Natural Bodybuilding With JC: Beetroot

powerofbeetYou may not have noticed it, but there is a growing movement in the supplement industry towards the addition of beetroot juice or extract to many products. With the many herbs, twigs, berries, and extracts found in supplements, it is easy to see this ingredient and simply breeze over it without a second thought. If this is the case for you, it may be worth reviewing the ingredient list on your current stack to see if this promising ingredient is listed.

Beetroot is a rich source of antioxidants and nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and betaine. The health benefits associated with incorporating beetroot into the diet are many. Beetroot can help prevent heart disease, certain cancers, liver disease, and even muscular degeneration. Classified as a nitrate, beetroot has made its way into the bodybuilding scene for its effects on nitric oxide.

C76FD4F0-BB60-4DCD-B49D-978CD3EA5275The idea is that the nitrates in beetroot are converted into nitric oxide by the body. Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels which results in improved oxygen delivery. This in turn leads to better athletic performance. There are many studies available that show positive correlation to the consumption of beetroot juice and increased performance, both in endurance athletes and strength/power athletes. The studies consistently show that beetroot juice increases plasma nitrate levels, maximizes intensity, and increases stamina.

Specifically, several studies have been performed at the UK College of Exeter over the past few years. The conclusions drawn from the various double-blind and placebo controlled studies suggest that dietary nitrate supplementation (from beetroot juice) enhances muscle contractile efficiency, reduces the oxygen cost of exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise.

Your options on where to get beetroot are many. It is available anywhere from grocery stores to supplement stores. You will find fresh beetroot, beetroot juice, beetroot capsules, canned beetroot, etc. If you are not interested in eating it or drinking the juice, there are many supplement manufactures out there that have conveniently added it to their products for you.

My first and only experience with beetroot (as a supplement) has been in Top Secret Nutrition products. Top Secret’s pre-workout formula, Cardio Igniter, contains beetroot juice. If that isn’t enough, stacking Astravar 2.0 will give you that extra kick you might be looking for. Astravar 2.0 is designed to be taken with any good NO boosting pre-workout to enhance absorption and increase pumps. This also contains beetroot.

503D6F2B-3823-446E-8F9F-9EF5C68BD184I have been eating beetroot since I was a child. I grew up in Australia and it was a common food item at just about any venue. It was always in the fridge at home. Australians even put it on burgers. I haven’t had beetroot as a food in quite some time, but I am looking to bring it into my diet just to see if my kids will eat it. Before you start getting crazy ideas about drinking gallons of juice or eats pounds of beets, there are a couple of things you want to keep in mind. Drinking the juice alone has been known to cause upset stomach. Beetroot is also sweet and high in sugar, about 14g per cup, so it can raise blood sugar levels. It can also cause beeturia, a condition in which your urine and/or feces will turn reddish-pink. This is due to the betaine which give the beet its color. It is harmless and cease when you stop eating beets or drinking the juice.

Happy Lifting!

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3 comments for “Natural Bodybuilding With JC: Beetroot

  1. March 7, 2013 at 5:47 am

    I love beets…always have…though have never considered it as a supplement…sounds like I need to do so

  2. March 7, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Thanks for this JC. Beetroot as a supplement looks worthy of looking into. How does the TSN brand taste?

    • JC
      March 7, 2013 at 7:47 am

      The cardio igniter tastes great and comes in 3 flavors. I have punch and blue raspberry, the latter being my favorite. There is no taste/aftertaste associated with the Astravar, at least nothing I notice.

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