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Studies: Beetroot Juice Increases Energy, Exercise Stamina

A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology may lead to a healthy alternative to caffeine-loaded energy drinks.

According to AOL Health and the Associated Press, in a study in England, cyclists who drank a half-liter (about a half-quart) of beetroot juice several hours before setting off were able to ride up to 20 percent longer than those who drank a placebo blackcurrant juice. In the US, beetroot is known as the common red garden beet.

The English study showed that drinking the juice worked for performance, even without additional training. According to AOL Health:

(Researchers) calculated beetroot juice could translate into a 1 to 2 percent better race time, a tiny improvement likely only to matter to elite athletes. They are still tweaking the dosage but say athletes should consume the juice a few hours before training so their body has time to digest it.

Previous studies in both the US and Britain have found beetroot also helps the heart by lowering blood pressure, AOL Health said.