Growing research continues to demonstrate the health benefits of beet juice. Endurance athletes are getting in on the action, as the latest data reveals that beet juice may serve as a performance aid.
Despite its recent surge of popularity, the endurance-related benefits of beet juice have been studied for a while. In a 2011 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, nine competitive male cyclists were asked to drink beetroot juice before a cycling endurance test. Researchers found that the men who drank beet juice improved their performance by 2.8 percent, in comparison to participants who drank a nitrate-depleted beet juice.
Performance improvements were also revealed in a 2015 study published in Human Kinetics. Australian researchers gave five professional female kayakers two 2.4 ounce shots of beet juice two hours before a kayak test. Compared with a placebo, the rowers who drank beet juice improved their performance by 1.7 percent.
After a series of consistent results, researchers from the University of Lille Norde de France concluded that dietary nitrate (found in beetroot and other vegetables) can successfully lower the oxygen demand of exercise and improve performance in endurance sports. The researchers determined that beet juice is most effective when drank two to three hours before exercise, and 300 to 500 milligrams were found to be sufficient for a one to three percent improvement in performance.
Bumping up the intensity of your workout? Beet juice may provide a boost! Sports nutrition researcher Raúl Domínguez from the University Isabel I in Spain recently discovered that about 2.4 ounces of beet juice improved the performance of 15 volunteers in a 30-second cycling sprint. Domínguez expects that beet juice can be effective in all forms of physical activity, but more research is required for confirmation.
In addition to those living an active lifestyle, people with high blood pressure may benefit from beet juice. The beverage increases the production of nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to expand and can lead to lowered blood pressure. Beet juice may also help older adults experiencing restricted blood flow and pain in their legs, according to a recent study. i
For more information about potential health-boosting properties of your favorite juices, explore our Juice Varieties page. To learn how 100% juice can complement your healthy lifestyle, visit our Healthy Habits page.