Natural Energy Drink — “Purple Bull”

Originally posted on Eat.Drink.Better. on August 20, 2009.

Think red bull has it going? Try “purple bull” (i.e. beet juice). Nothing compares to the greater physical endurance beet juice can give you.

Beet juice increases endurance and can help to extend time of excercise by as much as 16%, a new study says.

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Nitrate that reduces O2 in the human body accumulates in beets. Reducing O2 in the body, this nitrate interacts with the muscles and heart in such a way that it allows for longer exercise and greater endurance. This is the case with both moderate- and high-intensity exercise.

A recent study by scientists from the University of Exeter and Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth involving eight men between the ages of 19 and 38 found that men who drank half a liter of beet juice everyday for 6 days had significantly more endurance than the control group at the end of those six days.

The authors of the study speculate that humans may have increased endurance from beet juice due to the fact that nitrates in the body transform into nitrogen oxide and this nitrogen oxide reduces the usage of oxygen in mitochondria. The authors say that such a reduction in oxygen usage could not be made by any other known methods today.

This is an exciting discovery that could benefit both professional and non-professional athletes and even those of us who are not athletes but would like to have greater endurance for everyday activities.

The authors say that more research needs to be done to better understand the influence that high nitrate food has on the working of the human body during exercise. Beets are hypothesized to even work better than training in some circumstances.

Beets also contain betanin molecules, amino acids, carbohydrates and organic acids. Therefore, beet juice is often recommended for people with anemia or leukemia, people who went through radiation therapy or chemotherapy, and for elderly people. Moreover, beet juice increases our overall immunity, intensifies the creation of red blood cells and strengthens our human body.

If you are preparing for any sort of physical activity or sport, or just want better endurance for daily or weekly activities, drink some beet juice!

For more on the above study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, click here.

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image credit 1: Carol Green via flickr under a Creative Commons license
image credit 2: Timmy Toucan via flickr under a Creative Commons license

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~ by Zachary Shahan on January 3, 2010.

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