EDITOR'S NOTE: YR Blogger Espen originally published this 7/29/2015 but it's still solid advice so we wanted to repost it again.
Ever wonder about what would help you recover in a race, give you extra endurance and improve your race time by multiple seconds? There is something that helps all of the above, it’s called Beet Juice. It may not taste or look great, but if you drink it consistently you could see an improvement in your performance and recovery. Since I started adding a small glass of beet juice to my training, I have seen big improvements in my performance, I feel stronger, recover faster and it has helped reduce muscle and stomach cramping while running.
I first learned of beet juice and the benefits for runners while reading an article in Runner’s World magazine during the fall of 2014. I love beets and was excited to start trying beet juice. I learned quickly that beets taste much better when eaten compared to drinking beet juice, but I immediately noticed improvements in my running and recovery which helped me to keep drinking it. I will drink a small glass, about 6 ounces prior to training or racing. Beet juice increases nitrates in the body which improve blood flow and can increase stamina. I only drink it during my training periods for track and cross country and only on days that I run, which is about 3 days per week. I prefer to drink it cold and fast because it doesn’t taste great, I have not experimented with mixing beet juice with anything to improve the taste.
I have tried two different brands of beet juice and recommend both. The first brand I tried and used for 7 months was Biotta Beet Juice. This comes in a large 16.9 oz bottle. I would put it in the fridge and pour about 6 ounces per day into a glass to drink it. You can find this at most health food stores but we usually order it by the case from Amazon. The other kind I have been using for the past couple months is called Beet It Organic Sport Stamina Shot. Although this stuff taste a little worse than the Biotta brand, it comes in small bottles 2.35 ounces while providing 4 to 5 times the beet juice benefit compared to 6 ounces of the Biotta brand. I also recommend you drink this in your kitchen and over the sink but it will stain if you spill it. Beet juice and its benefits for performance has been receiving a lot of attention lately by running websites and magazines, so you should have no trouble finding more information about it. I encourage you to try using it before you train or race for a few weeks and hopefully you will notice the same benefits I have.