Efficacy on performance of athletes on supplementation of beetroot juice
Sri Vidhya NAC, * Radhai Sri S
The nitrate in beet juice enhance nitric oxide bioavailability through supplementation to lower blood pressure, to reduce the oxygen (O2) cost of physical exertion and improve athletic performance. Hence, an effort has been taken to test the efficacy of beetroot juice on performance of athletes in 12 healthy subjects (Age: 19±1.54; BMI: 20±1.9). Following baseline tests, subjects were assigned to a randomized single blind cross over design to receive Beetroot juice (BR) 0.5L for 6 consecutive days. Performance of beneficiaries (experiment group n = 6) were assessed by physical parameters including speed test, endurance test and physiological measures such as blood pressure, pulse rate and compared with control (CT) non-supplement group (n=6). Speed test showed a significant difference between control and experimental group in time trail performance of 50mt dash (mean ± SD, CT 6 ± 0.37 vs. BR 5 ± 0.19 sec. µsec; p<0.05). Similarly, experimental group showed a reduction in time to complete the task (mean ± SD, I 6 ±0.37 vs. F 5 ± 0.19 sec. µsec). In endurance test BR increased the number of counts in experimental group from 40 ± 6.2 to 55 ± 6.8 counts / min (mean ± SD) and showed a significant increment in number of counts in comparison with control group (mean ± SD, CT 43 ± 4.8 vs. BR 55 ± 6.8 counts/min; p< 0.05). A significant reduction in systolic blood pressure was observed in experimental group (mean ± SD, I 123 ± 10.42mmHg vs. F 116 ± 7.7mmHg). However, no alteration / change was observed in pulse rate. These results indicate that positive effects of 6 days of beetroot juice supplementation on performance of athletes can be ascribed to the high nitrate content per se.