A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, revealed that beetroot juice lowers blood pressure, reduces the work of the heart during exercise and acts as a neutracuetical substance. The research participants for this study were male subjects who drank beetroot juice for 15 days.
Beetroot juice contains dietary nitrate (NO3) which produces nitric oxide (NO) a signaling molecule that has numerous functions in the human body, including blood flow regulation, neurotransmission, glucose and calcium homeostasis, muscle
contractility and mitochondrial respiration.
The study determined that beetroot juice can be used as a supplement to enhance oxygen delivery to muscles; due, in part, to enhanced endothelial induced vasodilation in contracting skeletal muscle. Thus, exercise can be performed for a longer period of time before fatigue affects the work of the heart. Blood vessels are also dilated more easily and the heart consumes less oxygen during exercise with beet juice consumption.These findings suggest that a single dose of NO3 can reduce the afterload on the heart and lower myocardial oxygen demand at a given exercise intensity.
Jae-Seok Lee, Charles L. Stebbins, Eunji Jung, Hosung Nho, Jong-Kyung Kim, Myoung-Jei Chang, Hyun-Min Choi. Effects of Chronic Dietary Nitrate Supplementation on the Hemodynamic Response to Dynamic Exercise. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 2015; ajpregu.00099.2015 DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00099.2015