Endurance athletes have been known to consume the crimson supplement based on the belief that it may improve blood and oxygen flow in their muscles during training and competition and some strength and power athletes consume it in hopes that it can improve their ability to withstand muscle fatigue during repeated bouts of high intensity exercise.
Now, some patients are asking their doctors if they should drink the juice to lower their high blood pressure.
Lead author Jin-Kwang Kim said that beetroot juice also had no effect on the dilation (widening) of the brachial artery in these volunteers.
Proctor added that although several studies have reported indirect evidence of improved muscle oxygenation during exercise after consuming nitrate-rich supplements such as beetroot juice, none of these studies directly measured blood flow to the contracting muscles and their study was the first to directly test this possibility in humans.
Proctor continued that the absence of any direct effect on forearm muscle blood flow or artery dilator function was not due to a lack of absorption of the supplement into the blood stream.
The study is published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
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