Beetroot Juice for Runners: Yes it Works!!!

bjHaving posted about Beetroot juice a couple of weeks ago, I have since been dutifully consuming 500ml of the stuff every day, either first thing in the morning or 20 minutes before my run in the evening.

I have also, religiously, been recording my blood pressure, resting heart rate, recovery heart rate and tempo run times, to see if this stuff really is as good as reported on the BBC website as well as by those nice people at Fitness Footwear.

Well, bizarrely, the pseudo-scientific results are now in, and I must report that, for me anyway, beetroot juice seems to do exactly what the researchers say it does.

My blood pressure, which is usually very slightly high, is now a pretty reliable 120/80 except at times of stress, such as when I found out that Kerry Catona had been sacked by Iceland and that Big Brother was being cancelled. It went up a bit during these times of natural excitement, but soon went back down again.

More crucially, my 5.5 mile tempo run times are now back into PB territory, after being a couple of minutes out until recently. Even more crucially, I’ve been feeling better on these runs and recovering more quickly, with seemingly no lactic acid build-up to cause next day cramp at all.

Now, as ever, I can’t stress enough that these findings simply suggest that Beetroot juice suits my particular constitution – and may not work for everyone. Also, it must be said that there are some unpleasant side-effects. Worst of all is the damage to my wallet, with the only source of bottled beetroot juice I’ve been able to find costing an astonishing £2.50 per 750ml.

However, that’s better than the damage done to the decor in our kitchen  that was caused by me trying to juice some cooked beetroots myself. Suffice it to say that there is nothing but nothing which stains quite as luridly as Beetroot juice. Let’s just say that it looked like a scene from CSI that was left on the cutting room floor courtesy of the censors.

Worst of all, however are the, er, the, personal side-effects. I am now weeing magenta in the morning and delicate pink at day’s end. And, well, let’s just say that the juice does not simply effect its egress from one’s frontal orifice and leave it at that shall we? It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.

In summary though – and with apologies for the previous paragraph – I have to say that the side-effects are well worth it for the health and performance benefits. Now, if I can just find an affordable source of beetroot juice, I’ll be a very happy and considerably richer man.

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8 thoughts on “Beetroot Juice for Runners: Yes it Works!!!

  1. I would just like to say that I have just started on the beetroot to see if it gives me energy and while I find it effective and does exactly what the scientists predicted I have to say that not too many people are going to take it because of the high price. Holland and Barratt charge £3.39 for
    750ml bottle, Morrison’s charge £2.48 for 750ml bottle, but my local health store charge £2.35 for 750ml bottle. So it looks like you have to shop around and even at £2.35 a bottle it is still very expensive as one bottle will only last you a day and a half. I can’t see it becoming very popular at those ridiculous prices, can you?

    • I have to agree that beetroot juice is prohibitively expensive, especially when you consider that it’s such a cheap vegetable to begin with. I tend to buy packs of cooked beetroot and put one in the blender as a pre-run drink. Obviously it’s not quite as smooth as the shop-bought juice, but it does you just as much good. Just make sure you put the lid on the liquidiser though: nothing makes quite as much indelible mess as beetroot…

      • haha you get 500ml of beetroot juice in mumbai for 20rs (£0.28 or $O.45)! :D it’s blended right in front of you!

  2. It seems to work for me too. I now just buy plain cooked beetroots (not the ones dipped in vinegar) from Waitrose at 79p for a pack of four and eat a couple every day. You don’t have to blend them into a juice .

    Here’s a nice beetroot salad: chop up the cooked beetroot together with a roughly equal quantity of fresh apple, sprinkle with lemon juice and cumin seeds. Eat. Fantastic.

  3. The juice costs the same here. So I bought a juicer for $120 CAD (about 60 pounds – don’t have the pounds symbol on my keyboard). I now juice raw beets. You get 500ml out of 2 or 3, and raw veg hasn’t had the nutrients cooked out. Overall I get a week of juice for $3.00 CAD.

    On another note, apparently the nitrate concentration in your blood peaks 2-3 hours after consuming. You may want to wait longer than 20 min after drinking before you run in order to maximize the effect.

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