Can beetroot make runners unbeatable?

It seems a most unlikely performance booster but new research suggests beetroot could be the secret to track success at this year’s Olympics.
Scientists have discovered athletes who eat baked beetroot before a race run faster than their rivals. The purple root vegetable contains high levels of chemicals called nitrates, which have been shown to boost exercise performance.
Researchers at St Louis University in the US recruited 11 fit and healthy men and women and got them to twice run five kilometres on a treadmill.
Before the first run, the volunteers consumed a portion of baked beetroot just over an hour before hitting the treadmill. Before the second run, they ate an equivalent amount of cranberry relish, chosen because it has a similar calorific content to beetroot but without the same nitrate levels.

Source  - Daily Mail