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Beet juice consumed before workout increases brain performance
Many studies have so far confirmed that regular physical activity can have a positive effect on the functioning of our brain. This relationship is particularly noticeable especially in the elderly, when, together with age we suffer from weakness of brain function. According to recent research, it is possible to strengthen the exercises effects on the brain by drinking beet juice before taking the physical activity of moderate intensity.
Researchers studying this interesting relationship suggest that drinking beetroot juice may help improve brain function especially in older people, but drinking it earlier helps our brain for the future.
As is evident from the findings of scientists, the older adults, who consume beet juice before a moderately intense workout, have better connectivity in brain regions that are associated with motor functions, compared to individuals who do not drink beet juice before exercise.
The research team from the Department of Health and Exercise at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina W. Jack Rejeski at the helm, notes that increased brain connectivity among adults who drink beet juice is comparable with connectivity that is noticeable in people that are much younger.
Beets are root plants, which are known for their wide variety of properties and applications. Their popularity has been fueled by potential health benefits including the ability to lower blood pressure and increase productivity during physical activity. Their ruby juice delights with taste and is a valuable source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Many of the benefits associated with the consumption of beets, is attributed to the high content of nitrates. When ingested, they are converted into nitric oxide, which, as demonstrated by the study, lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow to the brain.
Many previous studies indicated that exercise has an excellent effect on the brain so in their scientific tests Rejeski and his team decided to examine whether the beet juice can increase the benefits of physical activity in our brain.
A study conducted by researchers from the Department of Health and Exercise at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, included 26 participants aged 55 years and over, who suffered from high blood pressure. None of the participants exercised regularly, and most of them consumed two different types of blood pressure lowering drugs.
Each test participant had to participate in a 50-minute moderate treadmill exercise three times a week for six weeks. An hour before the practice session, one group of participants consumed the beetroot juice containing 560 milligrams of nitrates, while the others drank a placebo beverage low in nitrates.
After six weeks, researchers investigated the brain function of individual participants using MRI.
As tests have shown, people who received beet juice before exercise, have a structurally reinforced cortex – the region, in particular, that help to control body movements and motor skills, as opposed to those consuming a placebo, who showed no difference.
Interestingly, people who used the only supplement of beet juice also showed greater connectivity between brain regions, in particular, responsible for cognition, emotion, and the like. As the researchers noted leader of the study, the activity of brain connections, is usually visible at similar levels in people at much younger age.
The cerebral cortex during exercise receives and processes signals from muscles, and beet juice enhances this effect by converting nitrate to nitric oxide delivering more oxygen to the brain.
Nitric oxide is a powerful molecule that allows hypoxic areas in need of oxygen or that need to gain an extra dose of this treasured component, and the brain is one of the sphere of the body most in need of it.
As scientists say, it will be necessary to carry out much more additional research on this subject, but as it is shown by the tests already, what we consume every day, has a very significant impact on our health in the future. Consumption of beet juice can, therefore, play an imperative role for our health and mobility of the brain in old age.
Many studies are highlighting the positive impact of exercise on the brain, especially in people suffering from hypertension, and now they can be modified by an element associated with the consumption of beet juice. Increased connectivity in the brain that can be gained through this ruby vegetables enables us to rejuvenate the brain, effectively preventing the weakening of its essential functions.