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Beet Juice Does Not Enhance Blood Flow During Exercise -- Study

January 19, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who tested whether beet juice improves muscle blood flow and athletic performance found that the widely held belief does not hold up under scientific scrutiny. The researchers gave participants either a placebo drink containing beetroot juice without nitrates or a relatively high dose of nitrate-rich beetroot juice. The latter did not enhance the natural rise in blood flow to the forearm muscles during handgrip exercises, and had no effect on the dilation of brachial arteries. Nitrate-rich beetroot juice does, however, "de-stiffen" blood vessels under resting conditions, potentially easing the workload of the heart.
Jin-Kwang Kim et al., "Acute dietary nitrate supplementation does not augment submaximal forearm exercise hyperemia in healthy young men", Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, January 19, 2015, © Canadian Science Publishing
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