Posts Tagged ‘muscle power’

Can Beet Juice Assist Muscle Power in Heart Patients?

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015


A new study published in Circulation: Heart Failure researchers concluded that drinking concentrated beet juice boosts muscle power in patients with heart failure. Their research was built on previous research that showed that high dietary nitrates found in beet juice and spinach improves muscle power in athletes.

Data was collected on 9 patients with heart failure. Two hours after drinking concentrated beet juice, patients demonstrated a 13 percent increase in power in muscles that extend the knee. The most substantial benefit was observed when the muscle was moved at the highest velocity.  The increase in muscle performance was significant in quick, power-based actions, but there was no improvement in performance during longer tests that measure muscle fatigue. In the study subjects served as their own control, with each receiving the beet juice treatment and an identical beet juice placebo that had only the nitrates content removed. There was a onew to two week period between trial sessions to ensure that any effect of the first treatment did not carry over to the second. A double blind trial was used in which neither the trial participants or investigators knew the order in which patients received the treatment and placebo.  No side effects to patients were observed from the treatment.

Although it was a small study, researchers saw robust changes in muscle power about two hours after patients drank the beet juice. They said “A lot of

the activities of daily living are power based–getting out of a chair, lifting groceries, climbing stairs. And they have a major impact on quality of life. We want to make people more powerful because power is such an important predictor of how well people do, whether they have heart failre, cancer, or other conditions. In genera, physically more powerful people live longer.” Because elderly patients loose about one percent of their muscle mass annually after a certain age the researchers are interested in further study of the effects of beet juice on muscles.