Beet juice has become a common supplement and health tonic for both health and performance.
In a recent article, I summarised the evidence from reviews of trials on beet juice.
Some of the key points were:
- Beet juice is nutrient-dense and contains carotenoids (pro-vitamin A) vitamins B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9, C, sodium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
- Beet juice is rich in antioxidant polyphenols and dietary nitrate.
- Nitrate is converted to nitric oxide which helps improve blood pressure and performance and might be beneficial to brain and gut health.
Summary of performance benefits
- Overall, studies suggest that beet juice benefits endurance.
- Beet juice has been shown to benefit sprint performance in many people.
- Results can vary between individuals (so, best to try for yourself)
Summary of other benefits
- Beet juice improves blood pressure (mostly by reducing systolic blood pressure)
- Betalains and polyphenols from beets increase beneficial metabolites from the gut microbiota.
- Dietary nitrates from beets help to improve circulatory activity in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
- Betanin compounds in beets help to reduce the accumulation of dysfunctional, misfolded proteins in Alzheimer’s disease.
Check out the full (referenced) article: Beet Juice: A Summary of Health and Performance Effects
How to use beet juice
For health: Eat a vegetable-rich diet and supplement with 1 x high-nitrate beet shot or drink a large glass of beet juice daily.
For performance: 2 shots of high-nitrate beet juice for 3-6 days before an event (inclusive of the event day)