If you run, bike, lift, or play a sport, chances are you’ve heard the buzz about beets. Everyone and their mom is juicing them to enhance their athletic performance. In fact, this ruby-red elixir is downed by Olympic athletes, marathoners, and a whole bunch of folks who want to work out stronger, longer.
So what’s the deal? Why is everyone suddenly going crazy for beets?
How beets enhance stamina
The main reason beets are so popular is nitrates. Beet juice is full of them. When ingested, nitrates are converted into nitric oxide. This molecule is like a beach vacation for your blood vessels: it helps them relax. When your blood vessels relax, they open wider. That allows more blood to flow through them, which means your muscle cells receive more oxygen and nutrients—exactly what they need to keep working. As a result, studies have shown that beet juice increases stamina, increasing the time to exhaustion at high intensity by 15 percent!*,
But wait… there’s more!
Enhanced endurance is pretty awesome in and of itself. But beet juice has some other nifty benefits for active folks too:
- Beets make you faster. Research shows that runners and cyclists who drank beet juice before a timed trial improved their times.*,
- Beets get you back in the game. Betaine, a compound found in beets, helps speed recovery so you can get back out there quicker.*
- Beets repair your tissues. Glutamine, an amino acid in beets, helps repair the little tears in muscle tissue that occur with exercise, helping you get stronger faster.*
- Beets give you an immune boost. Strenuous exercise can temporarily lower your immunity. Luckily, beets contain vitamin C, which helps reduce the frequency and duration of upper respiratory challenges.*
- Beets fuel your workout. Beets are a source of complex carbs, so they give you steady energy, without spikes and drops.*
Beet juice made easy
The only downside to beet juice is that daily visits to the juice bar get expensive and making your own juice at home is time-consuming and messy. That’s why we love Salus Red Beet Crystals!
Every jar of Salus Red Beet Crystals (US/CA) contains 5.5 pounds of organic, vacuum-dried beets that are fresh-pressed within two to three hours of harvest. It’s literally just beet crystals and that’s it.
Unlike making your own beet juice, Salus Red Beet Crystals are super-simple to use. You just scoop out a heaping tablespoon and mix it with water. The beet crystals dissolve completely, creating a sweet-tasting juice with all the active constituents of fresh beets.
A lot of active folks want to know when they should take their beet crystals. The simple answer is that the best time to take them is when you remember to take them. The effect is cumulative, so you don’t have to down them right before working out to experience the benefits.
However, if you’re a competitive athlete and every second counts, you’ll want to take your Red Beet Crystals several hours before you’ll need them most. Blood samples show that nitric oxide levels reach their peak two to three hours after drinking beet juice.
Sweet beet ideas
Mixed with water, Salus Red Beet Crystals make a pleasant-tasting juice. But you can get creative too. Add them to your favorite foods and bevvies such as:
- Fruit or vegetable juice
- Protein shakes
Check out this delicious (and gorgeous!) Rhubarb & Red Beet Stamina Smoothie.
Got some good Red Beet Crystal recipes of your own? Share them in the comments below!