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Beetroot Juice May Help Improve Oral Health

Athletes tend to have more teeth-related problems than other people, despite practicing good oral hygiene. Part of this can be attributed to a higher consumption of high-acid drinks, gels, and energy bars and exercise-associated dehydration. A recent study suggests that nitrate-rich beetroot juice may help offset salivary acidity experienced by athletes.

Eleven trained male runners with an average age of 30 participated in the study. They ingested three different fluids on three separate occasions one hour before an exercise trial designed to cause mild dehydration. The fluids ingested were 5 ounces of water, 5 ounces of high-nitrate beetroot juice, and 5 ounces of nitrate-depleted beetroot juice. During the beetroot juice trials, they also consumed 9 ounces of carbohydrate supplements before, during, and after the 90-minute exercise trial.

The researchers collected blood and saliva samples before carbohydrate ingestion and repeatedly during the 20 minutes after ingestion.

Blood and saliva samples were higher in nitrites and nitrates when participants consumed the nitrate-rich beetroot juice, compared to consumption of the other fluids. Salivary pH levels were similar after consumption of the nitrate-rich beetroot juice and water, even though participants consumed carbohydrates during the juice trial.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of the West of Scotland.It was published online ahead of print on December 31, 2020 in the journal PLOS One.

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