Friday, 24 April 2015

Can Juicing enhance performance?

As I write this, its exactly 1 day and 15 hours until the start of the London Marathon and I have just broken one of the golden rules - don't try anything new in race week.

What I've done isn't exactly heinous and I have done so under good authority (my colleague the multi marathon smashing and cyclist extraordinaire) but none-the-less i'm a little nervous.

I have just consumed my first beetroot juice.

Numerous studies have linked the consumption of Beetroot juice to increased stamina and speed, which I simply couldn't resist ahead of Sunday's marathon. Beetroots are high in nitrate, which when ingested is converted into nitrite then nitric acid.

Nitric acid has two effects on the body, firstly it causes blood vessels to dilate so you can provide more blood through them. Secondly, it makes the mitochondria (the powerhouses of cells) more efficient so they create the same amount of energy whilst consuming less oxygen. These basically means you are producing more oxygen but utilizing it more efficiently which can only lead to good things!

So to make my juice I juiced a whole cooked beetroot with an apple and Satsuma and a little water. The taste was ok - very beetrooty. Luckily i'm a fan of the taste to it works for me. The maximum effects as described above take place between 2 and 2.5 hours from consumption, so assuming I don't experience any untoward effects, I will have another with my breakfast on Sunday morning and hopefully reap the rewards and hit my goal of a 3:30 finish!

My nerves are slowly turning to excitement and i'm feeling pretty pumped right now. Bring. It. On.