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Can Beets Help Keep Me Energized?

Beets are considered a superfood, and for good reason. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients and are even considered a medicinal plant in some cultures. Beets and beet supplements are revered by athletes because they are an important source of energy. They are known to increase focus, lower blood pressure, improve circulation and often used as a pre-workout energy booster. Here’s how they work and why people love them.

Focus and Energy

Beets are loaded with nitrates that the body converts into energy-producing nitric oxide, which is needed to deliver oxygen throughout your body. And researchers have found that drinking beet juice greatly increases the number of nitrates in the blood, which means you have more energy. But even better, your focus may improve as your brain enjoys the benefits of increased blood and oxygen flow, too.

Better Circulation

Beets contain natural nitrates, which are vasodilators. This means they have the ability to trigger tiny muscles around arteries causing them to open up, allowing blood to flow more freely. The effects of this chain reaction are increased circulation, which may account for why people feel more energized after drinking beet juice.

Lower Blood Pressure

Some studies show that beets have a positive impact on decreasing internal inflammation and lowering blood pressure. In fact, one study showed that 500 mL of beetroot juice lowered blood pressure just three hours after ingestion. (1) And healthier blood pressure means less fatigue, especially during times of exertion.

Pre-Workout Booster

Beet juice increases the amount of nitric oxide levels in blood plasma, allowing a greater flow of blood to all areas of the body, and increased blood flow means that more nutrients are carried throughout the body. One study of 14 experienced, master swimmers showed increased oxygen capacity after drinking beet juice before their workouts, allowing them to swim longer before reaching exercise failure. (2) Both professional and recreational athletes have taken advantage of this benefit by using beet juice as a pre-workout booster for greater endurance and energy during training.

Boost Endurance

There is evidence that drinking beet juice mixed with apple juice can increase endurance and lower resting blood pressure. In fact, studies show that athletes who drank this combination reported better endurance with improved exercise performance. Another study at the University of Exeter found that beet juice may boost stamina and help you work out longer. (3)

Why are Beets so Powerful?

Beets are a superfood, for sure. But what gives them their superpowers? The following are just some of the nutrients that make beets a powerful energy booster.

Nitrates – Nitrates are a natural chemical found in some foods, and are converted into nitric oxide in our bodies. As mentioned above, nitric oxide supplements are popular among athletes as a pre-workout tool, because they increase blood flow and the body’s ability to transport oxygen throughout the body. And there’s even more proof of the value of the nitrates in beet juice.

In at least one study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, researchers concluded that dietary nitrate supplementation (like beet powder) lowers oxygen demand during exercise. (4) This is good news for any recreational athlete as it means your muscles need less oxygen to work as your body’s energy production becomes more efficient.

But the effects of supplementation with dietary nitrates get even better. Another double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 32 soccer players was used to see if beet juice supplementation benefitted trained soccer players during high-intensity, intermittent exercise. The study found that after just six days of supplementation with two doses of 70 mL a day, beet juice improved exercise performance and reduced heart rate, meaning even the bodies of trained athletes became more efficient. (5)

Iron – Anemia is a condition characterized by fatigue due to a lack of iron. Unfortunately, it is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the United States. There are a host of reasons why one may become anemic including; a diet that lacks iron, blood loss, or poor digestion. But consuming beets can help ensure that you don’t succumb to this energy sapping condition.

Beets are rich with iron, a component of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the substance in red blood cells that carries the oxygen from the lungs throughout the rest of the body to maintain energy levels. If you are prone to anemia, consume a diet that lacks iron, or simply cannot eat iron-rich foods every day, incorporating a beet supplement may help you get the iron your body craves.

Folate – Beets are high in B9, also known as folate. In fact, a single cup of raw beets contains nearly 40% of your daily requirement. Folate helps your body convert carbs into glucose; the energy your body needs to produce ATP, which is an important fuel your body uses for a host of metabolic tasks.

Potassium – Beets contain potassium, which is a necessary electrolyte that is easily lost through sweating, and the reason why many athletes drink electrolyte drinks. Potassium is important for muscle contraction and growth, and helps regulate heartbeat. But when potassium levels are low, you may feel exhausted as your blood vessels narrow, restricting the flow of oxygen rich blood. Luckily, just one cup of beets contains enough potassium to provide 11% of your daily requirement.

Vitamin C – We know that vitamin C can give our immune system a boost, but you might be impressed that it can be a great energy booster, too. In fact, it is a necessary nutrient that supports the body’s ability to make molecules like carnitine, which plays a critical role in energy production.

Anyone can benefit from the wealth of nutrition that beets provide. But if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like the taste of beets, try beet juice mixed with the juice of other vegetables like cucumber or celery, or use a beet supplement. Busy schedules and stress can easily drain nutrients and rob us of much needed energy, but each time you consume healthy superfoods like beets, you also increase your healthy nutrient reserves.

References:

1 Webb, A. J., Patel, N., Loukogeorgakis, S., Okorie, M., Aboud, Z., Misra, S., … Ahluwalia, A. (2008, March). Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective, and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite. Retrieved November 11, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18250365.

2 Domínguez R, Cuenca E, Maté-muñoz JL, et al. Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017;9(1) DOI: 10.3390/nu9010043.

3 University of Exeter. (2009, August 7). Beetroot Juice Boosts Stamina, New Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 12, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806141520.htm

4 Larsen, F. J., Weitzberg, E., Lundberg, J. O., & Ekblom, B. (2007, September). Effects of dietary nitrate on oxygen cost during exercise. Retrieved November 11, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17635415.

5 Jean, Jonvik, L., K., Jorn, M., P. J., Senden, … B., L. (2017, March 22). Beetroot Juice Supplementation Improves High-Intensity Intermittent Type Exercise Performance in Trained Soccer Players. Retrieved November 11, 2019, from https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/3/314/htm.

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

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Beets – The Performance Enhancer

Beets are a jewel-red, root vegetable and sometimes referred to as beetroots. They are a powerfully potent source of nutrition that helps improve brain function and athletic performance. Beets get their color from phytonutrients called betalains, which have cancer-fighting properties, among other benefits. But the taste isn’t for everyone, which is okay because concentrated beet juice in liquid and powder have some extra benefits.

Beets might be difficult to fit into your diet, every day, but a concentrate makes it easy. This is because a beet supplement can be added to water or your favorite drink, and provide all the nutrition without the sugar. Here are some of the phenomenal benefits of beets.

The Benefits of Beets

Beets are high in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is what makes beets a superfood as it improves blood flow, boosts stamina and lowers blood pressure. The combination of nutrients in beets have been proven to reduce fatigue and can even speed up post-workout recovery.

This powerful vegetable encourages weight loss, thanks to the high mineral count that includes betalin. Betalain is a vital nutrient that helps the liver remove waste and toxins, and helps increase bile flow. This means that it keeps your system clear so your liver can metabolize more fat.

Beets fight inflammation, which is important for any athlete, including weekend warriors. It’s no secret that hard workouts can increase internal inflammation, making it difficult to recover. And chronic inflammation is associated with fatigue, digestive issues and even acne. Consuming beets or beet concentrate on a daily basis helps you stay balanced to avoid this condition.

Beets improve athletic performance. They increase energy by supporting your cell’s mitochondria, while the nitrates improve blood flow to the muscles and lungs. This means increased strength and energy for every hardcore workout.

Beets can lower blood pressure. Studies show that the nitrates found in beets can dilate blood vessels, which in turn helps lower blood pressure. Making them a staple in your diet can help keep your numbers low while you enjoy the many other nutritional benefits beets deliver.

All in all, beets are a true superfood. Aside from the above benefits, they contain Vitamins C and B6, magnesium, potassium, folate, manganese, copper and iron. Folate is shown to lower the risk for cancer and heart disease and can even ward off depression. Manganese and copper promote healing and healthy bones and are necessary for red blood cell production. With all these benefits, beets can also be classified as an anti-aging food.

Some people prefer to eat beets, but many just can’t fit them into their everyday diet. But, concentrated beets in liquid or powder can supply the nutrients without the hassle of peeling, cutting and cooking. Research proves that this form is as beneficial as fresh beets, and possibly even more so. Best of all, concentrated beets are so powerful they are referred to as Nitric Oxide supplements to improve athletic performance. This is definitely one supplement you don’t want to miss out on.

Life Beets whole beetroot powder and juice is a great source for natural nitric oxide. Life Beets is super concentrated 15:1 beetroot with 25 times more natural nitrate and 10 times more antioxidants than normal beetroot. Life Beets from Balanced Health is available in powder or easy-to-use liquid.

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/