Various studies have suggested Beetroot juice is able to increase endurance and delay fatigue for athletes in long distance races. A recent study reported in Cycling Weekly suggested drinking Beetroot juice can also improve speed in short distance races.
According to this small study, in a 10 km time trial, cyclists reduced their average times from 965 seconds to 953 seconds – quite a significant time gap. (Pro rata – works out at nearly 1 minute for 25 mile TT)
“The amount of oxygen required to sustain sub-maximal exercise (ie at 45 per cent and 65 per cent of maximum power) was lower when the active beetroot juice was consumed. More importantly, though, was the finding that compared results to the placebo drink. The active beetroot juice significantly enhanced time trial performance – the average time recorded fell from 965 seconds to 953 seconds. This was confirmed by the fact that the average power output during the time trials rose from 288 watts in the placebo trial to 294 watts in the active beetroot juice trial. Again, this was a significant improvement.”
This study gave cyclists a drink of beetroot juice two hours before the test. In one group the nitrate was removed from the beetroot juice. In the other group, the natural nitrate was left in the beetroot juice. The group with nitrate in, managed to reduce their times. Continue Reading →