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Smoke the competition at your next race by roasting some roots. Naturally occurring nitrates help deliver more oxygen to your muscles, thereby reducing fatigue during high-intensity exercise, Kimball says. A new study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that eating a 7-ounce serving of baked beets 75 minutes before exercise helped runners run three percent faster during a 5k—and in the last mile, they ran five percent faster. Being able to up the intensity like that means you torch both your opponents and major calories.
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