Beetroot juice can improve your puff, potentially benefiting swimmers, singers, and mountaineers, research has shown.
In tests, drinking a single shot of the red juice allowed trained divers to hold their breath 11% longer.
Beetroot is known to boost levels of nitric oxide in the body, causing muscles to work more efficiently and demand less oxygen.
Previous research has shown that beetroot juice increases physical stamina.
Concentrated beetroot shots are already used by top-level British athletes, including marathon runner Helen Decker and butterfly swimming champion Ian Hulme.
The new research was conducted by Swedish scientists on 12 healthy volunteers who were trained in breath-hold diving.
In the tests, the nine men and three women were either given a 70 millilitre shot of beetroot juice or an inactive placebo drink.
They were then asked to hold their breath after having a clip placed on their nose.
After drinking the beetroot, the volunteers were able to hold their breath for an average four minutes and 38 seconds. They managed four minutes 10 seconds after drinking the placebo - a difference of more than 11%.
The results appear in the journal Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology.
Dr Harald Engan, who led the experiment, said: "Apparently by enabling the body to reduce oxygen consumption, drinking concentrated beetroot juice has delivered significant extension of breath holding time.
"We are currently experimenting on if this may also be able to help climbers at high altitude and hope to report on the results soon."
Beetroot juice could also help opera singers and woodwind and brass instrument players, who often need to hold their breath for long periods, the researchers believe.
The New Superfoods
Artichokes are a rich source of iron and antioxidants. The Jerusalem variety has the highest levels of iron, helping to beat fatigue, aid concentration and maintain a healthy metabolism.
Black garlic is aged for a month in a fermentation process under high heat (hence its darker colour) and tastes sweeter than normal garlic so it doesn't leave a pungent taste in your mouth. It contains twice as many antioxidants than traditional raw garlic and has high levels of S-Allycysteine, a natural compound that has been proven to help prevent cancer.
This blue-green algae is packed full of iron and vitamin B12, which are great for maintaining energy levels and fighting fatigue. This tiny aquatic plant is packed, ounce for ounce, with more Vitamin A than carrots and is a rich source of phytochemicals, which are said to help reduce menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis and reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Hemp seeds are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation and joint pain, improve metabolism and keep the heart healthy. They also contain a more digestible form of protein than milk and eggs. Eat them raw in salads or grind them with a pestle and mortar and sprinkle them over baked foods or cereals. Hemp seeds can be also be found in an oil form which can be used for cooking or a salad dressing.
Kukicha Twig Tea
The 'twig tea' is made of the stems and stalk from the Kukicha plant and is a herbal remedy used for reducing bloated stomachs and boosting the immune system with its high levels of disease-beating antioxidants. Typically found in tea form, it is low in caffeine, which helps keep the blood pressure levels down.
Adzuki beans contain more protein and less fat than any other pulse. They also contain high levels of potassium which helps lower the risk of strokes and high blood pressure, fibre for good digestion and zinc, which protects the body from inflammation of the joints and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Although notoriously high in fat, this clarified butter used in Indian cooking is thought to improve memory, digestion and boost the immune system. Ghee is made by simmering unsalted butter in a pot until all the water has boiled. Ghee is the milk solids that has settled to the bottom of the pot and is best enjoyed in moderation.
Commonly used in Indian cuisine, fenugreek is used as both a herb and a spice and is said to be good for reducing cholesterol, improving the symptoms of diabetes and soothing menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms.
This creamy-fleshed fruit, which is part of the cocoa family, is being billed as the new 'super fruit' with its high levels of antioxidants. It can found in health juices or in a pill. It is a rich source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, fatty acids and at least nine antioxidants (including Vitamins A and C). The fruit has a similar effect on the body as caffeine without the caffeine content, so it energises the body the natural way. You don't have to eat it to reap the benefits as it can be found in face and body creams too.
These tiny brown seeds are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, great for maintaining healthy energy levels. They are also said to help lower blood pressure and the risk of inflammation, as well as helping slow down premature ageing by reducing the risk of free-radical damage to the skin. Sprinkle Chia seeds on salads, include them in your dipping sauces or salad dressings, throw them in stews or heat them up until they go soft and gel-like and then use as a spread for sandwiches or include in baking recipes.