I’m always extremely wary when it comes to “superfoods” that claim to cure all ailments and leave you sparkling with health and improved endurance, and you should be too, since the science supporting them is vague at best. We all know that a healthy diet is made up of a variety of nutrients and vitamins and good diets are ones that are diverse in these, as well as being largely plant based.
However, when scientific research proves that a specific nutrient/food group should be consumed more frequently than others or is good for targeting a specific need, we should listen up and take note of the factual findings. Last week, I read an article in the FT by Charles Wallace explaining the latest research coming out of UK universities about the benefits of nitrate-rich foods such as spinach, carrots and beetroot. It turns out that not only can nitrates improve performance during high intensity exercise such as sprinting, but for stressed out executives with hypertension, they can also be a safe, non-medicinal way to reduce blood pressure.
The article reads, “nitrates appear to work in two ways: by increasing production of energy in our mitochondria, the microscopic furnaces within our cells, and making more efficient use of oxygen during exercise, which allows athletes to work harder with less effort. That is the kind of boost needed to win races.”
Scientists have been working with a UK company, James White, to produce a drink called Beet It, which has the precise amount of nitrates needed to ramp up exercise performance. The juice has to be drunk two hours before exercise to allow the conversion process to take place and the increase in nitric oxide lasts about six hours in the bloodstream. Because the conversion takes place using bacteria in the mouth, you can’t brush your teeth or use mouthwash after consuming the nitrates or the conversion process will stop.”
I’ve bought Beet It juice by James White in bulk and I’m careful to consume it two hours before my workout to boost my performance and make sure I don’t kill the beneficial effects by brushing my teeth until after I’ve exercised. I find the taste alone a little hard to swallow, but when lime and/or lemon juice is added I promise you, it’s absolutely delicious!
This is the kind of advice I love and I love sharing with you. Factual, scientific and IT WORKS!!