Beetroot juice can improve endurance efficiency in athletes, leading to better performance at many distances. It also increases time to exhaustion, and improves intermittent high-intensity performance.
Research on the effects on strength training performance is lacking. However, a new study shows that you might also improve your bench press performance by chugging down a bottle of beetroot juice before lifting.
Eleven trained men participated in a double-blinded crossover study, in which they either consumed 70 ml of beetroot juice or placebo in the form black currant juice 2 hours before a bench press session.
First, they performed 2 sets of 2 repetitions using 70% of their 1 repetition maximum. These sets were performed in the most explosive manner possible, and the researchers measured the barbell velocity and power during the reps.
Then, the subjects completed another 3 sets, also with 70% of their 1RM, but this time to failure. This time, the reserchers once again measured velocity and power, as well as the number of repetitions performed.
The results showed that consuming beetroot juice prior to the workout gave that group an edge. Not only were the beetroot group able to produce more power and move the bar faster than the black currant group. They also performed more repetitions before reaching failure.
Maybe your best pre-workout option is a bottle of good old beetroot juice, not Super Mega Pump XXX 2000.