There are studies that show how drinking beetroot juice can improve circulation, but can beets boost athletic performance? Find out by reading below.
For a long time, beets have been touted as a superfood due to their nutrient content and health benefits. Now, athletes and wellness professionals seem to agree that beets are not just a colorful salad topping. In fact, there are studies that show how beets may help athletic stamina, workout recovery, and heart health.
Behind the Science
Nitric oxide is a natural compound that acts as a signaling molecule for the cardiovascular system and expands and relaxes blood vessels. “The body naturally produces nitric oxide with the conversion of the amino acid L-Arginine with the enzyme nitric oxide synthase,” says Shannon Dolan, an Austin functional nutrition therapy practitioner. “Physical activity can enhance this conversion, however with age this enzyme does decrease in function.”
In addition to this natural process, the body can also get nitric oxide by converting nitrates from your diet. Various vegetables contain nitrates, but beets are especially rich in them. The more nitrates you consume, the more nitric oxide in your body, and the better your circulation.
In 2009, researchers published a study that oversaw the effects of beet juice on their participants. According to their results, participants who drank beet juice showed impressive results. Not only did their nitrate blood concentration double, but their systolic blood pressure dropped, their oxygen consumption dropped, and they could work out longer than the placebo group.
“If you look at it from the basic level here with the fact that nitric oxide improves the body’s ability to carry nutrients in blood throughout the body,” says Yancy Culp, athlete and Active Lifestyle Coach at HumanN, a company that focuses on beet supplements. “It sounds to me like anybody besides a hemophiliac could benefit from such an improved circulatory system.”
Should you take beet supplements?
“When most people think of pre-workout, they think of something that you really feel in your body – like you’re hovering to the gym, a drone ready to attack the weights,” says Culp. “But [beet pre-workouts are] strictly performance-based. You don’t feel any different – you just are able to go for longer or harder.”
Taking beet supplements may help to enhance your performance. However, they may also help with your recovery phase. “During recovery, circulation is important to ensure essential amino acids make it to the muscles to aid in repair, and blood circulation helps top off glycogen stores in preparation for the next training session or race,” says Culp.
If you’re looking for an effective beetroot supplement, consider taking HeartBeet Complete. It contains beet powder, l-arginine, l-citrulline, CoQ10, turmeric, and various vitamins and minerals. Together, they effectively promote energy levels, circulation, blood pressure health, and more. Give your performance that extra support by consuming more beets or making it easier on yourself by taking HeartBeet Complete.