Winning margins in the Tour de France can be incredibly close and professional cyclists need every edge they can get. New research from the University of Exeter has shown that beetroot juice may be a surprising new addition to cyclists’ nutrition regimes.

“The researchers monitored athletes’ VO2 levels (showing the amount of oxygen consumed) during exercise to ensure that the cyclists worked at maximum effort on each occasion.

Results showed that when the cyclists drank ordinary beetroot juice they had a higher power output (measured in watts) for the same level of effort — suggesting their muscles and cardio-vascular system were being more efficient.

On average, riders were 11 seconds (2.8%) quicker over the 4km distance and 45 seconds (2.7%) faster over the 16.1km”

**Bottom Line:** A beetroot smoothie every morning can really help your training.