• Beets, as well as rhubarb and arugula, are rich sources of dietary nitrates, a compound that gets converted into nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, and allows a person to exercise using less oxygen. In a study, cyclists consumed pre-ride beets and then three hours later (when NO peaks), they rode in a time trial. Every cyclist improved (on average, 2.8%) as compared to the time trial with no beets.
Chocolate—Is it a bad food for athletes, an addictive drug, and the instigator of dietary disasters? Or is it a health food, dieter’s weight loss aid, and effective recovery food for tired, hungry athletes?