Why Do Athletes Drink Beet Juice?
Beetroot juice is prized by athletes (some Olympians even) for its reputation of improving blood and oxygen flow. Some runners even claim it helps them cut minutes off their run time. I’m no runner or athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but when these individuals (whose main focus in life is to keep their bodies in the ultimate state of health and performance) swear by it, I listen up.
So how does it work?
The juice from beets contain high levels of nitrates (not the bad kind found in deli meats) that your body converts into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps the muscles take in more oxygen, which increases your stamina. It can help you workout longer without feeling tired. So, what if you’re not an athlete or someone who works out a lot?
Is Beet Juice Beneficial for the Non-Athlete?
Not only does beet juice increase endurance for those who engage in strenuous exercise, there are many other benefits that come with drinking that vibrant red juice!
- Regulates blood pressure: Increasing your nitric oxide will allow more oxygen to flow to your heart, muscles and brain, resulting in lowered high blood pressure.
- Aids in digestion: Rich in betaine, beetroot juice can increase stomach acid to improve digestion. So the next time you have an upset stomach, reach for a glass of beet juice instead of that ginger ale soda!
- Packed with betalains: Betalains are a type of phytonutrient (chemical produced by plants) that have powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxifying properties.
- Regulates blood sugar: But how can that be? Beets are high in sugar! This is where the saying “not all sugar is created equal” is explained. Natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables release very slowly into the body (unlike processed sugar) and actually can help regulate the sugar in your body.
I don’t know about you, but those are enough reasons for me to keep drinking that sweet beet juice!