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Runner drinking a Beet-It Sport shot after training

Beet Juice Aids Post-Race Recovery, Caffeine Improves Endurance Cycling Performance and Cheese Supplementation Does What?

Welcome to our weekly summary of the latest research from the world of sports science and nutrition.

Train hard!

 

Beetroot Consumption Helps Ultra-Endurance Runners Recover Better Post-Race 

Runner drinking a Beet-It Sport shot after training

This study investigated whether consuming beetroot, an antioxidant-rich food, aids in the recovery of ultra-endurance runners by examining its impact on serum oxidative status, muscle damage, and inflammatory response. Conducted during the IX Penyagolosa Trails CSP race, the research involved surveys and blood samples from 32 runners, analyzing variables such as C-reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase, creatine kinase, antioxidant enzymes, and muscle strength. The results showed that runners who consumed beetroot had significantly better serum antioxidant enzyme activity, less muscle damage, and better muscle strength performance at the race's end compared to those who did not. Therefore, beetroot supplementation appears to positively influence recovery in ultra-endurance athletes.

Our thoughts: More evidence for the positive effects of beet juice. So, if you don’t mind a temporary red-tinted tongue and teeth, on-the-go beet juice supplements like Beet-It Sport could be an effective addition to your training or race recovery plan.


Caffeinated Coffee Improves Cross-Country Cyclists’ Performance and Course Completion Times

Cross-country cyclist on a gravel trail

This study explored the impact of caffeine, consumed as coffee, on cross-country cycling performance in recreational cyclists. Eleven cyclists participated in a controlled experiment where they drank either caffeinated coffee (3 mg/kg of caffeine) or a placebo (decaffeinated coffee) 60 minutes before completing a 13.90 km cross-country course with varying technical difficulties. The results showed that caffeine intake significantly reduced the time to complete the course by about 4.93%, improved performance in four out of eight sectors, and increased the average heart rate. However, there was no significant difference in the perceived level of fatigue between the caffeinated and decaffeinated groups. The study concludes that caffeine in the form of coffee can enhance cross-country cycling performance in recreational cyclists, suggesting that caffeine may be an effective dietary supplement for this type of cycling.

Our thoughts: Caffeine improves endurance performance, so this result makes sense. "Real-life" studies are rarely done because of how many confounding factors there are at play, but this result shows just how impactful caffeine can be. And who doesn't like a double espresso before heading out on the trails?


The Effects of Combining Resistance Training with Cheese Supplementation 

Woman using a resistance band

This study explored how combining resistance training (RT) with cheese supplementation affects body composition, lipid profile, muscle strength, and intestinal microbiota in healthy, untrained adult males. Participants were divided into four groups, with three groups receiving different doses of cheese alongside a 4-week RT program. The medium-dose group showed the most significant improvements in lipid profiles, body composition, and gut bacteria composition, without notable changes in muscle strength. The study concluded that cheese can be an effective protein supplement to enhance the health benefits of RT, with 13.4 grams of protein from cheese three times per week identified as the ideal dosage for these effects.

Our thoughts: Yes, they really did this study. Does "supplementing with cheese" (they mean, eating cheese) improve the outcome of resistance training? The answer was unsurprisingly “no,” but it looks like it improved the participant's health overall.