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Beet Juice: Why it Works Best for High Intensity Interval Training

What You Should Know About Beet Juice Performance Enhancers

Beet juice is presently one of the favorites these days when it comes to sports drinks. The usefulness of this frothy beverage was brought to the forefront by Andy Jones, one of the main researchers about the effects of beet juice. To read his full analysis, click here, or get the abbreviated key points of his research.

How does beet juice work?

The nitrate content is extremely high in the juice. The body changes the nitrate to nitrite, eventually forming nitric oxide. For an athlete, it goes a long way in boosting their performance due to these reasons:

· The blood vessels widen, thus increasing the flow of blood through them.

· The functionality of mitochondria is enhanced, so they can produce more energy by using up less oxygen. The extra oxygen will be useful during the performance.

We are generally advised to steer clear from nitrates and nitrites as the might bond with meat proteins, resulting in carcinogenic compounds that are harmful, but Jones has clearly proved that understanding how nitrates and nitrites work is still in its nascent stage. Since beet juice has nitrate in it, the protein is missing that assists in forming carcinogenic elements. However, it should be consumed in moderation or else there are chances of gastric issues.

What are the results of the research?

Jones’s study comprised of 8 cyclists over a 50-mile cycling time trial. When they reported their findings in the first phase, they came to the conclusion that there wasn’t any significant improvement in cyclists. The data showed that the improvement in the case of each rider doing two-time trials – after drinking half a liter of normal juice, and then consuming half a liter of juice without nitrates. The improvement was just 0.8%, which isn’t that great in terms of statistical importance.

Jones refutes the statement by saying that a 0.8% improvement could be beneficial during an event. Another strange occurrence was that five of the cyclists experience an increase in their level of plasma nitrite while the other three showed a decrease. The research showed that beet juice had a greater ergogenic effect on regular athletes than in the case of elite performers. It is safe to assume:

Beet juice should be consumed for better performance if you participate in events that take place for 5 to 30 minutes. But you can try it for endurance events over 30 minutes as well.
Although a lot of studies have to be conducted for sports with teams, the juice does help to boost performance in such cases.
It is best to record your own data so you can monitor the performance accordingly to check if it is benefiting you.

Emily Border is the Director of Content for AMRAP Nutrition; her mission is to drive content that serve athletes and health-nuts to make informed decisions about optimal nutrition, health, and performance. Emily is a writing guru. she holds 4-year degrees in English, Visual Arts, and Technical Communication from Boise State University, as well as a Master of Business Administration. She's published work in multiple papers, websites, and journals, receiving honorable awards since 2008. Since 2010, Emily starting using CrossFit for strength conditioning while a Wildland Firefighter. Her background in competitive endurance running and swimming positions her well to understand the complexity of athletic nutrition for long-term health and performance.

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