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Performance Boosters for Swimmers

from Swimming World Magazine

Conference championships are almost upon us! As they draw closer, we've taken a look at some interesting foods athletes have adopted as ways of getting the most out of their bodies. These super foods for swimmers may surprise you.

The nitrates in beets change our bodies in two important ways. First, they can cause blood vessels to dilate, increasing the flow of oxygen to an athlete’s muscles. Second, they improve the efficiency of the mitochondria in our cells, meaning our muscles need less oxygen to function.

In this way, nitrates have a profound influence on endurance. Athletes who need less oxygen and can make more available to their muscles are going to be able to function at maximum capacity far longer than their competitors before going into "oxygen debt."

The greatest difficulty with using beets to improve your performance is that they're beets. They honestly taste like sweet dirt, and it can be hard to find a recipe that properly masks their powerful flavor. If you can adjust to the taste, or even convince yourself you like it, beets could be the edge you need at championships this year. more

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