The beet is a plant with which we can do various things in the kitchen. It can prepare as juice, garnish dishes with its leaves, consume it as part of a salad, among other things. This being the case, beets are a versatile food.
Vitonic indicates that one of its most attractive aspects is its high nitrate content, a component that can be transformed into a powerful vasodilator that contributes to blood circulation in our body.
What are nitrates?
Nitrates are salts or esters of nitric acid. These are specifically what we can find in the beets, processed meats, and other vegetables. These are also inorganic nitrates, which are formed by the decomposition of other nitrogenous compounds.
Nitrates are converted into nitric oxide (NO) thanks to the action of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (US). Nitric oxide is considered an important vasodilator, especially in type II fibers.
The conversion of nitrates to nitrites occurs mainly by bacterial reduction in the mouth. Approximately ¼ of nitrates will be converted to nitrites through saliva. In the stomach, meanwhile, this process can occur in other ways.
What are the effects of nitric oxide?
Nitric oxide is capable of improve cellular respiration through an improvement in mitochondrial biogenesis. NO also improves the reuptake of calcium (Ca2 +) by the sarcoplasmic reticulum.
Together, these effects can raise physical performance from prolonged efforts of less than 40 minutes and from intermittent efforts of high intensity.
Therefore, the nitrates present in beets can constitute an ergogenic aid in the framework of endurance sports as in high volume strength workouts.
How should nitrates be taken?
The peak of nitrates in the blood It occurs two or three hours after consuming them, so this period also represents the margin with which we must consume them to take advantage of their benefits.
The recommended ergogenic doses range between 0.1 and 0.2 millimoles per kilogram of weight. These figures can be reached with one or two glasses of beet juice, which would be equivalent to approximately 300 or 500 milliliters.
Nitrates are not only found in beets, but in other vegetables. However, what happens with these vegetables is that its nitrate concentration is reduced by boiling and washing.
Even so, the presence of nitrates in other foods must also be taken into account, especially when the consumption of beets is impeded, but also in order to have a diet diverse.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.