Can beetroot juice supplement reduce muscle soreness and enhance recovery?

AM McNeilly, Lisa Kleiner

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

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The effectiveness of the recovery process after high intensity exercise is reflected in subsequent athletic performance. Insufficient recovery can exacerbate the symptoms of overreaching such as; reduced performance capacity, altered mood status and increased ratings of perceived exertion especially reflected during periods of intensified training. The aim of this pilot study was to examine whether beetroot juice could reduce muscle soreness post exercise. 7 well trained distance runners were recruited to take part in the study. After 1 week washout all participants received 14 days Beet it sports shots (James White Drinks, UK) providing a dietary nitrate intake of 13 – 14.4 mmol/day. Blood pressure and blood lactate concentration were measured prior to and following training sessions for 3 consecutive weeks. Muscle soreness questionnaires were completed 48 hours after training. A significant reduction in muscles soreness was observed after beetroot juice supplementation, (F (2,10) = 12.647, p < .002) over the 3 weeks, between week 1 and week 2 (p < .025) and between week 1 and week 3 (p < .003). A significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure was also observed at 15 minutes after training (F(2,10) = 4.169, p < .048) particularly between weeks 2 and 3 (p < .062). Beetroot juice was found to have no significant effect on systolic blood pressure, lactate, mean arterial pressure or heart rate at any time- point. Results indicate in this population, that consumption of concentrated beetroot juice may be effective in reducing muscle soreness following intense exercise, without having an effect on other markers of recovery such as lactate and vascular health.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 12 Dec 2014


  • beetroot juice
  • muscle soreness
  • recovery


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