Adding one thing can sometimes give you more than one benefit.
This research was conducted to find out if dietary nitrate supplementation would improve exercise performance and cognitive function during a prolonged intermittent sprint test (Thompson C.,et.al., 2015).
16 male team-sport players received either 140 ml a day of beetroot juice high in nitrate or a placebo beetroot juice low in nitrate for 7 days.
Using a stationary bike they repeatedly performed several 6 seconds “all-out” sprints with 100 seconds active recovery and 20 seconds of rest, while simultaneously performing cognitive tasks. The test went on for two 40 minutes “halves” simulating team sports.
The beetroot juice high in nitrate improved sprint performance compared with the placebo juice and also improved reaction time of response to the cognitive tasks.
In another study when the participants exercised for 6 weeks and either drank beetroot juice or a placebo drink, the exercise and beetroot group had brain networks that more closely resembled those of younger adults (Petrie M, et.al., 2017).
When 450 ml beetroot juice was compared with a placebo drink cognitive performance was improved on a subtraction task 90 minutes later (Wightman EL, et.al., 2015). These results show that single doses of dietary nitrate can modulate the prefrontal cortex cerebral blood-flow response to task performance and potentially improve cognitive performance.
Thompson C, Wylie LJ, Fulford J, Kelly J, Black MI, McDonagh ST, Jeukendrup AE, Vanhatalo A, Jones AM. Dietary nitrate improves sprint performance and cognitive function during prolonged intermittent exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Sep;115(9):1825-34.
Petrie M, Rejeski WJ, Basu S, Laurienti PJ, Marsh AP, Norris JL, Kim-Shapiro DB, Burdette JH. Beet Root Juice: An Ergogenic Aid for Exercise and the Aging Brain. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Sep 1;72(9):1284-1289.
Wightman EL, Haskell-Ramsay CF, Thompson KG, Blackwell JR, Winyard PG, Forster J, Jones AM, Kennedy DO. Dietary nitrate modulates cerebral blood flow parameters and cognitive performance in humans: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover investigation. Physiol Behav. 2015 Oct 1;149:149-58.
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