Beetroot, or beets, is a root vegetable packed with essential nutrients such as fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, and iron. They are not only a delicious, bright component of your side dishes, soups, and salads, but they also offer a range of health benefits.
Beets are one of the best sources of dietary nitrates, which are shown to have positive health effects on the heart, blood pressure, and athletic performance.
Though, as with many effective nutritional supplements, they can sometimes come with side effects!
If you’re worried about the potential side effects of beetroot powder and wondering the best way to take it, continue reading as we discuss the benefits, side effects, and the best beetroot supplement on the market!
What is Beetroot Powder?
Beetroot powder, or beet powder, is a bright pink or red product created from dried ground beetroot. This powder is often sold as a superfood due to the numerous health benefits associated with consuming concentrated beet powder or juice.
Beetroot powder can be mixed with water or juice, or even added to soups, dressings, and baked goods. So, it’s a fairly versatile addition to your diet, offering many positive health effects due to the exceptional nutritional profile and nitrate content.
What Are the Benefits of Beetroot Powder?
Many of the health benefits associated with beetroot powder stem from the nitrate content. Upon consumption of beetroot or any other nitrate-rich foods, enzymes found in our saliva convert the nitrates to nitrite, which further converts to nitric oxide in the stomach.
Nitric oxide helps induce several physiological functions, such as vasodilation, blood flow regulation, increasing glucose uptake, and increasing muscle contractions.
These physiological effects can help improve health via many means, such as:
- Supporting blood pressure
- Enhancing athletic performance
- Improving blood flow
- Supporting the immune system
- Increasing energy and stamina
- Improving recovery
In addition to nitric oxide production, beetroot also contains bioactive compounds called betalains, which also contribute to many other health benefits.
Beetroot for Improving Athletic Performance
A considerable amount of research has suggested that consuming beetroot before exercise helps to dilate blood vessels, thus improving blood flow, aiding the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscles during exercise.
This can help enhance performance by:
- Reducing the oxygen cost of exercise, leading to improved muscle efficiency and endurance performance
- Enhancing muscle contractions, leading to improvements in muscle power and sprint exercise performance
Consuming beetroot before exercise has also been shown to increase “muscle pump” as a result of improved blood flow to the working muscles.
This can also have many advantages on performance, such as increased workout intensity.
Are There Any Side Effects to Beetroot Powder?
While beets come with many benefits, they also come with a few side effects. Though, these are often harmless for the majority of people!
This is probably the most alarming side effect, yet it’s completely harmless. Upon consumption of beets, you may find that your stools appear reddish or dark. This is simply due to the potent color of beets, which can temporarily affect the color of your stool.
Another completely harmless side effect is the change of color of your urine, too. While beeturia sounds a bit concerning, it simply means the change in color of your urine to a pink or deep red color. This clears up once you reduce the amount of beetroot you’re consuming.
If you have never eaten beets before, you may find that you have an allergy. This could cause skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, and shock. It is advised to stop consuming beet products if you experience reactions like this.
Moderate consumption of beets can aid digestion in many ways, though in some rare cases, you may find a high intake of beets causes abdominal cramps and other stomach problems. This is caused by an excess intake of nitrates, so can be easily avoided.
Regardless of these possible symptoms, beetroot is a safe supplement to take, provided you follow the dosage guidelines and talk to your doctor if you have any medical conditions before taking it.
Best Way to Take Beetroot Powder
Much research has indicated that a dose of 5.0-8.5 mmol of nitric oxide is required to improve exercise economy. A higher dose of 8.5+ mol is necessary to obtain further enhancements in performance.
This is equivalent to 310-525mg of dietary nitrates, meaning you would have to consume 200g of whole beets to reap the health and performance benefits!
This is why concentrated beetroot juice or powder has become a more popular option than raw beets, as it is a more convenient way to get an effective dose.
For the performance-enhancing effects, it is recommended to consume beetroot extract 2-3 hours before exercise.
Though, for an even more effective performance-enhancing effect, it’s best to take beetroot powder as part of a pre-workout supplement.
Our top pick is Pre Lab Pro, the next-gen pre-workout supplement that combines beetroot powder, caffeine, L-theanine, L-tyrosine, L-citrulline, L-glutathione, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Pre Lab Pro helps boost and sustain blood flow to the muscles, supporting energy, focus, and intensity without the jittery side effects, and extending post-workout recovery, pushing you to perform to your peak potential!
Beetroot powder is one of the best sources of dietary nitrates, packed with a unique combination of vitamins and minerals, making this root vegetable a superfood in its own right.
While there are many health benefits associated with consuming concentrated beetroot powder or juice, some individuals can experience some side effects.
Often harmless, these side effects include discoloration of urine and stools, and potential stomach upset when taken in high doses.
One of the best ways to take beetroot powder for enhancing athletic performance is as part of a pre-workout supplement, such as Pre Lab Pro!