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 the use of beetroot juice in pigeon racing

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IANYOUNG
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PostSubject: the use of beetroot juice in pigeon racing   Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:23 pm

what do you reckon on this trying it myself this year
I recently received information from a fancier, stating that giving your birds beet juice, would increase their oxygen content by as much as 16%, and increase their stamina, vitality and endurance.

I have no doubt that beet juice offers advantages to our birds, but one needs to look at this clearly and understand just what the studies show:

The definitive study that I am aware of, conducted at the University of Exeter's School of Sport and Health Sciences, did not state that consuming beet juice, increased oxygen in the blood by 16%, but rather that it increased the time a test subject could peddle a bicycle at maximum speed to the point of exhaustion (or failure), by 16%.

However, this was not endurance performance like in long distance pigeon racing, rather it documented how long test subjects could peddle a bicycle at maximum speed to exhaustion and those on the beet juice were able to peddle for about 80 seconds longer (9.6 minutes) than those who did not drink the beet juice (8.3 minutes).

There was another study based on running and the test subjects, after six days of drinking “nitrate-depleted” beetroot juice, were able to go 7.6 minutes running at high intensity. But after six days on regular beetroot juice they lasted 8.7 minutes, a 14.5% time increase of high intensity running output.

Beet juice is a rich source of nitrates, and it is the nitrates that convert to nitrites through a process called nitrate reductase, and a portion of these processed nitrites are further converted into nitric oxide, which dilates the vascular system increasing blood flow.

From the studies that I am aware of, it would be erroneous to say that the beet juice increased oxygen by 16%. It was not that there was more oxygen, but rather that the dilated blood vessels were able to carry more blood and as such more oxygen. But, the amount of oxygen in the blood is not increased, rather it is only circulated faster through the cardio-vascular system. It is noted though, that those on the beet juice consumed about 3% less oxygen for the same amount of energy expended.

Finally, the tests were conducted at different time periods after consumption of the beet juice and it was found that the maximum benefit came at about 2.5 – 3.0 hours after drinking the juice and at about 12 hours after drinking the juice much of that benefit (but not all) was lost.

In order to reach the dosage used in the studies, one would have to drink 500 ml (17 ounces) of beet juice. In the study, they used a concentrated juice of about 140 ml which would equal about 500 ml of the raw beet juice. Interestingly, when they doubled the dose to about 1000 ml, the benefit was less than at 500 ml, so it is best to stay at the sweet spot of about 500 ml, consumed 2.5 – 3.0 hours prior to the event for maximum endurance benefit.

Whereas, these athletes were tested within hours of drinking the beet juice, with racing pigeons, they are given the juice over the course of the whole day, in their drinking water, and the effect will not be the same as a runner who drinks 500 ml of beet juice, 2.5 hours before an event.

One must consider that beet juice sitting in the water all day, might breakdown some of the nitrates in the water reducing the overall positive effect. And, even after you get your birds to the club house, the race might not be released until 12 – 36 hours after basketing.

Finally, the nitrates must be converted to nitrites, and because mammals lack specific and effective nitrate reductase enzymes, this conversion is mainly carried out by commensal bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. This breakdown process is called Bacterial nitrate reductase. Once the nitrates are reduced to nitrites, there are numerous pathways in the body for further reduction to nitric oxide.

So, those of you that give antibiotics to your birds during the week, may well reduce whatever amount of performance enhancement beet juice might offer to your birds, depending on the kind of antibiotics or medications you are using.

I would guess, that in order to duplicate in pigeons the results of the University of Exeter's School of Sport and Health Sciences, beet juice study, one would give each race bird, about ½ tsp of raw beet juice, as you were putting your birds in the crate to take to the club house.

I would also suspect that giving beet juice on a regular basis, would raise the baseline amount of Nitric Oxide in the birds. This might help during the weekly training and when loft exercising the birds, during the week, in preparation for a race. It might also give some benefit on race day, but I have not read any reports on endurance performance, 13 or more hours after drinking the beet juice, so I am speculating on any advantage the beet juice might contribute to race results.

Other studies in follow up to the Exeter study, seem to demonstrate that single dose beet juice does not improve performance, at least not when given to athletes, so maybe daily usage (or at least multiple times a week) would be beneficial as possibly taking beet juice on a regular basis builds up the baseline amount of nitric oxide in the blood.

Will beet juice (from the beet root) improve performance in racing pigeons, I do not know, the jury is out on that topic. There are many fanciers buying into the story and trying it. Who knows what the end results might be, only time will tell.

Though studies show that humans do receive results when using beet juice, most all of the recorded studies recorded performance within 2 – 3 hours of drinking the juice. There are no studies that show results from performance efforts 12 to 36 hours after drinking the juice, which is the situation with pigeons sent to a race.

I just wanted to give you the whole story. So that you are not misled by those who make grand sounding claims about what this ingredient is capable of doing. There is a great deal of conflicting research coming out on this ingredient as to what it does or does not do.
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PostSubject: Re: the use of beetroot juice in pigeon racing   Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:28 pm

never read much about it but i do remeber when i had pigeons at my dads he used to grow beetroot and when the shoots got to about 2 inch high the birds would strip them never before they got to that hight did the touch them or when they what was left got bigger ide imagin it was a big iron intake
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PostSubject: Re: the use of beetroot juice in pigeon racing   Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:07 pm

Thanks for the heads up Ian, that's a very interesting post mate.
Let me know your results with it this season.
Im well interested as I grow my own Veg, and I'm always interested in natural stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: the use of beetroot juice in pigeon racing   Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:14 pm

gem brought out a beetroot product called stamox never used anything beetroot based myself but I do know its a very good antioxidant for starters so would be of benefit just for that at least, oropharma also sale a vitamin compound that contains a lot of beetroot too ...will be interesting to know the outcome of its use over a sustained period
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PostSubject: Re: the use of beetroot juice in pigeon racing   Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:20 pm

oldstrain wrote:
gem brought out a beetroot product called stamox never used anything beetroot based myself but I do know its a very good antioxidant for starters so would be of benefit just for that at least, oropharma also sale a vitamin compound that contains a lot of beetroot too ...will be interesting to know the outcome of its use over a sustained period


Ian's post is a very good bit of information etc I would say O/S Smile Smile. Well worth the time to try & comprehend it all I would like too suggest. Maybe no magic bullet Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes for someone looking for a short cut with the birds but like most things if used wisely & on a regular basis would/could be of benefit. Now !!! it just so happens that yesterday I watched a show called Landline here on tv & part of it was about a new super plum (Red fruit/vegtable) being grown here now & because of it's antioxident benefits it is classed in the medicine category by the CSIRO here etc now & the future for this plum is more in the drink side of things & tablet form/powder for the general public because of it's many health benefits even on top of the antoxident side of things. cheers
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