A.I.A Considers Beetroot A 'Group A' Sports Supplement

A.I.A Considers Beetroot A 'Group A' Sports Supplement

Bev Dunne

We had an interesting response last week to my article on the health benefits of beetroot juice. There was particular interest regarding the benefits of supplementing with beetroot juice or beetroot powder for athletic performance.  There are many studies indicating beetroot juice which contributes to nitric oxide availability in our body, may boost endurance and exercise performance. There have been positive studies conducted on sports such as cycling, running, kayaking, swimming and power walking.

The Australian Institute of Sport has in fact assessed beetroot juice and has classified it as a Group A supplement, implying there is sound scientific evidence for use in specific sports situations. The A.I.S. has a very helpful 3-page information sheet online explaining the benefits of supplementing with dietary nitrate/beetroot juice (1).

We know our fitness is important especially when we are exercising. Cardiorespiratory fitness relates to the capacity of our respiratory and circulatory systems to deliver oxygen to our muscles, especially during prolonged exercise. Nitric oxide is important and very beneficial because it has been found to assist in opening our blood vessels and boosting blood flow which in turn supplies extra oxygen to our muscles.  Nitrate levels achieved by drinking beetroot juice or powder are believed to increase blood flow and also assist in boosting the supply of oxygen and nutrients to our muscles when we’re undertaking exercise.

It seems one of the primary benefits of beetroot juice or powder is the improvement in our endurance. Because the nitrates contained in beetroot juice enhances the amount of oxygen our body uses whilst we’re exercising, this then enables us to exercise more intensely.

It also means we’re able to exercise longer without feeling fatigued. This is because the nitrates contained in beetroot juice lessen the amount of oxygen our muscles require to function, allowing us to not tire so readily.

Exercising and maintaining fitness is also about recovery. Once again because the nitrates contained in beetroot juice increase blood flow to our muscles, supplementing with beetroot juice or powder may accelerate our recovery process, lessening soreness and allowing us to return to training earlier.

As I wrote last week, not only does beetroot juice help with our exercise and endurance but it’s also believed to be beneficial for lowering blood pressure, stimulating the function of liver cells protecting our liver and bile ducts, increasing circulation to the heart and brain as well as helping reduce erectile dysfunction.

Supplementing with beetroot juice or beetroot is equally beneficial. One teaspoon of beetroot is the equivalent of one beetroot.

For more information call down to Go Vita at 5 North St, Batemans Bay to chat to the girls or phone on 0244729737. Don’t forget to tune in to Bev on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.45 pm.

1. https://www.ais.gov.au/nutrition/supplements/group_a