I have am a ferocious follower of the Tour de France and I’m going to tell you about the new secret weapon.
The 98th Tour starts tomorrow. Some say it is the ultimate endurance test and without a doubt, all would agree, one of the most competitive sporting events.
Winning margins are spectacularly close. Last year mere seconds separated the top two riders after more than 90 hours in the saddle.
Every second counts, and everything possible is done to give riders a competitive edge; from the very latest aerodynamic bikes to sports nutrition to digging up dirt on fellow competitors.
But now there could be a new, surprising yet completely legal, weapon in the rider’s armoury: Beetroot Juice…
I know it sounds like a huge antithesis, but hang on, let me elaborate.
Research done in Exeter University, and the findings published in Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise, states that drinking beetroot juice can give a cyclist an extra 45 seconds over 10 miles. Enough to have changed cycling history last year.
Basically, the nitrate in beetroot allows increased blood flow through the body and also reduces the amount of oxygen required by muscles for a physical task. The combined effect is enhanced physical performance. You’ve heard of nitrate being used to make cars go faster, well now it’s doing the same thing for cyclists – thanks to drinking beetroot.
Vive la Tour, vive la beetroot!!