Pre-workout supplements are designed to give you a boost of energy and focus to optimize your training session and enhance your performance.
There's a plethora of pre-workout formulas on the market, mostly containing high amounts of caffeine and low amounts of any truly effective ingredients.
It can be tricky to distinguish the best from the bunch, which is why it’s important to look at the research to determine whether you’d benefit from a pre-workout.
One of the best ingredients you may find in a workout formula is beetroot extract. Beetroot has robust research behind its performance-enhancing benefits and should be a staple in any athlete’s supplement stack!
This short guide provides you with an introduction to beetroot powder, the benefits, dosage, and the best beetroot supplement on the market!
You’re likely familiar with the dark red root vegetable, beetroot, or “beets”.
Beetroot is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables, packed with nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, iron, and most notably, nitrates.
These nutrients are responsible for many bodily functions, such as tissue growth and cell function, heart health, antioxidant activity, immune function, and oxygen transport in red blood cells.
Though, the high content of nitrates found in beetroot is why it’s associated with many health benefits, including improved blood flow, lowered blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.
The Benefits of Dietary Nitrates
Research has shown that diets rich in inorganic nitrates can have positive health effects, such as lowered blood pressure levels and reduced risk of disease.
You can find high concentrations of dietary nitrates in vegetables such as leafy greens, turnips, and most notably, beetroot.
When we consume foods such as beetroot, our body converts the dietary nitrates into nitric oxide.
The main function of nitric oxide in the body is to travel through your artery walls and send signals to the small muscle cells around the arteries, telling them to relax.
When these muscle cells relax, our blood vessels dilate (vasodilation – widening of the blood vessels), and our blood pressure decreases.
Along with this somewhat simple effect, a whole host of health benefits can be seen, including improved exercise performance.
Beetroot Powder: Pre-Workout Benefits
Research has shown that consumption of beetroot can offer many performance-enhancements, mostly via two means1:
Reducing the O2 cost of submaximal exercise, which leads to improvements in muscle efficiency and endurance performance
Enhancing muscle contractile function, which leads to improvements in muscle power and sprint exercise performance
In addition to these findings, studies are emerging on the potential ergogenic effects of beetroot, which seem to be promising so far, particularly in the recreational athlete population.
While the research for beetroot as a pre-workout in an endurance-based setting is relatively well-established, there is yet to be any conclusive research on the benefits of beetroot for muscle growth.
Having said this, there are some indirect effects worth noting, as well as some very promising initial findings in this area which indicate a strong argument for the use of beetroot supplements for bodybuilders.
Beetroot has been shown to improve higher rep sets, thus possibly translating to improved hypertrophy (muscle growth).2
Furthermore, beetroot has vasodilation effects which is thought to increase “muscle pump” in resistance training individuals.
Judging by what the research says so far, beetroot as a pre-workout most definitely appears to be beneficial for endurance, team sport, and recreational athletes, and potentially beneficial for muscle growth with little to no downsides.
See more about “Beetroot for Pump: Benefits of Beetroot Powder for Bodybuilding” in our linked guide!
Beetroot Powder: Dosage
The dosage and timing of beetroot consumption pre-workout is a significant factor in its efficacy.
Research suggests that acute ingestion of 5.0-8.5 mmol of nitric oxide – equivalent to 310-525mg of dietary nitrates – is required to improve exercise economy, though for increased performance, higher doses may be necessary.
This is equivalent to 2 shots of concentrated beetroot juice, ideally consumed 2-3 hours pre-workout.
Beetroot can also be found in the form of powder or as part of pre-workout formulas, so always be sure to check the label for an adequate dose of beetroot for the best performance-enhancing benefits!
Beetroot Powder: Side Effects
The most noted side effect of beetroot juice is urine discoloration and potentially stool shortly after consumption. You may find your urine is a red or pink color, which is often alarming but absolutely harmless.
Otherwise, there are no known side effects to beetroot supplementation, provided you follow the supplement dosage guidelines.
As always, consult your doctor before taking any new supplements!
The Best Beetroot Powder Supplement
The best way to take beetroot powder is as part of pre-workout formula, such as Pre Lab Pro.
Pre Lab Pro contains beetroot extract in the form of Rednite, the richest, most concentrated form of beetroot extract containing 25x more nitrate and 10x greater antioxidants than beetroot, making it a staple ingredient in the formula.
This offers performance-enhancing benefits such as improved neuromuscular performance, fatigue resistance, enhanced muscle energy, optimizes post-training recovery, and supports cardiovascular function.
Pre Lab Pro also combines other ingredients such as glutathione, L-citrulline, natural caffeine, L-theanine, L-tyrosine, Himalayan pink salt, and essential vitamins and minerals to make the most powerful pre-workout formula currently available.
This formula works to boost and sustains blood flow to the muscles, extends post-workout recovery, supports energy, focus, and intensity without the jittery side effects, and tops you off with key nutrients helping you to perform at your peak!
- Jones, A. M., Thompson, C., Wylie, L. J., & Vanhatalo, A. (2018). Dietary nitrate and physical performance. Annual review of nutrition, 38, 303-328.
- Mosher SL, Sparks SA, Williams EL, Bentley DJ, Mc Naughton LR. Ingestion of a Nitric Oxide Enhancing Supplement Improves Resistance Exercise Performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Dec;30(12):3520-3524.