You’ve seen those ads for beet juice promising more energy, stamina and host of other great health benefits? Just hype – or is there something to it? yoFreeSamples wanted to know!
As it turns out, there is some science behind the claims. Studies show that as little as 250 ml (about 1 cup) of beet juice a day will noticeably lower blood pressure. The same amount was also found to increase brain function and may help guard against memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
And yes, people who drink beet juice do report an increase in energy levels throughout the day. Just don’t expect Energizer Bunny results. A little less nodding off in the afternoon is more like it.
How does this wonder veggie work? Beets contain nitrates which are converted to nitric oxide in the body. It dilates blood vessels resulting in improved blood flow. That lowers blood pressure and delivers oxygen more efficiently to all parts of the body – muscles, the brain – you name it. Anti-oxidant rich, beets also help control inflammation.
In almost every case, the best source of nutrients is always eating the actual food. But for beets, cooking or pickling actually reduces the amount of nitrates. So, juice or supplements are the best way to get your daily nitrates. You can make beet juice yourself (you’ll need a pound of beets to make a cup) or buy prepared beet root juice, concentrated beet syrup or beet powder.
Prepared juices are convenient and mask the strong beet flavor, but can be expensive. Plus, each cup has about 110 calories. Liquid concentrates or powders are lower in calories but may have a strong beet flavor. But they can be mixed with water or into other liquids or foods. You can also find powdered concentrate in capsule form. They may have a bit of an aftertaste for the “beet sensitive” – and you may need to take several a day – but they’re the simplest way to get your nitrates.
With all the hype about beets these days, the price of supplements can be pretty high. The photos in this post are our picks for good results and being budget friendly. You can also save a little by taking smaller doses of beet root along with the much less expensive L-citrulline, a nitrate booster.
It’s recommended that you start slow drinking a quarter of a cup per day or taking one or two teaspoons and working towards the full dose. If you’re already taking medications for blood pressure, do not stop taking them or reduce the dose. And let your doctor know that you’re drinking beet juice. Depending on how your body reacts, they may want to adjust your medication.