By Belinda Reynolds, IsoWhey Sports Dietitian and Nutritionist.
Beetroot juice is a rich source of nitrates. The salivary glands extract nitrate from foods and the bacteria within saliva convert it to nitrite. Nitrite is further processed into reactive nitrogen species including nitric oxide (NO) in the acidic environment of the stomach.
Evidence is emerging that beetroot juice taken prior to exercise can enhance exercise capacity and sports performance. Recent studies have demonstrated that chronic and acute protocols of beetroot juice intake are associated with an enhanced exercise capacity and performance. In some studies, beetroot juice has improved endurance capacity by up to 15%.
The IsoWhey Sports Pre-Workout Fuel contains beetroot as a natural source of nitrates, caffeine from green coffee, and Panax ginseng.
L-arginine works to increase nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, which responsible for the dilation of blood vessels to enable greater blood flow to all organs including the muscles, heart, lungs and brain. Increased circulation means enhanced delivery of oxygen and nutrients, hence greater performance. L-arginine plays a significant role in the secretion of endogenous growth hormone and is essential for adaptation post training. L-arginine also plays a role in creatine synthesis.
Along with L-histidine, beta-alanine increases muscle carnosine levels. Carnosine is known for its ability to provide a “buffering” effect that prevents lactic acid-related muscle pain and fatigue during repeated bouts of intense exercise. Carnosine also works with L-arginine to enhance NO synthesis for amplified circulatory function.
Beta-alanine supplementation has been shown to improve high-intensity exercise performance and capacity. One study found that the ingestion of 3.2g/daybeta-alanine over 12 weeks improved performance in amateur footballers. Improvements can be attributed to an increase in muscle buffering capacity due to increased muscle carnosine concentration, attenuating the decline in intramuscular pH during repeated high-intensity exercise bouts.
Beta-alanine increases peak power, increases strength and endurance and increases time until exhaustion. Beta-alanine may magnify the expected performance outcomes of training programs with different metabolic demands.
L-carnitine is used for weight loss, increased energy and neuroprotection. L-carnitine aids the transportation of fats for use as an energy source and modulates intracellular fatty acid metabolism. It plays a decisive role in the prevention of cellular damage and ageing and favourably affects recovery from exercise stress and chronic fatigue.
Magnesium is one of the most vital micronutrients when it comes to energy synthesis, as it is actively involved in all steps of energy production. Magnesium is also the key nutrient required for muscle relaxation, and deficiency therefore may lead to muscle cramps, soreness and spasms. Because of its wide range of uses in maintaining physical activity, supplementation to prevent premature fatigue and muscular concerns are of benefit to athletes.
Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in the production of energy, functions as an antioxidant in cell membranes and lipoproteins and helps maintain healthy cardiac function. The majority of CoQ10 in our body is in the form of Ubiquinol, and is responsible for not only providing our cells with energy, but fighting free radicals, fighting inflammation, maintaining healthy cholesterol and strengthening our hearts. Ubiquinol has been shown to increase short term maximum performance, boost energy and speed recovery from exercise muscle exhaustion. Our Ubiquinol levels naturally decline as we age, starting at age 30, and earlier if we’re stressed and physically active.
Caffeine is rapidly absorbed and transported to all body tissues and organs where it exerts a variety of effects including stimulation of the central nervous system to change perceptions of effort or fatigue and increase the release and activity of adrenaline, mobilising fats from adipose tissue, and changing muscle contractility and effects on cardiac muscle.
There is evidence that caffeine enhances endurance and performance over a range of exercise including short-duration high-intensity events (1-5 minutes), prolonged high-intensity events (20 to 60 minutes), endurance events (90+ minutes of continuous exercise), ultra-endurance events (4+ hours), and prolonged intermittent high-intensity protocols (team sports).
About the Author: Belinda Reynolds BSc Nut & Diet (Hon)
Belinda Reynolds graduated with an Honours Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2003. She has been involved in the complementary medicine industry for nearly 15 years – 10 of these working for IsoWhey and BioCeuticals as a Practitioner Sales Consultant, Team Leader, Presenter, Educator and Writer, with an involvement in Marketing and Product Development. Outside of this Belinda has spent time working in hospitals and lectured at the Australasian College of Natural Therapies. Belinda’s greatest passion is assisting practitioners in developing their knowledge by presenting new research in the area of integrative medicine. Now a mother of two, pre- and postnatal, infant and child health have evolved as subjects particularly close to her heart.