If you want a boost in endurance, look no further than your garden, babe. A glass of fresh-pressed beet juice is where it’s at.
According to a recent study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, researchers discovered that competitive cyclists who drank 16 ounces of beet juice right before they got on their bikes were able to ride 16 percent longer. That’s a significant increase for sports like running and racing. Apparently, the nitrates in beets help increase blood oxygen levels, boosting endurance and performance.
Up the Oxygen
And you lazy bitches who are tuning me out at the thought of exercise will be happy to learn that the nitrates actually reduce the amount of effort required to walk by 12 percent. (You know, for those days when going to the store with a raging hangover seems utterly out of the question.) Grab some beets before your next shopping trip, and your money will run out before your steam.
The deep garnet color of beets can be a bitch to clean off your hands, but it comes from all the antioxidants. Those bad boys help to detoxify your body by grabbing toxins and pulling them into your colon where they can be evacuated. Don’t be shocked when you notice the red color of the crap that comes out. You aren’t dying, just cleansing.
How to Prepare
When making beet juice, add apples or pears, since—let’s face it—root veggies alone can taste a bit like the dirt they were grown in.
If you want to add them to a salad or eat them alone, roasting beets brings out the natural sugars and makes them taste like nature’s candy, but without the need to visit the dentist afterward. Just wrap in foil and bake at 400 degrees until the beets are tender enough to pierce easily with a knife. Set aside until they’re cool enough to handle and the peels will slip right off.
And don’t toss those greens. Saute them in a little oil and garlic for a tasty side dish. That’s simple enough for even you take-out chickies.
Got a good beet recipe? Do tell in the comments.
Lori Kenyon, Certified Nutrition Coach
Former corporate attorney and master of the loop-hole, in 2010, Lori co-founded the kick-ass raw organic juice company, Ritual Wellness. Lori now spends her time producing a healthy alternative to chemical ridden, nutrient void drinks in the market, and writing to help educate people about healthy food choices.