The Nectar of the Gods - YUCK!
There seems to be a strong belief among different groups of endurance athletes that drinking beet juice is beneficial for training and racing. The thought is that beets (also kale and swiss chard) are high in nitrates which can lead to the production of nitric oxide, which can cause blood vessels to expand and allow more blood to be carried through them. (Of note here is that this is the basis of how drugs like Viagra work.)
I've been trying beet juice for myself and it DOES seem to have at least some small effect. It seems as though going from rest to full effort is less of a steep slope. Also, it may help speed recovery, but I am less sure of that. What I am sure of is that beet juice tastes God-awful, especially the aftertaste. I've been drinking about 1/2 cup (~120 ml) in the morning, about 45-60 minutes before swimming.
Does anyone else have any experience with this?
“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde