Beet juice may keep your brain young and fit, according to an article on the Runner’s World website.

The article cites a study reported in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences that found that a shot of beet juice an hour before exercise can have positive benefits to brains as they get older.

In the study, 26 sedentary men with an average age of 65 participated in six weeks of exercise. Some took daily shots of beet juice; others received a placebo.

The participants walked on a treadmill three times a week for six weeks, building up to 50 minutes per session at increased effort.

Comparing MRIs from before and after the trial, researchers found that the group that drank beet juice had significantly higher levels of “community consistency” within their brains.

The nitrate in beet juice, which converts to nitrite and then nitric oxide in the blood, has a strong positive effect on responsiveness in blood vessels, which, in turn, can increase the amount of oxygen reaching the brain and boost aspects of cognitive function.

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