My latest Check up on the SuperBeet and What is all this searching of SuperBeet about?
Is it me or has the superbeet and it’s juice been getting a lot of attention lately? Because of this, I thought I would take a quick update on the superbeet benefits. Here is what I found that is recently published.
Recent Beet News
The nitrate benefits of beets seems to have hit the cycling world recently and may show up on other athletic venues soon.
As reported in Bicycling, “Dietary nitrates turn to nitric oxide (NO) in the body, which is helpful for exercise performance because it dilates your blood vessels.” And, “Beetroot juice is commonly used as a nitrate-rich sports supplement and has been shown to improve cycling performance.”
So I would ask, if it is good for cycling performance, how about marathons, swimming, other sports, or just improved cardiovascular health? Fact is beets are super food, and already part of my healthy eating diet to support my healthy lifestyle along with regular exercise which also helps your body to open its internal pharmacy and release among other things, Nitric Oxide, even without beets or beet juice. Here is simple description:
“Movement helps blood vessels muster up their own internal medicine. – Movement (such as walking, dancing, or swimming) gets the blood flowing faster over the lids of the medicine bottles in your arteries and releases your internal medicines. The nitric oxide mechanism is one of the most powerful total-body benefits of exercise. Think of exercise as a promoter of the pharmaceutical response of your arteries; it’s like walking into your pharmacy and picking up a bunch of free cardiovascular medicines that help your heart but have absolutely no harmful side effects. Even if the endothelium is damaged, exercise helps access whatever internal medicine it has and gradually restores much of the endothelium to better health. Exercise and diet are the best preventive medicines for endothelial dysfunction.” Dr. Sears Wellness.
One study seems to not support this cycling supplementation craze. You can read the full study linked below, but here is my takeaway.
“Supplements thought to increase nitric oxide (NO) have received considerable attention as an ergogenic aid in both the scientic community and among athletes. NO is a signaling molecule which has a number of physiological roles in the body, including the regulation of vascular tone, immune function, neurotransmission, muscle contractibility, and energy metabolism. Nitrite (NO2) is a bioactive source of NO and levels in the plasma can be increased by consuming foods that are high in nitrate (NO3), such as leafy green vegetables and beetroot.”
So they studied various groups of cyclists and found “when the subjects were separated into BRJ [beet root juice] ‘responders’ and ‘non-responders’ we did not observe statistically significant changes in any of the performance measures between the PL and BRJ supplementation. In conclusion, there is no ergogenic bene t to supplementing elite athletes with an acute dose of BRJ prior to a high intensity middle-distance cycling competition.”
What should be noted in the report is “the majority of researches reporting exercise benefits of NO3- supplementation have been conducted on moderately/recreationally active subjects, while findings are less clear in populations of elite athleticism.” Sounds pretty super to me, and that’s why I have beet juice everyday even though I am far from an elite athlete. And if the beet taste is not your thing, try this alternative juicing strategy.
So the good news may be that beet juice supplementation has a greater impact on the less fit individuals compared to high performance athletes. Sounds good enough for me. If a little beet juice daily will improved my cardiovascular health, while i workout at the gym each day, I’m in. The question you may now have is where and how do I get my daily beet juice? That turned out be be easier than I imagined.
The Benefits of the superBeet
Here are the most commonly noted and reviewed via Healthline.com benefits:
- Many Nutrients in Few Calories. Beets boast an impressive nutritional profile. …
- Help Keep Blood Pressure in Check. …
- Can Improve Athletic Performance. …
- May Help Fight Inflammation. …
- May Improve Digestive Health. …
- May Help Support Brain Health. …
- May Have Some Anti-Cancer Properties. …
- May Help You Lose Weight
While on the topic of the benefits of a consuming a food, or supplement, it should be noted that before taking any medication, over or behind the counter, or any supplement, you should discuss the risks and disclose everything in your daily diet with your doctor. Supporting that opinion, as Cardiologist Dr. Richard Lee, and co-editor in chief of the Harvard Heart Letter is reported saying, “To be on the safe side, we counsel everyone to avoid products that may interact with their medication.“
That said, if you research beetroot and or nitric oxide you will find a lot of interesting research and stories suggesting this may be a very beneficial natural way to improve cardiovascular function. So example…
“In the past decade, new evidence has suggested that the nitrate in these vegetables enhances athletic performance and may also increase cardiovascular health in old age.”, reports Rodrigo Perez Ortega, in Readers Digest. As he goes on to report, That “[n]itrate itself doesn’t do much in the body. It first has to be converted to nitric oxide, a gas with numerous physiological roles — in blood vessel dilation, muscle contraction and transmission of nerve signals, among others. People obtain that nitric oxide in two ways: either through the action of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase, which catalyzes the amino acid L-arginine to produce it, or from nitrate ingested in food.”
To simplify, the process to goes like this, the nitrate is reduced to nitrite in your mouth. Then, your body reduces the nitrite into nitric oxide in our gut where it enters your body and blood stream. So it is the Nitric Oxide in your blood that has an affect on your vascular system to increase blood flow which allows more oxygen to be carried throughout your body. Of course oxygen is a key fuel for the body and is burned more heavily when we are active, such as during exercise. If you do exercise regularly, you may want to learn more about reducing oxidative stress which causes inflammation. But that a topic for another day.
The benefit of the beet then is as a natural pre-source of Nitric Oxide (“NO”). The more Nitrate you can naturally source, the more NO you have available in your system. That said, I have learned that our bodies can produce NO all by themselves. And this NO is released directly into the blood stream, every time you get up and exercise enough to open up your endothelium walls. Your cardiovascular system has a natural process to release NO into your blood to help increase your physical performance when active. Here is the process. As your blood flows thru your arteries once a sufficient rate of speed is reached this motion pulls open a portion of your endothelium walls to release NO. This chemical acts as a vasodilator opening your arteries wider, so even more blood can flow, even faster, and deliver even more oxygen to your body to keep up with demand.The more you train, the healthier you arteries become.
I guess this explains why scientist found less improvement in elite athletes when eating beets than lesser athletes. Their training has likely already maximized their NO delivery during their cycling performance.
And finally, while on the topic of Nitric Oxide, I would recommend you also study a centuries old supplement used to improve cardiovascular performance. That supplement is Hawthorn berry. From what I understand, this berry helps your body convert available nitrites into nitric oxide. For more information follow this link on Hawthorn berries, which is the supplement my doctor recommended I take.. It is called Hawthorn Heart.
So, here is the final question…Will you beet a path to super cardiovascular performance?
That’s all for now, Keep it Up!
Sources and Inspiration
“Beet Juice Can Make Even Trained Cyclist Faster and More Powerful”, Selene Yeager.
“9 Impressive Health Benefits of Beets“, Healthline.
“Drink Your Beets: The Science Behind the Vegetable’s Surprising Benefits”, Rodrigo Perez Ortega.
“All-natural nitrite and nitrate containing dietary supplement promotes nitric oxide production… “. Zand J, Lanza F, Garg HK, Bryan NS….University of Texas.
“Effect of hawthorn standardized extract…“, Asher GN, et al.. University of North Carolina.
Disclaimer: In fact, before starting any exercise, diet or wellness program, be sure you consult your doctor and be sure to learn the proper techniques for that diet before starting a new wellness program.That would defeat the whole purpose of the activity and your injury may even increase your health insurance cost not reduce them. This post and site is intended to be for educational & entertainment purposes only and is not intended to be considered medical advice. Readers should understand the links to products may or may not pay commissions to the author of the post to defray website costs or the time of the writer and/or coach’s time. Linked products are not endorsements of the product unless specifically so designated.