Beets are a great source of inorganic nitrates. Dietary nitrates (in vegetables like celery, spinach, arugula, lettuce and of course beets) convert in the body to nitric oxide. After drinking beet juice, some of the nitrate comes in contact with saliva, friendly bacteria in your mouth will convert it to nitrite oxide. To make sure the nitrate gets converted to nitrite oxide, avoid brushing your teeth, chewing gum, or drinking other juices right after drinking the beet juice as the conversion doesn’t happen instantly. What happens after drinking beet juice before training; the amount of oxygen required to maintain your performance level during training or racing decreases, so basically it increases your VO2 Max. The easiest way to get the most benefits from beet juice is to take it in concentrated form- 70ml shots. Otherwise, the recommended dosage is between 300-600ml of regular beet juice, which tends to be a lot of liquid to ingest. The equivalent is to take 1-2 70ml shots. The nitrite level peaks at about 2.5hrs after ingesting the beet juice. Recent studies have shown that ingesting beet juice will improve your performance by 2.5-3.5%.
Benefits of beet juice for athletes:
-Increases the size of blood vessels to allow more oxygen flow.
-Improves muscle oxygenation during exercise.
-Increases exercise tolerance during long-term endurance exercise.
Other health benefits of beet juice:
-Reduces blood pressure: After drinking 500ml of beet juice, blood pressure lowers significantly.
-Slows down dementia: Drinking beet juice improves oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia.
-Helps diabetes: Beet juice also contains an antioxidant called alpha-lipoid acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
-Digestion: Beet juice is high in fiber, which helps promote a healthy digestive system.
-Reduces inflammation: Beet juice contains a great nutrient called choline, which has several health benefits including reducing chronic inflammation, helping with sleep, muscle movement, memory, and helping with the absorption of fat.
Bottom line, athletes should take 70-140ml of concentrate beet juice shots pre-training to increase their performance, lower fatigue, by reducing the amount of oxygen required to perform at peak level.
Train Hard, Eat Right, Feel Great!