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How can I use beet juice for energy in endurance sports?

I’ve read a few articles suggesting beet juice can help with sustained energy output with endurance sports such as cycling. I want to give it a try. How many beets do you suggest I add to my daily NutriBlast to feel the benefits?

4 Answers
5 years ago

Official Answer

As a fellow cyclist I am in tune with these studies. Beets are rich in nitrates and the nitrates are the performance boosting secret in this great veggie. Certainly the carb content is going to also help.

In the study they gave cyclist 16 ounces of beet juice before riding. There was a significant increase in performance.

With the NutriBullet you will need to experiment a little. Try 1 large beet with 4 ounces of coconut water and the rest spring water 2.5 hours before the ride.

It does work. Let me know how it goes for you. Healthy wishes, Wally Bishop C.N.C.

5 years ago

Community Answers

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Mr. Man I must also clarify that 16 ounces of juice is several beets so you are not going to see as dramatic increase in performance as you would from 16 ounces of beet juice. Healthy wishes Wally Bishop C.N.C
Wally, I'm curious your thoughts about that study. I too get asked this Q all the time and reference this amount, however I am very concerned with the amount of sugar in that much beet juice without the fiber to slow the release into the blood. I know it would benefit extreme cyclists, but even for them that just seems excessive.

What are your thoughts? I know if I juice too many beets I can feel the sugar rush.
Krista I agree with your concern. In my opinion there are two major points to consider. Really only serious athletes looking for peek performance should do this with juice and I would not wait 2 hours before riding. This is really for those doing time trials or sprints who need enormous amounts of sugar quickly.

The study did not look at long distance riders or events the study was performed on sprinters. The amount of sugar being released from the beats is enormous. The rider is also in jeopardy of bonking to early because as we know when the body gets this much sugar at one time the rapid release of a huge amount of insulin will cause blood sugar to drop quicker than they want it to. So a portion of that energy potential is converted to fat and really wasted.

I think blasting and keeping the fiber available will blunt the blood sugar effect and give better overall performance over the distance. I even think mixing beet juice with water to drink during a long distance ride may continue to boost NO levels throughout the ride. I am experimenting with it. What I did notice from the juice is the ability to ride at a faster speed with about the same energy output. However it was only a 20 mile ride.

I think there is a trade off later that you eventually pay for. More speed up front but a quicker bonk. I too will let you know. Healthy wishes Wally
Thank you Wally! It all makes sense :) I look forward to hearing more from your experiment.
Thanks for the info. I created a spinach based (also high in nitrates) beet NutriBlast with banana to balance it out. Still need to refine it, but not too bad. I will keep you posted on the results of my Nutri-Doping.
In my research I noticed that raw spinach has a large amount of nitrates as well. Now, at face value beet juice is easier to consume then a plate of spinach, but if the spinach is blended do you think the same nitrate (NO) benefits are possible? Or even a NutriBlast combo of the beets and spinach?
Mr Man the difference is there is little water in the spinach to release the nitrates. However I would certainly use them. Spinach as we know is a very nutrient dense superfood! Let me know how it goes. Healthy Wishes Wally Bishop C.N.C
Wally, I conducted my test... It's hard to say conclusively, but I feel I did experience the benefits during my ride this weekend. In the days prior I blasted 1/2 large vessel with spinach and 1/3 cup beets (1/2 small pear, 1/4 cup pineapple, slice of ginger, 1/2 banana and TBSP chia seeds) once a day for 3 days and 1 1/2 - 2 hours before my rides I blasted the same recipe. Felt good with sustained and accessible power throughout the 4 hour ride. Again, its hard to say how much it helped, so the tests continue.
Here is the latest on my testing. I created a pre-ride NutriBlast with a green base of Spinach, a banana, one/two mid sized beets (used TJs boiled), small hand full of pitted cherries and top it off with a tbsp of flax seeds and one scoop of Sun Warrior raw protein powder for good measure. I drink it about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before riding. I noticed better sustained performance and could go harder with better recovery on 60+ mile rides (w/3000-4000 ft of climbing). The testing continues... I like the result so far, but regardless if the results are in my head or not I now have a favorite pre-ride NutriBlast.
Sounds like a tasty NutriBlast...And wow 60+ miles! So glad the NutriBullet is there to help you get the nutrients your body needs for performance and recovery. Keep up the great work and good luck on your future rides :)
Mr Man that's awesome! I am going to give your recipe a try on my next ride. Thanks wally
I am using CELERY a lot for hydration
and beets too. swimming, see a big difference.

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