The Practical Beet
A few notes on juicing beets. If you have tried this you will know that the taste is not necessarily appealing on its own; unless of course you enjoy the taste of the earth? You can cut the taste by mixing in some juiced apples or carrots and a bit of ginger. Spinach is also very high in nitrates however it may not really improve the taste that much. (My favorite juicing combo is beets, apples, carrots and ginger!) Some people may react to beetroot juice with hives or headaches.
I recommend that you experiment well before competition day, as you don't want to undermine all of your hard training with a negative physical reaction. I generally would never try something new on race day. Some people will have red urine or stools from beet juice so don't be alarmed! This is very normal. No need to get out the will!
Beside the performance enhancement and blood pressure reduction, beets offer great nutritional value; Betalains, which are what give beets their red/violet pigment, function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules. Betalains are sensitive to heat from cooking. To preserve the nutrients in the beets cut them into quarters and steam, keeping cooking time under 15 minutes.
Store beets in a cool place and leave the greens on if possible while cooking to keep in more of the nutrients. Peeling beets is easier once they are cooked. If you have not cooked with beets before, I will fore warn you that they do stain! I would recommend gloves and no white t-shirts?. Beets are a great way to add color and nutrients to any meal, and a good way to get the edge on the competition!
Tour De France competitors have been drinking beet juice for a few years now. When we are talking about professional and amateur athletes, any legal edge they can get can make the difference between first and second place. And as we know races like the TDF can be won by mere seconds.
(Pregnant women should not drink beet juice without first consulting their doctor. This article is not meant to replace any medical advice. People with high blood pressure, heart problems, or who are on medication should consult with their doctors to be sure that beet juice will not interact with any medications or cause any negative reactions.)Search for a cycling event.