You say beetroot and strength training don't go together?
The dietary nitrates in beetroot and strength training have been identified by current scientific knowledge as effective means of maintaining or improving cardiovascular and metabolic health, while improving quality of life for all age groups, and strength training, for example, promotes bone quality, reduces the risk of falls and increases natural testosterone production in men. Between September and December this year, the faculty will conduct a combined research project to monitor the effect of consuming dietary nitrates in the form of beetroot juice on the microbiome and to monitor the body's molecular response to strength training. Therefore, we are looking for volunteers to participate in this research!
The information that sufficient vegetables in the diet and physical activity are good for our health is now widely known. However, information about specific components of diet and physical activity, namely dietary nitrates and strength training, is less well known, misleading, and could even be considered myths today. Let's start with the lesser known area, which for most people is probably dietary nitrate (DN). Despite its discouraging label, DN is a key component of human nutrition in nitric oxide (NO) production (Ignarro & Freeman, 2017; Jones, 2014). NO plays the role of a signaling molecule important for the physiological functioning of the human body and is thus an important parameter of human health (Jones et al., 2021). At the same time, DN consumption and NO production are closely linked to the oral microbiome (Babateen et al., 2019; Vanhatalo et al., 2021) and efficient muscle work and physical performance (Jones et al., 2018). Thus, DN became known, for example, during the London 2012 Olympic Games, which were nicknamed the "Beetroot Games". Misleading information may discourage many, especially from strength training. The idea that strength training is only for the young and healthy, that strength training must involve only gym exercises, or that strength training is only for bodybuilders, may indeed be labelled as a myth today. Strength training is given equal or even greater importance in the context of health and disease prevention by current research as endurance training (Westcott, 2012). Strength training increases health in all its components – biological, psychological and social (Hart & Buck, 2019). Thus, it is an effective form of exercise in the prevention of non-infectious diseases of mass incidence of the so-called civilisational diseases (Shaw & Shaw, 2021). At the same time, if strength training is performed technically correct and systematically, then it is a physical activity suitable for any age group and even weakened individuals (Amaro-Gahete et al., 2019; McLeod et al., 2022). For these reasons, we at the Faculty of Sports Studies decided to focus on the area of dietary nitrates and strength training in our research prepared in collaboration with the RECETOX Institute of the Faculty of Science of MU and the Institute of Physiology of the Faculty of Medicine of MU.
For this research we are looking for men aged 18 to 30 or 65 to 75 years, non-smokers and recreational athletes or non-athletes who do not engage in regular and systematic strength training. The research will take place between September and December 2023 and will consist of two follow-up cycles focusing on (1) The effect of beetroot (dietary nitrate) consumption on the microbiome and (2) The physiological response of the body to strength training. By participating in this research, you will receive a basic and comprehensive medical examination and systematic strength training under the guidance of experts in our faculty facilities for a duration of 10 weeks. At the same time, you will gain important knowledge and experience with nutritional and exercise resources that have been proven to improve health and quality of life.
What will you gain by participating in the research?
By completing the first cycle of research, you will receive a basic medical examination. Dietary nitrates in beetroot are now a well-described nutritional remedy for comprehensive health improvement. You will gain experience in nutrition research that can be applied to your dietary habits. By completing the second cycle of research, you will receive a complex medical evaluation of your cardiovascular system, a DEXA scan assessing bone quality and your body composition, and an individualized strength training plan including implementation in our gym, which is currently well described to have a positive effect on overall health. Again, based on this experience, it will be possible to incorporate new ways to improve your lifestyle into your routine. Just for comparison, one training unit of 60 minutes including the entrance to the gym and the work of the trainer is around 500 CZK in Brno. Within the research you have the opportunity to complete more than 30 such units.
Organization and schedule of the research
The research will consist of two consecutive research cycles, where each cycle will deal with a different scientific problem. Despite the different focus, the continuity has been designed with the same target group in mind for both cycles and some common physiological indicators. The implementation will follow the following scheme:
Cycle 1 – September 2023 - Impact of beetroot juice consumption on the microbiome and selected physiological parameters.
Cycle 2 – October to December 2023 - Physiological response of the organism to strength training.
If you are interested in both research cycles then we would be very happy to have you participate throughout the duration of the research. However, as we are limited by capacity in the first cycle, then only 12 people from each age group will be accepted into this cycle, respectively 12 people aged 18 to 30 and 12 people aged 65 to 75. They can then complete larger groups of 30 people in the second cycle.
You can express your interest without obligation by filling in the short form at the following link. Our team will then contact you.