Beetroot supplements have become one of the most popular ergogenic aids among athletes and gym goers.
Though, not only are beetroot supplements, beet powders, and concentrated beet juice shots on the rise, but increased consumption of foods rich in dietary nitrates are also proving to have a significant impact on bodily functions during exercise due to the effects of raised nitric oxide levels.
Beetroot has an exceptional nutrition profile, and due to the unique combination of vitamins and minerals, as well as other nutrients and the nitrate content, beets may offer many benefits such as lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance.
Based on the plethora of evidence for the consumption of beetroot in the form of beet powder or beetroot juice, it's fair to say that it's an athletic nutritional powerhouse. Though what is the secret? What makes beets, or beet powders, such a top pick in an athlete's supplement stack?
All will be revealed in this article where we discuss the best beet supplement of 2021!
What are Beets?
You may know beetroot (Beta vulgaris) as the deep purply-red root vegetable with a delicious yet earthy flavor. Often enjoyed in salads, soups, and other healthy recipes, beets are a common fridge staple.
However, beets offer a lot more than just one of your five-a-day! This nutritional powerhouse is packed with many vitamins and minerals, including fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and iron, which all contribute to a range of important bodily functions and everyday health.
Beets also contain unique bioactive compounds called betalains, which also contribute to a person's health, dietary nitrates, which are highly responsible for the many noted health benefits, and other potent antioxidants which play a big role in keeping us healthy.
In recent times, you can find beet supplements in the form of beet juice powder, beet juice, or concentrated beet juice shots that make it easier to reap the benefits of the nitrate content.
Let's delve into the top health benefits of beets!
Dietary Nitrates: A Brief Overview
Much research has shown that diets rich in inorganic nitrates may have positive health effects, mostly regarding heart health and blood pressure.
This is what makes these foods a staple in an older adults diet, as increased consumption of foods with a high nitrate content could reduce blood pressure and may help combat the incidence of dementia by increasing blood flow to the brain.
You find high concentrations of dietary nitrates in vegetables such as leafy greens, celery, turnips, and beetroot.
Upon consumption of food rich in dietary nitrates, the nitrates are converted to nitrite in the mouth by enzymes found in the saliva, and then further reduced to nitric oxide (NO) in the stomach.
Nitric oxide and other nitrogen oxides then induce several physiological functions such as vasodilation, regulate blood flow, increase glucose uptake, and increase muscle contraction/relaxation.
These physiological functions are thought to improve certain health markers as well as enhance exercise performance.
Top Health Benefits of Beetroot Powder Supplements
Beetroot is a rich source of dietary nitrates, so upon consuming beets or drinking beet juice, our body's nitric oxide levels raise, which has been shown to improve many health markers such as lower blood pressure and exercise performance.
Let's look at some of the top benefits of beetroot!
Beetroot for Overall Good Nutritional Profile
Considering beetroot is fairly low calorie, it sure does pack a punch when it comes to nutrients.
Per serving (100g) of organic beets contains 44 calories and is a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, protein, and many more nutrients which all contribute to everyday essential functioning of the body.
Additionally, beetroots contain a high nitrate content which is thought to possess many of the reported benefits.
Beetroot Powder for Lowering Blood Pressure
Much research has shown that beetroot can lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health due to the vasodilation effects of the high nitrate content.1
As mentioned, dietary nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in the body, which then travels through the artery walls and sends signals to the muscle cells around the arteries to relax.
This causes the blood vessels to widen, which may lead to reduced blood pressure and reduced risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke.
Beetroot Powder for Reducing Inflammation
Beetroot is rich in pigments called betalains. These compounds are thought to hold a number of anti-inflammatory properties.
While the research in this specific area is still in its youth, some studies have shown beetroot to have an anti-inflammatory effect in individuals suffering with osteoarthritis. It was also shown to reduce pain and discomfort.2
Beetroot Powder for Potentially Improving Digestion
Beetroot is a rich fiber source, which is a key component to a healthy diet.
Increasing your consumption of foods with a high fiber content will help support healthy digestion, keeping you regular, and potentially help prevent digestive conditions such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Beetroot Powder for Improving Athletic Performance
Studies have shown that the consumption of nitrate rich beetroot prior to exercise appears to help dilate blood vessels, thus improve blood flow, aiding the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscles during exercise due to the effects of the nitric oxide.
This can enhance performance via two means3:
1) Reducing the O2 cost of submaximal exercise, leading to improvements in muscle efficiency and endurance performance.
2) Enhancing muscle contractile function, leading to improvements in muscle power and sprint exercise performance
Consuming beetroot before exercise is also thought to provide ergogenic effects, which is thought to provide athletes with a strong competitive advantage, particularly recreational athletes.
There is yet to be conclusive research behind the use of beetroot supplements for muscle growth, though there are some indirect effect worth considering:
Consumption of beetroot juice prior to resistance training has been shown to improve higher rep sets, which possibly translates to improved hypertrophy (muscle growth).4
Additionally, "muscle pump" may be experienced due to the vasodilation effects of the nitric oxide content. As you may know, muscle pump is caused when excess blood fills up the working muscles, making them feel fuller and tighter.
This not only has performance advantages, but also mental advantages. Those who experience muscle pump in the gym can often feel more confident and euphoric, which could have a knock-on effect on their workout intensity and duration. This may indirectly benefit muscle hypertrophy!
To summarize, it appears there is very promising research on the performance-enhancing benefits of consuming beet powders or beet supplements before training or competition.
While there is robust research for the use of beetroot before endurance or team sports, there is somewhat hopeful initial findings on the benefits for muscle growth, too.
This is what makes beet supplements or concentrated raw beet juice shots a staple in an athletes pre workout supplement stack, whether you're elite or recreational.
Let's delve a bit deeper into the dosages for enhancing performance, as well as the side effects, and the best beet powder supplement on the market!
Beetroot Powder: Recommended Dosage
Research indicates that a dose of 5.0-8.5 mmol of nitric oxide is required to improve exercise economy, though a higher dose of 8.5+ mmol is necessary to obtain further performance-enhancing benefits.
This is approximately equivalent to 310-525mg of dietary nitrates. To get this amount of dietary nitrates, you would have to consume around 200g of whole beets (around three whole beets), which is quite a lot!
This is why concentrated beetroot juice or beet powder extracts are a more convenient way to consume beetroot. Two concentrated beetroot shots would be sufficient in obtaining the recommended dosage for performance improvements.
While the taste can sometimes be hit and miss among most people, these raw juice shots are commonly mixed with natural flavorings such as cherry flavor to enhance the palatability.
It's recommended to consume a beet supplement or raw juice around 2-3 hours prior to exercise in order to get the full effects during your training session, though this can differ between individuals.
As with all supplements, there are several factors which may affect how long it takes to see the effects of ingesting beetroot, including:
- Training times
- Training experience
- Hydration levels
This is why it's important to test your dose and timing during training and see what works best for you as an individual, though stick to the recommended dosage guidelines of beet supplements.
Side Effects of Beetroot Powder
The most common side effects of beet root powder, raw beet juice, or pure beet is the temporary and harmless pink discoloration of urine and stools.
This can be alarming, but is absolutely harmless. Apart from this minor side effect, there are currently no known side effects of beets, raw beet juice, or beet powders provided you follow the dosage guidelines on the specific beet supplement.
A potential additional downfall of consuming raw beets in the natural form of juice or powder is the bitter, earthy taste. Though, this is often rectified by adding natural flavourings.
As always, consult your doctor before taking any new supplements!
Best Beet Powder Supplement
The best beet supplement is the Pre Lab Pro beet powder supplement. This is a high quality, natural pre-workout formula that contains a high nitrate content per serving.
Pre Lab Pro contains beetroot extract in the form of Rednite, the richest, most concentrated, high-quality form of beet powder containing 25x more nitrates and 10x greater antioxidants than beets, making it a staple ingredient in the supplement formula.
Pre Lab Pro offers performance-enhancing benefits such as improved neuromuscular performance, fatigue resistance, enhanced muscle energy, optimizes post-training full body recovery, and supports overall cardiovascular function.
Pre Lab Pro is better than other pre-workout bulk supplements, as it contains 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, best value beet powder supplement currently available.
This formula works to boost and sustain blood flow to the muscles, extends post-workout recovery, supports energy, focus, and intensity without the jittery sides effects, and also tops you off with the key nutrients needed to help you perform to your highest potential.
Additionally, unlike many other pre-workout supplements on the market, Pre Lab Pro is safe, clean, non-GMO, gluten-free, and avoids the use of artificial flavours, sweeteners, and colors.
It is suggested to take 1 scoop of the berry flavor Pre Lab Pro 30 minutes before exercise, though you could also double-dose to increase potency if desired.
Beet Powder Supplements: Final Thoughts
Pre-workout supplements are designed to give you a boost of energy, focus, and intensity prior to your training session to help optimize and enhance your performance and recovery.
There are many pre-workout formulas on the market, though most of them contain high amounts of caffeine and low amounts of any effective ingredients and ergogenic aids.
Choosing the right pre-workout supplement can be a challenge as it is tricky to distinguish the best from the bunch. This is why it's important to analyze the research and the specific supplement to determine whether you'd benefit from a pre-workout.
Beet powder is one of the best ingredients you can find in a pre-workout supplement as it has robust research to back up its performance-enhancing benefits, thus it should be a staple in any athletes supplement stack.
Not only does beet powder make an effective pre-workout supplement, but it's also proven to be beneficial for lowering blood pressure, aiding digestive health, reducing inflammation, and is a natural source of essential vitamins and minerals for supporting overall health.
Pre Lab Pro is one of the best beet powders with the highest nitrate content currently on the market. Combined with many other performance-enhancing ingredients to aid the everyday and elite athlete, including Pre Lab Pro in your supplement stack is a no brainer!
Beet Powder: FAQs
Q: What does beet powder or raw beet juice powder taste like?
Whether you're consuming raw beetroot, beet juice or beet powder, it tends to have an earthy, bitter taste. Many products rectify this by adding flavors such as natural black cherry. Pre Lab Pro is a natural better flavor, which makes it more palatable for the consumer.
Q: Should I supplement with beet powder?
There are many benefits to supplementing with a good quality beet powder. Not only is it rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as iron and vitamin C, but it also makes a great pre-workout drink or addition to a meal for enhanced performance and recovery.
Q: Why should I choose beet powder over beet juice or raw whole beets?
Beet powder can sometimes be a better alternative to raw beets or juice mainly due to the flavor and convenience. Beet powder is easy to add to smoothies and other recipes, and it's often a part of powdered supplements such as pre-workouts.
Q: Is Pre Lab Pro gluten-free?
Pre Lab Pro is one of the best beet powders due to the clean, safe ingredients it contains. This supplement is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, non-GMO, and free from many other nasty ingredients.
Q: Is it better to take a certified organic beet root powder?
Consuming a certified organic beet root powder ensures you are not consuming any nasty ingredients. These high quality, organic powders, such as the one found in Pre Lab Pro, is often vegan-friendly, non-GMO, non-irradiated, and 100% free of gluten, allergens, synthetic additives, artificial colors and preservatives.
Q: What should I mix beet powders with?
Good quality beet powders should be mixed with water, or added to smoothies or other recipes.
Q: What flavor is Pre Lab Pro?
Pre Lab Pro is a natural berry flavor.
Q: What other foods are rich in nitrates?
Other foods rich in nitrates include turnips, leafy greens such as kale and spinach, and also parsley, cabbage, leeks, celery, and radishes.
Including more of these kinds of foods in your diet is thought to have many health benefits.
Q: What is the best form of beet powder?
The best form of beet powder is Rednite. Standardized to supply 1.5% to 2.75% natural nitrate, Rednite is by far the best beet for raising nitric oxide. Rednite is packed with workout benefits including:
- Increased muscular energy
- Improved muscle efficiency
- Healthy cardio performance
- Sharp cognitive function
- Lundberg JO, Govoni M. Inorganic nitrate is a possible source for systemic generation of nitric oxide. Free Radic Biol Med. 2004 Aug 1;37(3):395-400
- 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.
- Pietrzkowski Z, Argumedo R, Shu C, Nemzer B, Wybraniec S, Reyes-Izquierdo T. Betalain-rich red beet concentrate improves reduced knee discomfort and joint function: a double blind, placebo-controlled pilot clinical study. Nutrition and Dietary Supplements. 2014;6:9-13