beet juice

Daily Wisdom: April 27

The veggie you should eat (or drink) daily for exercise stamina and brain health.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, Matt Berenc, director of education at the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, addresses some of the latest fitness research and news stories.

Today’s Topic: Beet root juice for brain health and performance enhancement 

The Science: A recent study by researchers at Wake Forest University found that drinking a beetroot juice supplement before a workout can make the brains of older people look younger.

EQX Expert Insight:Beet juice naturally contains a high amount of nitrite that, when ingested, is eventually converted to nitric oxide which causes an increase of blood flow and oxygen to the working tissue,” explains Berenc. “Being that the brain is a primary consumer of oxygen, the results of this study make sense.” Consuming beet root juice has been shown to have other benefits beyond the brain. “Again, due to the increase blood flow and oxygen delivery, this supplement has been shown to delay fatigue particularly in endurance-based sports,” says Berenc. Separate research has shown that the drink can even make you run faster.

The Bottom Line: Whether you’re more interested in performance enhancement or brain health (or both), it’s worth consuming beet juice (or just eating beets which has similar effects) daily, per Berenc. But of course, it’s not a magical elixir: “The increased blood flow and benefits last only as long as you are taking it or for a short time afterwards,” says Berenc. So, it is best to sip it one to two hours prior to exercise. “This will allow the amount of nitric oxide in your body to increase and play a role in your training,” notes Berenc.