Sports and sex performance are two of the hottest health topics around. To have run across a clinically proven method of boosting both was another “Aha” moment for me and one I had admittedly missed until now. To lay the groundwork behind the scientific basis for the double-blinded, placebo controlled study, please revisit Sun & Vegetables: Prescription For Health, where the mechanism of sunlight in the production of nitrous oxide was discussed. Also, in Arginine: Super Amino Acid? and Sex And Nutrition, the important role of arginine as a catalyst for the production of nitrous oxide was presented. In all three of these posts, scientists discuss the critical role nitrous oxide has in dilating the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and increasing oxygen uptake into the blood stream.
Now comes the convincing clinical evidence that boosting your intake of nitrates has a direct effect on athletic performance. Specifically, the researchers used beetroot juice in their trial as the measurable nitrate supplement. In the placebo group, the same dosage of beetroot juice was administered, but stripped only of its nitrate content. In every test subject, performance was enhanced. A separate study, reported in the The Journal of Applied Physiology, showed beetroot juice increased runners’ endurance during high intensity running by 15 percent!
Personally, I’m not a big fan of beets and I’ve never tried beetroot juice, but for a 15% increase in performance, I’m willing to give it a try. Fair warning: Apparently there can be some intestinal issues as a result of hitting the beetroot juice hard right out of the box so it’s best to ease it into your nutrition routine. Here’s a brief video on the clinical study performed at the University of Florida:
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