25th October 2013
If you are not aware of the hype around beetroot, then it may be worth checking out for any cyclist about to embark on a hard winter’s training program. There are numerous studies which show Beetroot to be of value to endurance athletes, so don’t be surprised to see your mate’s fridge fully stocked with it…
It’s all about the nitrates contained in beetroot which seem to help the body cope with intense exercise, allowing an athlete to work harder for longer.
The latest research into beetroot published in 2013 in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise suggests that concentrated beetroot juice improves endurance, though unfortunately not your power output.
Even so it’s very impressive, when you read of a reduction in the oxygen cost of exercise of a very significant 5-10% at submaximal work load – so think when you are coasting along in the bunch – increasing to an incredible 15-20% when working at an intense rate – think climbing a long hill or on a lone escape. Now that sounds awesome; but is it too good to be true?
Well watch these and see what you think. Firstly this neat little video, written and created by Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, explains just why it’s so good for you.
Secondly here’s an older pre-London Olympics video featuring one of the leading researchers into beetroot, Professor Andy Jones of the sports science team at Exeter University.
You can buy various beetroot sports drinks now, aimed at cyclists, such as BEET IT Sport. Being keen but cautious followers of fashion, we regularly include beetroot in our diets but have yet to try the drinks. Expect to see a full review soon…