Beetroot or beet juice
Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements (2017).

Beetroot or beet juice
Beets and beet juice are among the best food sources of nitrate. Beet juice might improve athletic performance because the body converts some of this nitrate to nitric oxide, which expands blood vessels. This blood vessel expansion increases blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to exercising muscle. The expanded blood vessels also speed up the removal of waste products that cause muscle fatigue.

DOES IT WORK? Many, but not all, studies have found that beet juice can improve performance and endurance in aerobic activities like running, swimming, cycling, and rowing. But whether it helps with strengthening and bodybuilding exercises isn’t known. Beet juice is more likely to improve the performance of recreational exercisers than highly-trained athletes. The usual approach in studies is for participants to drink 2 cups of beet juice about 2.5 to 3 hours before exercise.
IS IT SAFE? Drinking moderate amounts of beet juice is safe, but it can turn your urine pink or red.
BOTTOM LINE Beet juice might improve aerobic exercise performance if you’re recreationally active. But whether dietary supplements containing beetroot powder have the same effects as beet juice isn’t known.
REMARK Many performance supplements in the marketplace contain more than one ingredient, and ingredients can work differently when they’re combined. Because most ingredient combinations have not been studied, it is not known how effective or safe they are in improving performance.

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