Posted on May 04, 2012 | Comments 0
If you’re looking to become a faster, fitter runner, do you know that the humble beetroot could help? And did you also know that simply being familiar with fast food commercials on TV could actually be associated with obesity?
Baked beets could improve athletic performance
This humble root vegetable could apparently act as something of a magic potion for athletes, discovered researchers recently.
According to a study conducted by scientists at St Louis University in the United States, beetroots could improve athletic performance if eaten just before an event.
High levels of chemicals called nitrates could be responsible for this performance boosting ability of beets it is postulated.
Earlier as well, the performance boosting abilities of beetroots have been tested to yield positive results.
In earlier studies beetroot juice was seen to widen blood vessels, decrease the amount of oxygen needed for activity and give people the ability to perform better than usual.
This study has also borne out that beets can help in making muscles function more efficiently and that they could increase stamina.
In the study, treadmill performance of participants was measured after having beetroot and cranberry relish respectively.
The cranberry relish and baked beet both had the same amount of calories but the baked beets had the most nitrate levels.
Whereas after eating cranberry the runners were able to clock speeds of 11.9 km ph, after eating beets they clocked 12.3 km per hour speeds. The beets apparently gave runners a spurt in the final section of the run.
Researchers however were quick to point out that nitrate from sources such as whole beetroot are good for health but that nitrates from other sources are actually bad for health.
Fast food advertising associated with obesity
Apparently it isn’t just consuming fast food that may make you obese. Even familiarity with fast food advertising could have a link with obesity in young people, according to new research.
Study participants were asked how much TV they watched, how much they exercised, whether they snacked while watching TV. They were also asked how much fast food/sweetened drinks they consumed.
It was seen that the overweight and obese youth surveyed were more familiar with fast food ads and recognized more of them. Overall TV time was also linked to obesity levels, but it wasn’t just the sedentary time spent before the TV that was responsible for the study participants being overweight.
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