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Beet Juice for Your Brain

Brian Turner

Posted on June 13 2017

The brain: is it the new frontier for performance-enhancing drugs and supplements? Thought processes influence performance in sport through planning and decision-making, strategy and psychological will. Skills such as the snatch, tennis forehand, pitching and running a pass pattern involve a complex interaction between the nervous system and muscles that would benefit from brain-boosting chemicals. The simple beet is a powerful brain food— according Jonathan Burdette, Meredith Petrie and co-workers from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Brain scans of older women (in their 60s) who exercised for six weeks and consumed beetroot juice daily showed better brain organization and fewer secondary brain connections than an exercise plus placebo (fake beetroot juice) group. The authors noted that the brain nerve networks in the beetroot group looked more like 20-year-olds than older people. (Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, published online November 9, 2016)