In a bid to boost their performance Olympians, particularly athletes, include strange supplements in their diet.
According to an Inside Science report, among other supplements, Olympians may turn to beetroot juice, bicarbonate of soda and caffeine, which are all competition-legal, to improve their performance.
While caffeine was once regulated under anti-doping rules, the restrictions were eventually lifted. As for many of us, even a low dose of caffeine can help improve alertness and "also improves a lot of other physiological parameters," Keith Barr, an exercise physiologist, told Inside Science.
According to studies, beetroot juice alone may improve performance by 2 to 3 percent in events lasting 20 to 30 minutes.
"For events lasting more than a minute and lasting up to several hours, it's a potentially performance- enhancing supplement," Michael Gleeson, an exercise biochemist at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, U.K., told Inside Science.
He added: "It essentially will improve endurance exercise performance by making you more efficient in the use of oxygen."