Does Beetroot Juice Improve Athletic Performance and Recovery?
Many people ask me how they can boost their exercise performance and recovery. The good news is, there are plenty of supplements to help you accomplish your goal.
Obviously, organic Paleo nutrition is the most important factor.
But in this post, I want to highlight the evidence that nothing beats the Beet when it comes to exercise.
A recent study found beetroot juice led to an increase in power output in short burst sprint activity. (1)
A 2012 study found beetroot improved time trial performance in cyclists! (2). Another study discovered aerobic performance was boosted with beetroot juice consumption. (3).
How do beets work?
Beets are an excellent source of nitrates. Consisting of only nitrogen and oxygen, nitrates are converted by the digestive tract into nitrites and then by the various enzymes into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide (NO) is the main vasodilator of the body. Think about the person with chest pain who goes to the ER and gets nitroglycerin under the tongue. Nitrates open blood vessels.
Conversion of food-based nitrate into nitrites is dependent on bacteria in the mouth, hence, chew your food well, and swish around beet juice before you swallow.
Unfortunately, as we get older, our production of nitric oxide starts to plummet. Now it’s time to do something about it.
Heart health benefits of nitrates include:
- Decreased platelet stickiness
- Decreased monocyte adhesion to blood vessels (this is a good thing)
- Decreased smooth muscle cell replication (this is a good thing as plaque is loaded with SMC’s)
- Decreased release of superoxide free radicals (lower oxidative stress and inflammation)
I love eating raw beets on salads and juiced into a greens drink. But if you are looking for an easy way to get beets into your day, check out our organic beetroot powder. Our patients love it and get results. It is the first beetroot juice powder supplement I recommend for patients with hypertension. I add it to our Daily Greens and Superfood everyday, for a delicious triple combo. It’s how I start off every morning.
Cardiologist and chiropractor recommended.
Another super-supplement for blood vessel health and performance is our Vessel Support. It activates nitric oxide through a different pathway. Read more here.
For an exhaustive review on the benefits of dietary nitrate consumption, here is a link to an excellent review article.
- Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2012 Feb;22(1):64-71.