Can Beet Juice Help Improve Sports Performance?

30 July, 2019 , , , ,

Beets are also good for your health!

Some research suggests that beets can help defend us against certain cancers, such as those of the prostate, breast, liver and lungs. This protective effect is due to its rich content of betaine, a powerful antioxidant. Beets are also rich in vitamins and minerals, notably potassium, sodium, magnesium and vitamin C.

What are the side effects of taking beet supplements?

Taking beet juice supplements temporarily gives the urine and stool a pinkish color and may cause mild gastrointestinal disturbances. It should be noted that the nitrate content in beet juice is variable and that some supplements are more concentrated than others.

In conclusion, to improve athletic performance, it is better to first optimize the quality of training, recovery, sleep and diet before deciding to take a supplement. All of these factors will have a much greater effect on performance than any supplement. On the other hand, if you have already optimized all these aspects, beet juice seems to be a safe choice and could in some cases provide some benefits to performance. Further research is needed to better understand the beneficial effects of nitrate supplementation as well as the protocol for its use.


References

  • Torben et coll (2019) Chronic high-dose beetroot juice supplementation improves time trial T performance of well-trained cyclists in normoxia and hypoxia. Nitric Oxide; 85: 44–52.
  • Burke et Deakin (2015) Clinical Sports Nutrition, 5th Edition, McGraw-Hill Education, 828 pages.

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Author

Kathryn Adel

Kathryn Adel

Kathryn completed degrees in kinesiology and nutrition, as well as a Masters in Sports Nutrition. She is a member of OPDQ and of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She ran track and cross-country at a national level. Kathryn specializes in sports nutrition, weight loss, diabetes, as well as heart and gastrointestinal health. Kathryn is experienced with the low FODMAP diet and she completed the Monash University low FODMAP dietitian’s training.

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