Beetroots are a powerhouse of nutrients and have been working hard for years to earn ‘superfood’ status. Yet it’s only in recent years that they’ve been recognized as a genuine nutraceutical (a food or nutrient that provides health benefits over and above other foods).
Beets are excellent sources of fiber. Some of this fiber boosts levels of antioxidants and white blood cells, which is great news for the immune system. They’re great sources of folic acid, manganese, and potassium too. They’re also one of the richest food sources of glutamine, an amino acid essential for muscle growth, especially useful for workouts. The green leaves are super nutritious too, high in vitamins A and C, calcium and iron.
The health benefits of beets
Beetroots have a whole host of health benefits. From helping keep our hearts and liver healthy, to helping with the symptoms of dry mouth, to boosting energy. But what if something so healthy could also act as a sports nutrition supplement? Turns out, it can!
Organic Red Beet Powder for sports nutrition
Beetroot, and specifically our Organic Red Beet Powder, contains high levels of nitrate. Nitrate is known to increase levels of nitric oxide in the blood which causes increases in blood flow to the muscles, muscle oxygenation, the energy production of cells and a strengthening of muscle contractions. If you work out, then you’ll probably recognize the value in all these things to improving your endurance and workout.
And we’ve found the science to back all of this up.
Scientific studies into beetroot and sports endurance
A systematic review in 2017 looked at 23 studies into how nitrate in beetroot juice benefits exercise performance. It concluded that “supplementation with beetroot juice can improve cardiorespiratory endurance in athletes by increasing efficiency. This leads to better performance and an increased time to exhaustion”.
In more simple terms, the nitrate in beetroot juice allows for a longer, more efficient workout.
In a study in 2012, researchers looked at the impact of whole beetroot consumption on running performance. The reason being, nitrate in an unnatural, chemistry lab-produced state can have adverse health effects. These effects are not seen when nitrates are consumed from vegetables such as beetroots or our Organic Red Beet Powder. The study concluded that consuming nitrate-rich beetroots prior to running, did indeed improve performance. The authors went as far as to say, “it would be prudent for individuals seeking performance benefits to obtain nitrates from whole vegetables, such as beetroot”.
Another study in 2016 found that eating a diet high in natural nitrates, such as those found in our Organic Red Beet Powder, significantly improved exercise performance. Participants were examined before, during and after moderate intensity indoor cycling and knee extensions. Their findings concluded that “a high-nitrate diet could be a feasible and effective strategy to improve exercise performance”.
Pretty compelling, huh?
Our Organic Red Beet Powder contains nothing but powdered organic beetroots. Therefore, adding it to your workout shakes guarantees that you get the same benefits as consuming juiced or whole beetroots.
If you don’t like the taste of beetroots, or you’d like to incorporate them into your daily diet and don’t fancy eating them every day, then our Organic Red Beet Powder is for you. It can easily be added to smoothies and shakes and dissolves quickly.
Domínguez, R., E. Cuenca, J. L. Maté-Muñoz, P. García-Fernández, N. Serra-Paya, M. C. Estevan, P. V. Herreros, and M. V. Garnacho-Castaño. "Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review." Nutrients. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 06 Jan. 2017. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.
Murphy, M., K. Eliot, R. M. Heuertz, and E. Weiss. "Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance." Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2012. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.
Porcelli, S., L. Pugliese, E. Rejc, G. Pavei, M. Bonato, M. Montorsi, A. La, L. Rasica, and M. Marzorati. "Effects of a Short-Term High-Nitrate Diet on Exercise Performance." Nutrients. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 31 Aug. 2016. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.
by Hannah de Gruchy - Nature Restore Health & Wellness Contributor