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Beetroot juice beats nitrate supplements in stimulating exercise performance

In a recent review published in Frontiers in Nutrition, US researchers examined the benefits of beetroot juice (BRJ) on exercise capacity and physiology. They found BRJ offers superior advantages over dietary nitrate (NO3-) and nitrate salts (NIT) due to its diverse phytonutrient content, enhancing training and recovery outcomes. Nitrate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of aerobic exercise, affecting muscle function, vascular performance, and muscle damage. BRJ, rich in nitrates, potassium, magnesium, and polyphenolic compounds like betanin, influences exercise efficiency. BRJ's effectiveness in intense aerobic exercise suggests improved mitochondrial efficiency, delaying fatigue onset. However, the disparity in outcomes between BRJ and NIT trials poses questions regarding their nitrate doses' effects. While BRJ may ease muscle soreness and enhance training outcomes, further research is needed to understand its mechanisms fully. Future trials comparing NIT and BRJ should measure NO3- levels directly and blind participants to treatment differences to ensure accurate assessment.