Drinking This Before You Exercise Could Make You Smarter

Drinking This Before You Exercise Could Make You Smarter

Exercise can be great for your brain, and adding in this particular juice could make you think like a (smart) teenager.

In the morning, my local community center is filled to the brim with older adults working out. It’s inspirational- tai chi, weights, running, you name it: everyone’s busy doing something. And maybe this is you.

If you’re over the age of 55, just as with anyone, you might be filling up on water before your workout, or maybe some coffee, juice or an energy drink. But researchers are now saying that one of the best things older adults can drink before working out is beet juice.

Yes, that purply-red stuff: strange but true.

Related: Some Same Beet Juice is the Future of Dental Care

Scientists from Wake Forest University in North Carolina made the discovery.

A team led by Meredith Petrie, recently found that it improves the brains of some older adults. The study looked particularly at participants who don’t exercise regularly and who suffer from high blood pressure.

How it Works

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It goes like this: beets are full of something called dietary nitrate. When you consume it, it goes through a process in the body and is converted to nitric oxide (NO). NO is powerful and increases blood flow in the body. It has a good compass and goes to the areas that need a lot of oxygen to function well, places like the brain.

Related: Junk Food Cravings Could Be Curbed With Exercise, Study Suggests

And so, when older adults drink beet juice-which is rife with NO- and then they exercise-which gets the blood pumping everywhere, including the brain- their mental capacities light up.

“We knew, going in, that a number of studies had shown that exercise has positive effects on the brain,” said W. Jack Rejeski, study co-author.             

“But what we showed in this brief training study of hypertensive older adults was that, as compared to exercise alone, adding a beet root juice supplement to exercise resulted in brain connectivity that closely resembles what you see in younger adults.”

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(photo credit: www.pixabay.com)

General Benefits

Does it work on younger people? I’m not a scientist but maybe: I don’t see why not.

If you want to get your heart and head pumping, you can make your own beet juice, or find it in bottles at the grocery store.

Related: 5 Vegetables That Stay Fresh For Months

Beets are a great vegetable, all around. They’re high in vitamin C, vitamin B folate, and essential minerals such as potassium, which promotes healthy nerve and muscle function and manganese, which is beneficial for your kidneys, bones and pancreas.

Some say they may even lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of having a heart attack.

Eating beets cooked is also beneficial but drinking their juice is recommended for reaping the maximum benefits, according to experts. When you cook beets, like other vegetables, some of the nutrients are lost, and taking them in liquid form ensures that you get 100% of the nutrients.

Time for some juicing.

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