Can Beet Juice Make Your Muscles Stronger?

In a new randomized, crossover study, researchers demonstrate that the consumption of dietary nitrates improves athletic performance, and they explain why that may be. The study found that during exercise, participants experienced about a 7% increase in muscle torque, or strength, compared to those who consumed the placebo. The study comes from researchers at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, together with researchers from the University of Queensland, Australia, and the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH).

What happened in the study? Ten healthy male volunteers signed up to participate in the study. They consumed either a suspension of potassium nitrate, or as a control condition, a liquid containing a potassium chloride placebo. Researchers performed muscle biopsies on the participants four times: before ingestion, 1 hour later, 3 hours later, and after participants had performed 60 maximal contractions of knee extensors.

Compared to those who ingested the placebo, individuals who consumed the nitrate solution had elevated levels of nitrates in their vastus lateralis leg musclesTrusted Source, part of the quadricepsTrusted Source. The increase persisted for a few hours after nitrate consumption.

Excerpted from Medical News Today

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