Beetroot Juice Could Enhance Performance of Athletes and Lower Blood Pressure, study Shows

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Popular beetroot juice supplements are found to be beneficial for patients with severe lung conditions, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A recent study published in the European Respiratory Journal reveals that a 12-week daily intake of beetroot juice resulted in lowered blood pressure and improved exercise capacity, as evidenced by increased walking distance in six minutes.

Beetroot juice increases nitrate levels in blood thus affecting performance

Beetroot juice is a popular recovery aid for elite athletes, gaining recognition after Leicester City players credited its use for their accelerated recovery and injury prevention during their surprising Premier League title win in 2016.

COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, impacts around 400 million individuals worldwide. It impedes breathing, restricts physical activity, and elevates the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Imperial College London conducted a study comparing concentrated beetroot juice high in nitrate with a nitrate-free placebo. The research, led by Professor Nicholas Hopkinson, suggests that beetroot juice, a potential source of nitrate supplementation, may enhance athletic performance and positively impact blood pressure. Hopkinson indicated that higher nitrate levels in the blood promote the availability of nitric oxide, leading to improved blood vessel relaxation and increased muscle efficiency, reducing the need for oxygen during physical exertion.

High nitrate levels in blood can lower systolic blood pressure

The study conducted at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London involved 81 COPD patients with systolic blood pressure over 130 mmHg. Participants were randomly assigned to either a nitrate-rich beetroot supplement or a placebo for 12 months. The nitrate group exhibited a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure by 4.5 mmHg and an increase in walking distance by approximately 30 meters (98 feet) in six minutes compared to the placebo group.

At the conclusion of the investigation, Professor Hopkinson noted a decrease in blood pressure among individuals who consumed the beetroot juice drink enriched with nitrates, accompanied by a reduction in the stiffness of their blood vessels. While these findings show promise, it is imperative to validate them through more extensive and prolonged research studies.

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