London, May 20 (ANI): Scientists from the University of Exeter's School of Sport and Health Sciences have discovered that beetroot juice boosts stamina by making muscles more fuel-efficient.
In 2009, the same researchers found that the juice can increase physical endurance. The study focused on men aged 19 to 38 cycling on exercise bikes. Drinking 500ml of beetroot juice a day for a week enabled them to cycle 16 per cent longer before getting tired out.
Now, the scientists say they've understood how the beetroot boost works.
The new study showed that beetroot juice doubled the amount of nitrate in the blood of volunteers, and reduced the rate at which muscles used their main source of energy. Beetroot juice helped muscles work more efficiently and lowered their oxygen uptake.
The researchers believe nitrate from beetroot juice leads to increased levels of nitric oxide in the body, which affects a range of functions including blood flow, hormone levels and cell signalling.
"We have seen growing interest in the benefits of drinking beetroot juice in the world of professional sport and I expect this study to attract even more attention from athletes," the Independent quoted the study's leader, Professor Andy Jones, as saying.
The findings are published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. (ANI)