By Gabrielle Maston
Nitrate explosion for the competitor’s edge
Body sculptors and other elite sports women are always on the lookout for the next best thing to enhance competition advantage.
Beetroot juice may be your answer to taking your training to the next best level. New emerging research conducted in the United Kingdom University of Exeter in 2010 found that nitrate; a substance naturally produced in foods may help increase endurance in middle distance high intensity sports and increase visual vascularly for muscular definition in body builders.
When researchers supplemented elite cyclist’s with nitrate in moderate to high intensity long distance racing they found they could last longer at higher intensity levels. If you are into long distance racing you would know lasting longer in cycling at faster speeds is the key to achieving your personal best and ultimately winning.
Nitrates are chemical substances in food that cause blood vessels to widen and allow more blood flow. Allowing more blood flow provides more oxygen to muscles during exercise reducing lactic acid production and in turn reducing fatigue. Fatigue is typically the limiting factor in performance. This is also beneficial for body sculpting competitors who want to appear well defined on stage. Veins widen and can be readily seen on the surface of the skin creating a more ripped appearance. In a body building competition leanness, muscularity as well as symmetry is all part of the judging criteria. If done well can rank you number one. The benefits gained from the use of nitrate during competition are well worth experimenting with.
Natural sources of nitrates are derived from plant sources. Nitrates are added to our soil in the forms of fertilisers used to enhance the growth of plants. Foods high in nitrates are subsequently plants in particular dark green and leafy veggies as well as beetroot. Please note it is important not to choose organically grown veggies as they will contain little nitrate due to lack of use of plant fertilisers.
So how much beetroot juice is needed? To get performance benefits during competition only 70ml of pure beetroot juice is required 2.5 hours before a race or event. It is a good idea however to experiment taking beetroot juice pre competition in case you feel any side effects. Low blood pressure is one of the major concerns especially when lifting weights. You don’t want to pass out underneath a bench press!
Currently many supplements on the market can also be used in a similar fashion however may not be as effective as beetroot juice. For those competing in endurance based sports it may be beneficial to supplement on a regular basis with powders containing amino acid protein arginine. Arginine helps with the production of nitric oxide in the body. This may be an easier and more convenient way to get the same effect without trying to get a hold of beetroot juice on a daily basis.
Don’t let your chance of being the best on competition day slip away. Get into the explosion of this latest research, nitrates may give you the competitive edge!
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