Marshall et al. (2021) investigate the effects of Red Beetroot juice on the ability of military participants on a 17 days expedition to a high altitude location. Red beetroot helped to maintain fitness although did not help high altitude illness.
The aim was to investigate the effect of dietary nitrate supplementation (in the form of beetroot juice, BRJ) for 20 days on salivary nitrite (a potential precursor of bioactive nitric oxide), exercise performance and high altitude (HA) acclimatisation in field conditions (hypobaric hypoxia).
This was a single-blinded randomised control study of 22 healthy adult participants (12 men, 10 women, mean age 28 ± 12 years) across a HA military expedition. Participants were randomised pre-ascent to receive two 70 ml dose per day of either BRJ (~12.5 mmol nitrate per day; n = 11) or non-nitrate calorie matched control (n = 11). Participants ingested supplement doses daily, beginning 3 days prior to departure and continued until the highest sleeping altitude (4800 m) reached on day 17 of the expedition. Data were collected at baseline (44 m altitude), at 2350 m (day 9), 3400 m (day 12) and 4800 m (day 17).
BRJ enhanced the salivary levels of nitrite (p = 0.007). There was a significant decrease in peripheral oxygen saturation and there were increases in heart rate, diastolic blood pressure, and rating of perceived exertion with increasing altitude (p=<0.001). Harvard Step Test fitness scores significantly declined at 4800 m in the control group (p = 0.003) compared with baseline. In contrast, there was no decline in fitness scores at 4800 m compared with baseline (p = 0.26) in the BRJ group. Heart rate recovery speed following exercise at 4800 m was significantly prolonged in the control group (p=<0.01) but was unchanged in the BRJ group (p = 0.61). BRJ did not affect the burden of HA illness (p = 1.00).
BRJ increases salivary nitrite levels and ameliorates the decline in fitness at altitude but does not affect the occurrence of HA illness.
Beta Glucan fibers and Red Beetroot can protect us from developing heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, leaky gut, as well as train our front line immune system, build stamina for better exercises, and much more.
Suggested use: one heaping tablespoon daily in a large glass of water.
- Aliahmadi, M., Amiri, F., Bahrami, L. S., Hosseini, A. F., Abiri, B., & Vafa, M. (2021). Effects of raw red beetroot consumption on metabolic markers and cognitive function in type 2 diabetes patients. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders, 20(1), 673-682. Article
- Chen, L., Zhu, Y., Hu, Z., Wu, S., & Jin, C. (2021). Beetroot as a functional food with huge health benefits: Antioxidant, antitumor, physical function, and chronic metabolomics activity. Food Science & Nutrition, 9(11), 6406-6420. Article
- Marshall, A. R., Rimmer, J. E., Shah, N., Bye, K., Kipps, C., Woods, D. R., ... & Barlow, M. (2021). Marching to the Beet: The effect of dietary nitrate supplementation on high altitude exercise performance and adaptation during a military trekking expedition. Nitric Oxide.
- Milton-Laskibar, I., Martínez, J. A., & Portillo, M. P. (2021). Current Knowledge on Beetroot Bioactive Compounds: Role of Nitrate and Betalains in Health and Disease. Foods, 10(6), 1314. Article
Seann and Dohrea
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Summary: Beetroot juice (BRJ) increases salivary nitrite levels available to the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway. Dietary nitrate supplementation (BRJ) may ameliorate decline in fitness associated with altitude.BRJ promotes faster heart rate recovery following submaximal exercise at altitude. BRJ supplementation during chronic altitude exposure does not affect burden of HA illness. BRJ may influence whole body performance at altitude detectable by change in exercise performance.
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