By Wayne Hansen, D.C.
Beet juice is all the rage lately, and there might be good reason for it. The biggest questions I had are what does it do, how much should you take and when should you take it. Beets are a great source of inorganic nitrate, which have an effect on blood flow, muscle contraction and neurotransmission. In cycling this means that it takes less energy to perform at your normal pace. So how much should you take? I would suggest using a concentrated “shot”. Beet-It sport is a shot form of beet juice that is easier to get down. It is best to take a shot 2-3 hours before training. Many athletes I have talked to find that taking two shots, 2-3 hours before a race is effective. One caveat: Drinking beet juice may turn your urine pink; it is normal.
Reference: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Jun;43(6):1125-31. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31821597b4.
Acute dietary nitrate supplementation improves cycling time trial performance.
Lansley KE1, Winyard PG, Bailey SJ, Vanhatalo A, Wilkerson DP, Blackwell JR, Gilchrist M, Benjamin N, Jones AM.
Wayne Hansen, D.C. is a Chiropractic Physician practicing at Solutions Clinic in Cottonwood Heights. He specializes in treatment of athletes, particularly cyclists. [email protected]