Benefits of Drinking Beetroot Juice in the Morning

Benefits of Drinking Beetroot Juice in the Morning

Beetroot juice is packed with a wide variety of nutrients and vitamins that are essential for peak athletic performance. We’ll dive into the three best times to drink beet juice and explore why adding beets to your diet could be the last couple percent in your next race or training session.

When to drink Beetroot juice? The evidence tells us that Beetroot juice is most effective time-wise to take advantage of its short half-life (1.5 hours) with regard to athletic performance. Taking it ~30-60 min pre-workout ensures the greatest absorption of Nitrates. It is shown to have a good dose-response effect; meaning that the more you have, the more benefits you’ll receive. Considering the short half-life I would recommend no more than 2-3 doses a day, spread evenly throughout your routine.

How should you drink beetroot juice? Juice, concentrate, or powder? Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. The first study on beets suggested that 500 mL of beet juice each day may lead to a 15% increase in the time taken to reach exhaustion1. Since then, athletes have tried numerous ways to make this process more convenient. Juicing 3­ to 5 beets every morning is not only time-consuming and messy but also expensive and impractical if you are travelling. Alternatives in the form of powder and concentrated juices are now widely available on the market. The most recent study at the University of Exeter used concentrated beet juice, like Red Ace Organics, which replicated the effect of fresh juice4. Research has yet to recreate the performance benefits of using beet powder.

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When, and how much should you drink?  New data provides a better answer. Evidence shows that even a small amount of beet juice can benefit athletes–improving performance as well as NO levels. If you are doing an intense training session, use 300 mL. If you are doing a lighter effort, or plan to exercise longer than a few hours, then 600 mL may be more appropriate. If your goal is to get the highest concentration of nitrates, you’ll want to drink beetroot juice as soon after juicing as possible. This will prevent much of the nitrate from being depleted by heat in food preparation. For other vegetables that don’t need to be cooked for a long period of time in order to be edible (spinach is a great example), light steaming won’t affect the nitrate content.

The next time you’re craving a refreshing, nutritious beverage, consider drinking beetroot juice. The nitrates in beets are converted into nitrates by friendly bacteria in our saliva, an important step that should not be overlooked. If you drink beet juice slowly or allow the juice to sit for a minute before swallowing, the bacteria will have more time to complete the conversion to nitrites. The performance-enhancing benefits of beet juice are well documented, and many athletes are using it to boost their physical activity performance. And one more thing, always drink water from a water tap filter. The studies were done in a tightly controlled environment, so the best course of action is to try it yourself.

Beetroot juice has been the focus of much recent research in terms of performance enhancement, due to its particularly high inorganic nitrate content. Have you ever wondered how it compares with other leafy green vegetables? We’ve compared the nitrate content of four vegetables high in nitrates (beetroot, spinach, rocket, and lettuce) against other leafy greens. Quite simply, this is a summary of when you should drink beetroot juice. I initially set out to find the answer myself, but based on the conflicting evidence and other resources that have been published on this topic since then, I think it’s pretty clear beets are not going to make you fast on their own.

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