What is Beet Juice?
Beet juice (also known as "beetroot juice") is rich in essential nutrients such as folate, potassium, and vitamin C. In juicing or juice fasts, beet juice is typically blended with other vegetables and fruits to achieve certain health effects.
Benefits of Beet Juice
Here's a look at several beet juice benefits researched in scientific studies.
1) Lower Blood Pressure
Drinking just over two cups of beet juice daily may help keep your blood pressure in check, according to a 2008 study. Within three hours of drinking 500 milliliters (about 17 ounces) of beet juice, volunteers showed a significant decrease in blood pressure. What's more, that drop in blood pressure was sustained for up to 24 hours after the juice was consumed.
The study's authors suggest that nitrate—a nutrient found in green, leafy vegetables in addition to beets—may be responsible for beet juice's blood-pressure-lowering effects.
In a small study published in 2009, scientists discovered that drinking beet juice may boost exercise stamina. For the study, eight men drank 500 milliliters of beet juice daily for six consecutive days before undergoing a series of cycling-based fitness tests. Results showed that the participants were able to cycle for an average of 92 seconds longer after drinking beetroot juice (compared to their cycling time after drinking blackcurrant cordial for six consecutive days).
The researchers also observed that study members had lower resting blood pressure after drinking beet juice.
Beet juice may benefit obese people by curbing inflammation (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer), according to a study published in 2009. The study also showed that beet juice may fight free radicals (chemical by-products known to damage DNA).
Beet Juice Recipes
Since beet juice has such a strong flavor, it should be blended with other juices (such as carrot, apple, and lemon) before drinking.
Learn about other ingredients to use in juicing.
Bailey SJ, Winyard P, Vanhatalo A, Blackwell JR, Dimenna FJ, Wilkerson DP, Tarr J, Benjamin N, Jones AM. "Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans." Journal of Applied Physiology 2009 Aug 6.
Webb AJ, Patel N, Loukogeorgakis S, Okorie M, Aboud Z, Misra S, Rashid R, Miall P, Deanfield J, Benjamin N, MacAllister R, Hobbs AJ, Ahluwalia A. "Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective, and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite." Hypertension. 2008 Mar;51(3):784-90.
Zielińska-Przyjemska M, Olejnik A, Dobrowolska-Zachwieja A, Grajek W. "In vitro effects of beetroot juice and chips on oxidative metabolism and apoptosis in neutrophils from obese individuals." Phytotherapy Research 2009 Jan;23(1):49-55.