Move over kale, acai, pomegranate juice, and coconut water: Beetroot juice is the latest bodybuilding superfood.
Unlike those others, beetroot juice seems to have relevancy to the gym and might be the next big thing when it comes to preworkout supplements. British scientists took a group of trained gym-rats and gave them either a couple ounces of beetroot juice or a placebo before having them bench press 60 percent of their one-rep max to exhaustion for three sets. The group who consumed the beetroot juice was able to perform 20 percent more reps than the placebo group, a significant difference in work output. The dose of beetroot juice was standardized to 400 milligrams of nitrates, the active ingredient in the red earthy-flavored beverage. Nitrates are an exciting new supplement category for athletes, as they have been shown to convert into nitric oxide and enhance exercise tolerance and performance.