Im­prove your per­for­mance by reach­ing for the ’root

Cycling Plus - - TRAINING CAMP -

Beet­root’s abil­ity to im­prove per­for­mance has been men­tioned a lot over the last few years, but what is less well known is how much you need to take on and for how long to see those ben­e­fits.

Beet­root is high in ni­trate, and ni­trate con­sump­tion helps to re­duce the oxy­gen cost of sub­max­i­mal ex­er­cise so helps to in­crease time trial speed and time to ex­haus­tion. Ni­trate con­sump­tion has seen around a 2.8 per cent im­prove­ment in time to com­ple­tion, which can be the dif­fer­ence be­tween first and sec­ond place.

How much?

To get it nat­u­rally you’d need 800ml of beet­root juice to see any per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing ef­fects. Luck­ily, beet­root con­cen­trate is avail­able in 70ml shots.

If you com­pete a lot, do a load­ing phase of four days with 2x140ml a day (four shots in to­tal). If you’re not as highly trained tak­ing on board 140ml (two shots) 2.5 hours be­fore an event should suf­fice. Re­search sug­gests that trained in­di­vid­u­als re­quire more ni­trate to see a ben­e­fit.


New stud­ies also sug­gest that hav­ing beet­root post-ex­er­cise can help re­cov­ery. Emma Steven­son PhD, pro­fes­sor of sport and ex­er­cise sci­ence at New­cas­tle Uni­ver­sity says: “We’ve con­ducted a se­ries of stud­ies look­ing at the role of beet­root juice in fa­cil­i­tat­ing re­cov­ery fol­low­ing in­tense ex­er­cise, and found that con­sum­ing beet­root juice for three days af­ter a hard bout of ex­er­cise can en­hance re­cov­ery. Par­tic­i­pants have re­ported re­duced mus­cle sore­ness and, in many cases, faster re­cov­ery in mus­cle power”. will­girling.com

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