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Cyclist drinking a Beet It Sport Nitrate 400 shot

Does Beet Juice Really Improve Your Athletic Performance?

Beet juice is gaining traction among athletes as an effective ergogenic aid for supporting and improving athletic performance.

It’s used by a wide range of athlete types, from endurance athletes like cyclists and marathon runners to Olympians and professional athletes in the NHL, NBA, Premiere League and more.

At the heart of beet juice’s benefits is its key ingredient, nitrates, known for their positive impacts on athletic performance. 

This article answers the following questions about beet juice consumption:

  • Why does beet juice improve athletic performance? 
  • What are the benefits of drinking beet juice? 
  • What’s the best way to get more nitrates?


The Science Behind Beet Juice

When you drink beet juice, nitrates are absorbed into your bloodstream and transported to your salivary glands, where bacteria in your mouth convert them into nitrite. Once you swallow the nitrite-rich saliva, it’s reabsorbed back into your bloodstream and transported throughout your body, and most importantly, your muscles.

In your muscles, nitrite is further converted into nitric oxide, a compound shown to enhance athletic performance due to its role in vasodilation (widening of the blood vessels) and muscle contractility (increasing the force of contractions).

The boost in nitric oxide production from drinking beet juice facilitates several other important physiological enhancements:

  • Increased blood flow to your muscles, which provides them with more oxygen and nutrients
  • Enhanced muscle waste and toxin removal as a result of additional blood cycling through your muscles 
  • Improved oxygen efficiency, meaning your muscles can utilize oxygen more effectively


The Benefits of Beet Juice

The overall performance benefit of beet juice is that lets you perform at a higher level for longer in almost any sporting discipline

It reduces the oxygen demand of exercise by between 5–16%, meaning your muscles need less oxygen to maintain a given work rate, which improves exercise efficiency, fatigue resistance, and overall performance.

This primary benefit leads to greater endurance, faster sprints, more explosive movements, improved time trial results and more.

And while the benefits of beet juice are more pronounced in endurance athletes and hybrid athletes playing team sports, it has also been shown to help strength athletes do more reps before becoming fatigued.

Adding to the mix, some studies even show that beet juice positively impacts recovery after intense exercise by protecting against muscle damage.


What’s the Best Way to Get More Nitrates?

We’ll always tell you that a balanced diet is the best way to fuel your performance, but priming your body to perform its best through diet alone isn’t always realistic. While you can increase your nitrate intake by eating vegetables like beets, spinach and arugula, these foods aren’t always convenient or available when you need them, like before an event.

Our favourite way to get more nitrates in a pinch is by using a product like Beet-It Sport since each shot provides a consistent 400mg dose of nitrates, which is the dose recommended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for improving athletic performance.

For more information about how to use a beet juice product like Beet-It Sport optimally, check out our Beet-It Sport user guide.

We recommend going for a beet juice supplement instead of making your own because it’s incredibly challenging to ensure a homemade alternative contains enough nitrates to actually benefit your performance.


Key Takeaways

Drinking beet juice is a proven way to improve your athletic performance. By incorporating it into your routine, you can enhance your stamina, improve your endurance, reduce muscle fatigue and recover faster. Beet juice can significantly alter how your body responds to physical stress, allowing you to push harder and achieve better results.

If you plan to incorporate beet juice into your sports nutrition plan, don’t forget to continue improving other aspects of your routine alongside it. Remember, as with any supplement, you’ll only get the maximum benefit if your body is primed and ready to take advantage of it.

If you learned something new from this article and are curious to know more, head to our growing list of weekly research summaries where we help you further improve your athletic performance by keeping you up to date on the latest findings from the world of sports nutrition.


— That’s all for now, train hard!


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