without consuming extra oxygen. In particular, cyclists consumed beetroot extract and then run a 4km and a 16 km ride. In the 4km ride, cyclists performed 2,8% better as they did before they consumed beetroot extract. In the 16km ride, they endured 2,7% more than they usually do.
The bottom line of this study is that cyclists who consumed beetroot extract (powder) performed better and demonstrated increased economy on their energy levels.
Potential Side Effects
Like any other supplement, beetroot powder overconsumption can result in discomforting side effects. In large doses, this powdered supplement can be the reason behind an upset stomach, nausea or diarrhea. Like the original root, this supplement has the inherent quality of lowering blood pressure. So, if you consume more than recommended, you risk bringing down your blood pressure dangerously low.
Beta Vulgaris Rubra, widely known as beetroot, is scientifically associated with numerous health benefits. From improving cardiovascular health to promoting detoxification and reducing inflammation, beetroot in all forms is a great supplement for overall health.
The Cleansing Nature of Beetroot Powder
When it comes to detoxification, liver holds the greatest responsibility. This organ is expected to extract and disassemble harmful substances (toxins, carcinogens, etc.) and prevent them from running in your bloodstream. However, once the liver gets overwhelmed, the toxins are bound to accumulate leading to a series of unpleasant physical symptoms.
Beetroot powder has the power to detoxify your liver through its pigments known as betalains. These potent compounds are excellent antioxidant agents cleansing your liver from accumulated and health-robbing toxins.
The Anticancer Nature of Beetroot Powder
According to research, beetroot extract (powder) may help you prevent cancer development in liver, skin, breast, prostate and lungs. In particular, betanin (found in beetroot powder) is equipped with potent cancer chemopreventive properties. However, further research is necessary to firmly determine whether this supplement can help prevent the disease.
As it happens with all supplements, beetroot powder may not be a perfect fit for everyone. However, if you are an athlete/bodybuilder that cares about performance and endurance, you should give this supplement a chance. Considering all of the additional health perks of beetroot powder, it seems that you can only benefit from it.