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15.07.2016


Spinach and rucola work just as well as beetroot for athletes

Athletes who find beetroot supplements useful will probably also do well with spinach and rucola supplements. Researchers at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands discovered this, as spinach and rucola are just as good as sources of nitrate and nitrite as beetroot is.

Nitrate, nitrogen monoxide and sports performance
Beetroot juice is an effective sports supplement. Endurance athletes and strength athletes perform better after using it. This is because the nitrate and nitrite in beetroot are converted into nitrogen monoxide in the body. Nitrogen monoxide widens the blood vessels, thus boosting the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles.

Green, leafy vegetables such as rucola and spinach also contain large amounts of nitrate and nitrite, so the researchers wondered whether these vegetables could also be used to create effective sports supplements.

Study
The researchers gave 18 subjects 800 mg sodium nitrate on four different occasions. On one occasion the subjects were given straightforward sodium nitrate; on the other three occasions they were given sodium nitrate in the form of spinach juice, beetroot juice or rucola juice.


Athletes who find beetroot supplements useful will probably also do well with spinach and rucola supplements. Researchers at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands discovered this, as spinach and rucola are just as good as sources of nitrate and nitrite as beetroot is. Athletes who find beetroot supplements useful will probably also do well with spinach and rucola supplements. Researchers at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands discovered this, as spinach and rucola are just as good as sources of nitrate and nitrite as beetroot is. Athletes who find beetroot supplements useful will probably also do well with spinach and rucola supplements. Researchers at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands discovered this, as spinach and rucola are just as good as sources of nitrate and nitrite as beetroot is.

Spinach

Beet root

Rucola


The researchers then measured the concentrations of nitrate and nitrate in the blood of their test subjects.

Results
Beetroot resulted in the greatest increase in blood nitrate levels; rucola resulted in the greatest increase in nitrite in the subjects' blood. All in all, the vegetable extracts were more effective sources of nitrate and nitrite than pure sodium nitrate.


Spinach and rucola work just as well as beetroot for athletes


Spinach and rucola work just as well as beetroot for athletes


Nitrogen monoxide lowers blood pressure. The researchers discovered that, at 150 minutes after intake, beetroot and rucola juice were most effective at lowering blood pressure. Another 150 minutes later so 300 minutes after intake spinach was the most effective blood-pressure reducer.


Spinach and rucola work just as well as beetroot for athletes


Conclusion
"In conclusion, ingestion of 800 mg nitrate provided as sodium nitrate, beetroot juice, rocket salad beverage, and spinach beverage substantially increases plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations", the researchers summarised. "Ingestion of nitrate from beetroot juice, rocket salad beverage, and spinach beverage lowers blood pressure to a greater extent than ingestion of the same amount of nitrate provided as sodium nitrate."

"These findings imply that nitrate-rich vegetables can be used as dietary nitrate supplements."

The findings of the Dutch researchers are not entirely new. [Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2007 Sep;191(1):59-66.]

Source:
J Nutr 2016;146:98693.

More:
Bodybuilders manage twenty percent more reps with beetroot juice 08.06.2016
Beetroot improves 5K times 29.09.2014

Archives:
Nitric Oxide (NO)
Beet Root