The Benefits of the Beet

The beats at Pure keep you pushing hard during your workouts, but what about the beets at Pure? With a quick internet sweep, you will find that beets may boost stamina to help you exercise longer, improve blood flow, and help lower blood pressure. If you are new to the hype about beets, here is your crash course in why they are awesome.

Beets are idolized for their nitrate content, but along with nitrates, beets are good sources of folate, potassium, vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants. Nitrates found in beets are the precursor to a very important signalling molecule that our body needs to function – Nitric Oxide (NO). NO is made naturally within our bodies but we can dramatically increase its availability by eating nitrate rich food. The nitrates in beets are converted into nitrites by friendly bacteria in our saliva. This is an important step that should not be overlooked. This conversion is not instantaneous, and the use of mouthwash or toothpaste soon after drinking beet juice may wash the nitrates out of your saliva. Drinking beet juice slowly may increase the time nitrates are in contact with these bacteria, increasing the conversion to nitrites. Previous research suggests that cooking will significantly reduce the available nitrates in vegetables. This is why juicing beets or using concentrate is the preferred method for ingesting beets. Nitrates will circulate in your system for up to 24 hours after ingestion, but new products such as concentrated beet shots now make it convenient to consume on race day, and it is ideal to do so 2­-3 hours before the gun goes off.

The first study on beets suggested that 500 mL of beet juice each day may lead to a 15% increase in the time taken to reach exhaustion but new data shows improvements can be measured at 300 mL, or about one shot of concentrated beet juice. At 600 mL the performance gain is bigger, but doubling that dose provides no extra benefit.

At Pure, we believe in the product Beet It! Beet It SPORT shots are made from concentrated, non-organic beetroot juice cut with lemon juice. The SPORT shots have a 33% higher nitrate concentration than the Beet It ORGANIC product, which is why we feel it is ideal for our clientele. The SPORT shots are the first sport nutrition product to deliver a specific dose of natural dietary nitrate. The shots are 100% natural and do not have any artificial additives and preservatives. The 70mL shots deliver the nitrates and improvements described in the paragraphs above.

If you are interested in pursuing a raw nitrate path, this table lists vegetables in order of most to least nitrate content.

Research:

Govoni M., Jansson E.Å., Weitzberg E., Lundberg J.O., (2008). The increase in plasma nitrite after a dietary nitrate load is markedly attenuated by an antibacterial mouthwash. Nitric Oxide 19: 333–337.

Fletcher J.R., Law S.J., Walters A.H., (1987). Effect of cooking on the nitrate levels in vegetables. Nutr Health, 5(1­2).

Bailey, S.J., Winyard, P., Vanhatalo, A., Blackwell, J.R., Dimenna, F.J., Wilkerson, D.P., Tarr, J., Benjamin, N., Jones, A.M., (2009). Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low ­intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high­ intensity exercise in humans. J Appl Physiol, 107(4).

Wylie, L.J., Kelly, J., Bailey, S.J., Blackwell, J.R., Skiba, P.F., Winyard, P.G., Jeukendrup, A.E., Vanhatalo, A., Jones, A.M., (2013). Beetroot juice and exercise: pharmacodynamic and dose­ response relationships. J Appl Physiol, 115(3).

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