Endurance athletes are feeling the popularity of beets more than anyone. This is what happens when you take a beet supplement for two weeks.
Beets are taking over the health-conscious community and especially endurance athletes who want to improve their performance.
The reason? Beets are full of health benefits that especially affect athletes in positive ways.
Andy Jones is a professor of applied physiology at the University of Exeter and is an expert in beets and performance.
According to his 2013 study, people need less oxygen to sustain their exercise after they drink beet juice.
What does this mean? It means that runners can go at their usual pace and use up less energy to do so.
Jones is not alone; Asker Jeukendrup, a leading exercise physiologist and sports nutritionist, believes nitrate works.
“I don’t think there’s much doubt that nitrate has physiological effects,” he said.
“The evidence for dietary nitrate reducing resting blood pressure, and therefore potentially impacting positively on cardiovascular health, is really robust.
“The key now is to find out in which populations and sporting events it may be most effective in improving performance.”
Based on the research, runner and writer Erin Strout decided to try drinking beets for two weeks and see the results firsthand.
The following is a summary of her account and what happened when she ate beets for two weeks.
1. Beets, Beeturia, and Bathrooms
Beets contain a pigment called betanin that can cause beeturia – a temporary condition that can turn your stools and urine red.
How you prepare beets and how much you eat has a big impact, as Erin found out.
2. Beets Bloating Experience
Beets are filling and may cause some bloating in the first couple of days.
One beet smoothie in the morning can carry you all the way to lunch.
3. Bad Beet Drink Mix
When pressed for time, Erin tried a beet powder mix – and it had a chemical beet-flavor cough syrup taste.
This is why choosing beet supplement mixes with great taste like HeartBeet Complete matters.
4. Easy Prep Time
Prepping beets at the start of the week was easy and made it simple to add them to salads later in the week.
Roasting them and the chopping them throughout the week proved easy and simple.
5. Better Nutrition
While she got dessert recipes from her friends like red velvet brownies, eating beets made Erin eat healthier overall.
Instead of going for easy desserts, beets increased the nutritional value of her planned meals.
6. Beet Marathon
Erin had stepped away from running for a while due to various circumstances.
However, beets helped make it less of a hassle and pain (literally) to return to running.
Read Erin’s full account in Runner’s World.