Having 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.