(HealthDay News) — Chronic supplementation with beetroot juice, containing nitrate, has beneficial effects on the work of the heart in response to exercise, according to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.
Jae-Seok Lee, from Kyung Hee University in South Korea, and colleagues examined the effects of chronic supplementation with beetroot juice on cardiac output, blood pressure (BP), total peripheral resistance and the work of the heart in response to dynamic exercise.
The effects of 15 days of beetroot juice and nitrate-depleted beetroot juice supplementation were compared in 14 healthy males.
There was an increase in plasma nitrogen oxides with beetroot juice supplementation, according to the study results. Beetroot juice also correlated with a reduction in systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure and total peripheral resistance at rest and during exercise, compared with nitrate-depleted beetroot juice.
There was also a decrease in rate pressure product during exercise, and an increase in cardiac output at rest and the 30% workload (P<.05). Increases in the brachial artery diameter were induced by flow mediated dilation enhanced by beetroot juice.
“These findings suggest that [beetroot juice] can act as a dietary ergogenic supplement capable of enhancing oxygen delivery and reducing work of the heart, allowing exercise to be performed at a given workload for a longer period of time before the onset of fatigue,” the researchers wrote.