Nitrate-rich vegetables such as beets may improve athletic performance and reduce oxygen needs. In order to work, the nitrates have to be converted to nitrites by bacteria that live on our tongues and using antiseptic mouthwash may prevent this from happening. As beets are high in oxalates, those who are prone to kidney stones may want to choose a different high nitrate food (such as low-oxalate greens) to boost athletic performance.
Homemade peppermint water may also increase athletic performance. We should be wary of protein supplements to increase athletic performance, as more than half of protein supplements investigated were found to exceed the California prop 65 “Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act” action levels.
Daily citrus fruit consumption during athletic training may reduce muscle fatigue, and cherries can speed recovery after a marathon. A plant-based diet may help recover from the effects of high-intensity exercise, and we can boost natural killer cells activity by exercising. Exercise may also have anti-cancer benefits.
Topic summary contributed by Paul.