Athletes and sports enthusiasts are not only depending on training regime, but also leaning towards nutrient rich food to improve athletic performance. Diet plays an important role in impacting body functions during exercise.
One of the most nutrient dense vegetables, beetroot has become a popular ergogenic supplement because of its proposed ergogenic properties. Little did we know that beetroot, like chocolate contains tryptophan, a substance that promotes better sleep, provides anxiety relief, increases emotional well-being, and manages mood.
However, how many of us include this striking red beet in our diet? What makes the beet such an athletic nutritional powerhouse?
During athletic performance, your body requires more oxygen as well as nutrients. Nitric oxides in the body impact the utilisation of ATPs (Adenosine Triphosphate) which are the energy packets required by the cells. Eating beets improves oxygen use and reduces exhaustion. Beetroot juice is advised to be consumed 2–3 hours prior to training.
Beat Blood Pressure
Beetroot juice is high in nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide into your body by dilating blood vessels, increasing blood flow capacity, and lowering blood pressure. It works by feeding more oxygen to working muscles. This may lead to a reduced risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke. Dietary nitrate can also be found green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and rocket.
After a long and intense training, you get hit by muscle soreness. These are all symptoms of post-workout tissue inflammation. How does it occur? Every time you head for your daily run or weekend ride, damage occurs in your muscle and connective tissue. Yes, you can fight inflammation naturally with beets. Beetroot contains betaine that fights inflammation.
Beat Immune System
Beets are high in vitamin C to help boost immune system. Other minerals like iron, potassium, and zinc are essential for the health of nerves, muscle function, and red blood cells. Vitamin C aids immune function by acting as an antioxidant. You can add beetroot juice into your daily diet to fight those flus! Iron is an essential component of red blood cells. Beets reduce the risk of iron deficiency anemia!
Beets are loaded with dietary fibre which is essential for smooth digestion and gut health. The fibre in beets lowers the risk of diverticular disease, a disease associated with colon inflammation that causes gas, bloating, irregular bowel movements and nausea.
Did you know that beet greens are also nutritious and delicious?
Those green leaves on the top of your beetroots contain vitamin A, vitamin C, 1 calcium, and iron. Beets and their leafy greens provide great dishes for the table and nutritional benefits. The leafy greens are the finest sources of beta carotene and vitamin K. Beta carotene can be converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin K promotes bone formation and strengthening activity. The greens can be cooked in the same way as spinach.