Working in tandem with the supplement industry has taught us that no matter how new an ingredient seems, it most often comes with a long history of traditional use. These supplements are “hot stuff” based on recent research that shows that they fulfill those historical promises and that they’re readily available on store shelves today.
New research supports the benefits that this popular supplement (originally derived from beets, in case you couldn’t guess) offers an exercising population. Subjects who supplemented with significant amounts of beet juice increased the amount of exercise they could perform before failure. Beets are known for their ability to boost nitric-oxide production, improving blood flow to muscle tissue.
The root of this flowering plant, also known as red sage, was commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to ameliorate cardiovascular and kidney problems. It works by helping reduce the body’s clotting mechanisms. From a health perspective, this helps thin the blood, improving flow and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. The benefit for weight-training athletes is that it allows more nutrients, including oxygen and amino acids, to reach muscle tissue. Pair Salvia miltiorrhiza with nitric-oxide boosters (like arginine, citrulline and/or betaine) to increase nutrient delivery and improve blood flow.
Long touted as a brain booster, vinpocetine also shows promise as a health booster. Older studies show that this extract from the periwinkle plant helps increase blood flow to the brain, but recent research shows a more dynamic health benefit: Vinpocetine also appears to be a potent anti-inflammatory that helps prevent blockage in the arteries. By boosting blood flow, vinpocetine helps increase oxygen utilization and energy production.