With numerous marathons and Rugby Sevens in tow this season, training time is on for many an athlete. While there are many methods and supplements to boost athletic performance, one of the best ways still remains to be our favourite: downing a glass of freshly squeezed, 100% natural juice.
Unlike store bought juice, freshly squeezed juice has no added sugars and therefore brings you all the nutritional contents of the squeezed produce alone, nothing else. Studies have shown that the best juice to boost endurance is Beetroot Juice.
Containing a number of beneficial properties, this root takes the gold for its high nitrate content. In an interview, US Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall said he consumes beetroot juice to improve run time.
Beetroot produces higher levels of nitric oxide in the blood, therefore increasing blood flow by opening up blood vessels. The results: a higher delivery of oxygen to the muscles, improved cardiovascular endurance and faster recovery.
Running a marathon soon? Sports nutritionist Barbara Lewin suggests to supercharge your run with with beetroot juice, but not to neglect the rest of your diet.
“We tend to look at easy fixes, and there are a lot of other things that will be more beneficial for amateur athletes than just beet juice,” she says.
Sound advice! Whether it is a run or a rugby match you are training for, adequate nutrients and eating right are the first steps in sports nutrition. The extras come in later to turn your performance from good to excellent. But when it comes to competition, it all bubbles down to the mind and willpower. And even if you didn't win the prize you had fixated your mind on, remember that with your decision to transcend your comfort zone, you've already won.