Beet: Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Studies have shown that beet ingestion actually improves endurance performance. Beets also are very high in nitrates, which, when processed in the body, increase our levels of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps to relax blood vessels and improve oxygen efficiency. Hence the lowered blood pressure and increased endurance of beet juice drinkers. Lastly, beets are a rich source of iron, which many athletes struggle to get enough of.
More: Can Beet Juice Instantly Improve Your Endurance?
Ginger: Many studies have shown that ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory and is a powerful natural painkiller. For the triathlete, these are ideal qualities as most of us spend our days chronically inflamed, especially after frequent and damaging workouts. I like to put ginger root in my post workout juices for this purpose. Typically a half inch of the root will do.
Kale: Researchers have identified over 45 different flavonoids in kale. Kaempferol and Quercetin are at the top of the list. Kale's flavonoids combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits in a way that helps alleviate chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is common among athletes, since the primary energy system utilized during exercise is aerobic and therefore oxidative in nature. This fat oxidation creates damaging free radicals, and kale helps to minimize that damage.
More: Healthy Snack: Baked Kale Chips
As you navigate the upcoming holiday season parties, don’t be afraid to do a bit of juicing. This practice will help you stay healthy throughout the holidays, and may even create some really good habits that you can carry into the New Year. You may get a few cockeyed smirks along the way, but tis’ the season.
Join me in the Core Diet “Holiday Juice Challenge”: Juice once a day, every day from now to the end of the year. You pick the juice, and when you drink it. You’ll be a stronger and healthier athlete … I guarantee it.
More: 3 Tips for Choosing the Best Produce
Juice your way to your next triathlon.