Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What is BeetRoot?

The beet, or the "beetroot," because it is the root of the plant that we eat, has been around for a very long time. Most of us would describe almost purple in color and deep red; however, there are beetroots that are yellow also red and white striped. Beetroot gets its color from betanin, which has been considered to contribute to the prevention of oxidative stress.

Beetroot juice supplementation has been studied in different athletes, mostly resulting in positive effects on exercise performance, in particular, improvement in oxygen consumption, time to exhaustion, also overall time to complete the given exercise.

A compound called "nitric oxide" (sometimes abbreviated NO) is a compound that is made in the body but also can be made from dietary nitrate. In the body, NO is synthesized by the action of the enzyme NO synthase on the circulating amino acid L-arginine. Nitrate is a natural substance in vegetables, especially in leafy green vegetables and in beetroots. After consuming a vegetable like beetroot, some of the nitrate is then converted to nitrate by bacteria in the saliva, which is then converted to NO in the stomach due to the acidic environment in the stomach. Some of the nitrate will be absorbed through the small intestines and into the body and will be converted to NO that occurs in the blood and tissues. NO, in turn, may decrease the oxygen cost of the intensity of a given exercise,leading to a greater amount of oxygen in the muscle and a lower rate of oxygen intake in an endurance type exercise.

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