I have been juicing beets for few years now and I am a huge fan. Bite into a raw beetroot and you will be shocked how tasty and sweet it is! Beets are delicious raw in salads, and soft and sweet when cooked. They are insanely healthy: high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas), they also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
Beet juice is highly potent and according to studies, improves athletic performance!
How is that possible? The key is the very high level of nitrate found in the juice. Nitrate (which is proven to lower blood pressure) is being transformed by the body into nitrite, and then into nitric oxide. According to Exeter University professor Andy Jones who is famous in sports / science circles for having worked with marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe, nitric oxide has two major effects on an athlete. “The first is that it causes blood vessels to dilate, so you can provide more blood through them,” he says. “Simultaneously, it seems to make the mitochondria more efficient, so they are able to create the same energy while consuming less oxygen. So you really have two things happening. Lower oxygen cost because the mitochondria are more efficient, and then you have a higher oxygen supply—in terms of performance, that’s a pretty good combination.”
Athletes aren’t the only ones that benefit from nitrates. Elderly people and those with lung, heart and metabolic disease could also benefit from the increased oxygen that nitrates supply to the body. In the Exeter study, scientists found those that ingested nitrates also had a lower resting blood pressure because the juice dilates blood vessels.
Beet juice is also beneficial for an athlete’s hydration. Maintaining electrolytes is challenging, especially when athletes compete in the heat. Beet juice, which is high in potassium, can help regulate fluid levels and balance electrolytes. Beet juice is also an effective anti-inflammatory because it contains betaine. This can help reduce an athlete’s risk of chronic inflammation and illness.
Many companies offer now beet juice concentrate shots for improved performance however I stick to juicing the beet and mixing it with other vegetable juice, favourite mix being: Carrot, Apple, Ginger, Lemon, Broccoli and beet.
broccoli ( optional and for juice connoisseurs – it adds raw broccoli flavour to the drink so be careful if you are not used to the taste of it – increase the broccoli content gradually)
ginger ( again depending on how much space you can handle 🙂 )
1 apple for sweetness.
2 medium beets
ENJOY with a handful of almonds and few pieces of fresh fruit for an incredible PRE workout boost and optimum health 🙂