If you are serious about gaining muscle, you need to continually exploit the principles of progressive overload. This can be done in a number of ways, the easiest of which is simply performing more reps. But if you are already training to failure, how can you do more reps while using the same weight?

According to researchers at edge hill university in England, you can improve your ability to perform more reps by simply consuming beetroot juice. Beetroot juice is a natural source of inorganic nitrate, and nitrate functions as a precursor to nitrogen monoxide in the body. Nitrogen monoxide works to expand blood vessels and in doing so it enhances the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles. This, in turn, may lead to increased performance and enhanced muscle growth.

The study saw 12 experienced weight lifting male students consume a bottle of beet it sport shot every day for six days. Beet It sports shot contains 70ml concentrated Beetroot juice with 400mg nitrate. Before and after each supplementation with the beetroot juice, the subjects had to perform three sets of bench presses to failure using 60% of their 1rm. The students rested for two minutes between sets. On another occasion, the students drank berry juice without nitrates and performed the same workout.

What the researchers found from the results is that the beetroot juice concentrate boosted the total number of reps the students were able to perform by an average of 20%.

From their findings, the researchers concluded, “coaches and their athletes alike could make use of nitrate supplementation to enhance performance since our evidence suggests it can be used within healthy male resistance trained population to increase exercise tolerance and improve performance.”

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