University of South Adelaide research shows that beetroot boosts sporting performance in athletes

It’s the bright-red root veggie more often found in a borsht than a breakfast smoothie, but the humble beetroot could become one of the next go-to foods for athletes as University of South Adelaide research shows it can provide a competitive edge when it comes to playing sport.

Evaluating the performance effects of foods that are thought to have a beneficial effect on aerobic performance, researchers found that beetroot, grapes, sour cherries, and pine bark extract, which contribute to nitric oxide availability in the body, boost endurance exercise performance.

Assessing data from 118 studies involving 1872 participants from 25 different countries, the meta-analysis evaluated the effect of consuming nitrate-rich foods (typically green leafy vegetables), foods that contain polyphenols (such as berries, cherries and cocoa), and L-Citrulline (found in watermelon) on exercise endurance performance.

The study found that the nitrate levels contained in beetroot, which have been shown to boost blood flow and increase the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to muscles during exercise, helped athletes perform better more quickly.

Similarly, the polyphenols in grapes, cherries and pine bark extract helped protect nitrate from degradation in the body, boosting stamina. And, despite the ability of L-citrulline to boost nitric oxide production in the body, consuming watermelon (high in L-citrulline) did not boost exercise performance.

Lead researcher and UniSA PhD candidate Noah D’Unienville explained these findings provide further evidence of foods as natural endurance enhancers.

“There’s a lot of interest in nitrate-rich and polyphenol-rich foods because of their potential to boost exercise performance, but just because they contain these elements, doesn’t mean this will translate into improved exercise performance,” D’Unienville said via a media release.

“While our study shows that beetroot (among other foods) can boost performance, other nitrate-rich foods such as red spinach, Swiss chard and rhubarb, did not show similar benefits.

“Also, while grapes, pine bark extract, and sour cherries can help athletes perform better and faster, we found no effects for other polyphenol-rich foods, including blackcurrant, cocoa, ginseng, green tea or raisins.”

Co-researcher, UniSA’s Professor Jon Buckley added that while these foods were effective in boosting exercise performance and building stamina, their effects did discriminate.

“The results did show that more significant effects among athletes who were less fit, and also that men were more likely to benefit from these foods than women,” Prof Buckley said via a media release.

“Certainly, there were some limitations with the sample size of women, but this finding does suggest further investigation is warranted.

“All in all, we know that trying to get fit takes time and effort but add a glass of beetroot juice to your training schedule and you just might see the difference.”

An amenities refresher for NSW grassroots custodian

The NSW Football Legacy Program has worked in conjunction with the Bayside Council in providing $150,000 to the Bexley North Football Club (BNFC) who join the vast growing number of successful applicants of the Infrastructure Stream, which is the second round screening process.

The Football Legacy program is a $10 million investment founded by the NSW Government. The program’s intention is to continue the established growth of female football through freshly refurbished community facilities.

Furthermore, development programs, participation initiatives and potential ventures involving tourism and international engagement are all at the forefront of the overall objective the NSW government has regarding the growth of football within the state.

The $150,000 grant in which BNFC are receiving is going to be spent sparingly. Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve is in dire need of a rejuvenation, given the club’s recent rise to popular interest within the Football St George Association, BNFC experienced an astounding spike in membership.

Since the 2021 season, the club witnessed a spike in members, a 35% increase surge in overall involvement, highlighted by a 40% increase in female involvement.

The traffic that the club began to experience was a confronting yet exciting time for the community operated club. Their previous facilities could not cater for the extravagant influx of participants, hence the club opting to collaborate with the Bayside Council.

The grant successfully attained will be used to upgrade the amenities at Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve from top to bottom. The newly furbished facility has hosts a conference room, referee room, medical room, canteen, and storage area.

Further funding requested by BNFC is expected to be utilized in rejuvenating the current change rooms and bathrooms, as well as a through fixup of the established home and away locker rooms. The end goal insight, is to accommodate highly regarded women’s footballing outlets in the future.

BNFC President Eddie Yazbeck, mentioned the importance of what this grant will provide.

“We have worked closely with Bayside Council to develop a site plan for Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve and together we applied for the NSW Football Legacy Fund to help make our vision a reality,” he said via press release. 

“This grant will deliver a much-needed infrastructure upgrade, addressing concerns such as accessibility and safety, improved canteen facilities, storage for our kits, change rooms for players and referees.”

The Facilities and Grants Officer at Football NSW, James Spanoudakis, also added via media release. 

“Amenity buildings are the heart and soul of all football clubs across NSW,” he said.

The new amenities is expected to be completed towards the conclusion of 2024, ready to go for the 2025 winter season.   

Melbourne City proudly unveil their state-of-the-art-facilities

Melbourne City have proudly showcased their clubs latest project through the unveiling of their new state-of-the-art-facility, located at Casey Fields in Cranbourne.

The City Football Academy Melbourne continues to push the already established high-standards in which football across Australia are beginning to reach. The facility will host the men’s and women’s teams, as well as the club’s grassroot program, and an administration office is also involved in the newly developed location.

The Melbourne based club were inspired by their British parent and European juggernauts Manchester City have some of, if not the best facilities in world football. Melbourne City’s latest facility was developed in accordance to the structure and framework relating to Manchester City.

Within the newly furnished building, it’s features are acknowledged to stand out amongst other rival A-League entity’s. A 60-seat theatre and community classroom was installed to host club officials and guests, 16 changerooms combined with Hydrotherapy pools and two gyms, all designed to propel their playing personnel in achieving their peak athletic condition. Administration spaces where also created for Sports Science, Sports Medicine and club officials to all reside in.

The official opening took place on April 10 by City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM, and Melbourne City FC Vice Chairman Simon Pearce.


Located at the Casey Fields Sporting precinct in which is building quite the resume within the tenants it has acquired in various codes of sport across the state. The 5,900m2 facility that City now possess in their arsenal sits on eleven hectares of land, upon it they have five different football pitches, with varying surfaces.

The opportunities in which this facility presents to football fans and participants alike, are in abundance, 3,500 aspiring young football participants will be able to use the facilities on offer, with many more able to spectate City matches in which may be played at their Academy.

Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse stated via press release:

“This amazing facility will be the new home to our Men’s, Women’s, Academy, and Administration teams, and will allow us to come together under the one roof to train, share ideas and challenge each other every single day.

“We’re setting new standards for football in Australia and laying the foundations for sustainable growth, on and off the pitch.”

With the latest edition of the McDonald’s City Cup being played at the newly launched facility, the tournament was a token showcasing that the clubs elite are not the only ones who will benefit from the facility but also local footballing communities in addition.

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