Beautiful ruby-red beets make a nutrient-rich ingredient for salads, stews and just about any fruit- or vegetable-based juicing recipe. Brimming with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients—beet juice not only lends anti-inflammatory relief for tired, overworked muscles—it may also dial up your endurance for long, hard workouts.
What the Research Says About Beet Juice
In recent years, beet juice has gained the attention of researchers as an endurance-boosting elixir for athletes. One study found that the nitrates in beets help raise the body’s concentration of nitric oxide—a molecule that helps relax and widen blood vessels, boost blood flow, reduce blood pressure, and lower the level of oxygen needed by muscles during exercise.
Collectively, these findings suggest that beet juice may promote longer, easier workouts and a healthier heart and arteries.
More: Can Beet Juice Instantly Improve Your Endurance?
More Nutrient-Rich Benefits in Beet Juice
Beets are also loaded with resveratrol and quercetin, a pair of antioxidants thought to reduce the tissue-damaging effects of exercise-induced inflammation and oxidative stress.
Iron, also abundant in beets, provides the building blocks for hemoglobin and myoglobin, two molecules that help transport oxygen to hard-working muscles.
Some people find the taste of beets a bit too earthy. Add some fresh peppermint or spearmint to the juice recipe below to override the gritty taste and give it a refreshing and thirst-quenching twist:
Ingredients for a 1-cup serving:
- 1 medium-sized beet
- 5 carrots
- 1/4 cup of fresh spearmint or peppermint (about 4 to 5 sprigs)
- 1 medium-sized apple
- Wash beet and cut into quarters
- Wash carrots and cut in half
- Wash apple and quarter
- Wash fresh peppermint or spearmint and set aside
Feed the apple quarters into your juicer first, followed by the carrots and beets (including tops). Add spearmint or peppermint and enjoy!
More: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Juicing
Perfect your nutrition to boost your performance. Sign up for a race near you.