Beet juice is rich is nitrates which has been shown to improve blood flow – increasing the
oxygen supply to the muscles. A study from the UK’s University of Exeter showed the juice
helped the muscles of runners and walkers use oxygen more efficiently. Runners lasted 15%
longer before reaching exhaustion. These same researchers performed another study on cyclists
who drank beet juice and got a 3% performance boost. These subjects drank an average of
17ounces of the juice. Brittney and I have learned to acquire a taste for beet juice. While it’s
certainly not our favorite, we try and drink it at least once per week.
A Greek study had athletes sip either tomato juice or an energy drink during and after workouts
for 2 months. The juice drinkers saw much greater results. In juice drinkers, levels of creatine
and lactate dehydrogenase (which are indicators of muscle damage) were significantly reduced,
almost returning to normal levels.
Good ole OJ. In a Brazilian study of overweight women, orange juice reduced post exercise
muscle fatigue. Half the women drank 17 ounces of OJ each day, while the other half was given
a placebo. After 3 months of one hour workouts three times per week, blood lactate levels fell
27% in the OJ group compared to just 17% in the others. The findings suggest this citrus juice
improved muscle response to training.
By Daniel Woodrum