Are These the Best Juices for Athletes?
by Darren Round on Mar 23, 2018
Watermelon and Beet: The Hottest Juices for Athletes
Your workout routine can use two healthy enhancements. More and more endurance athletes have been resorting to watermelon and beet juicing in order to alleviate the enormous physical stress brought about by repetitive high-intensity exercise. Here are supportive facts from the findings of various clinical studies on the wondrous promise of watermelon and beet juices among athletes.
Watermelon juice has been found to effectively soothe sore muscles after exercise, according to "Watermelon Juice: Potential Functional Drink for Sore Muscle Relief in Athletes," a paper published in an issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Researchers tested natural or unpasteurized watermelon juice, as well as L-citrulline-enriched watermelon juice drinks, and discovered that muscle soreness relief was possible for both unpasteurized watermelon juice and natural juice enriched with L-citrulline. This means that existing L-citrulline-enriched pasteurized watermelon drinks do not seem to have their beneficial L-citrulline available in a form more readily utilizable by the body.
Studies after studies have proven beet juice's immense potential for improving athletic performance. The paper "Effects of Chronic Dietary Nitrate Supplementation on the Hemodynamic Response to Dynamic Exercise," which appeared in an issue of the American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, uncovered that regular drinking of beet juice resulted in blood vessel dilation, lower blood pressure, and increase in endurance--meaning a more lengthened workout duration may be possible. This finding was supported by a study featuring elderly patients as subjects and whose results appeared in a 2016 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology-Heart Failure.
Meanwhile, beet juice, which is rich in nitrates, also poses health benefits for mountaineers and those training at high altitudes. This is according to the paper "Acute dietary nitrate supplementation improves arterial endothelial function at high altitude: A double-blinded randomized controlled cross-over study," which was published in an issue of the journal Nitric Oxide. High-altitude sickness is set off by lower air pressure in environments significantly elevated above sea level. The lower air pressure negatively impacts how well the human body can absorb oxygen. To effectively circulate oxygen throughout the body, blood vessels use nitric oxide (NO), a compound naturally generated in the body. Natural NO production, as well as the availability of oxygen, is depressed in high-altitude areas. This is where the nitrates in beet juice can come handy. They act as a backup system for the otherwise depressed NO formation in high-altitude environments.
All in all, it does not take much to add a kick to your workout regime. Just a glass or two of watermelon and beet juices may help improve your athletic performance and endurance.