I love juicing! Beets are one of my favorite veggies to juice with, because one they taste yummy, and secondly they are great training boosters for endurance athletes. Here is my favorite Beet Juice recipe along with tidbits about juicing & beets themselves.
Let’s get to the recipe first!
Just Beet It Juice!
Makes 2 servings (Mason jar sized)
- 2 bunches of organic red beets
- 2 bunches of organic carrots
- 1 apple (I used a pink lady)
- Wash and load into your juicer. I have the Omega masticating juicer. (http://www.omegajuicers.com/juicers/masticating-juicers/vert350-juicer.html)
- Save your Pulp!
Let’s start with what kind of juicer is better. (At least in my eyes ;-) )
Masticating Juicer vs Centrifugal Juicer
- A masticating juicer has only a single gear, and “chews” the produce at a much slower speed than a centrifugal juicer , which does not “chew” the produce at all. The “chewing” process helps to squeeze most of the phytochemicals out in the produce, so that the juice keeps its richness in minerals, nutrients, and enzymes.
- The speed at which a MJ runs at is 80 – 120RPM, and a CJ runs at 3000 – 7000RPM. The lower speed helps to not interfere with the veggies & fruits cellular structure, eliminating oxidation of juice. (Basically preserves nutrients better to make the juice more nutritional)
So to get the most out of your juicing. I recommend a masticating juicer in your home!
Beets Oh Beets…Give Me More Stamina??
- Beet juice is naturally high in nitrate (NO3), which the body uses to make both nitrite (NO2), and nitric oxide.
- Nitrites (converted nitrates post digestion) are known to protect blood vessels from injury, while nitric acid expands blood vessels, and therefore, increases the flow of oxygen to the cells. This, in turn, increases both the power available to the muscles & the length of time that the muscles can exercise without tiring.
- Studies have shown when athletes drink beet juice for several days before undergoing exercise tests, they do indeed use less oxygen in their muscles, and are correspondingly able to exercise for longer. Their endurance is extended.
- A study showed that drinking .5L a days can reduce VO2 and lowers the cost of ATP muscle force production. (You use less energy!)
- Helps body respond better to exercise, by balancing oxygen use & increasing stamina.
- Key Note: Following ingestion, plasma nitrate concentration typically peaks within 2-3 hours and remains elevated for a further 6-9 hours before declining towards baseline. Therefore, athletes should consume the nitrate (beet juice) 3-9 hours prior to training or competition
Other benefits of beet juice:
- lowers the incidence of metabolic syndrome, a condition which includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, & high cholesterol.
- Improves blood flow.
- Juicing is better to get all the maximum benefits, cooking beets will decrease the amount of phytonutrients.
- 1 – 2 C of beetroot juice have a significant effect for lowering blood pressure.
- Important note: Don’t change any prescription of blood pressures meds on your own, always consult your doctor first and let them know you are adding natural measures to your lifestyle.
- Don’t worry is your urine or bowel movements turn red it happens to all of us. The color change is harmless. One caveat: Beets are high in oxalates, so people who tend to make oxalate kidney stones may want to avoid beet juice.
- So I’m sure you have heard nitrates are bad for you, well beets have natural occurring nitrates which will convert to nitrites during digestion in your body, however it is not like the nitrites in processed meat like bacon & hot dogs to name a few – those are cancer causing compounds. Naturally occurring nitrites are not harmful to the body, and are full of amazing antioxidants as well.
***************Natalie Johnston is USATF certified runner coach serving areas PA, NYC, & NJ.*****************