What are the Benefits of Drinking Beet Juice?

Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects & More

Beetroot juice
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Beet juice (also known as "beetroot juice") is rich in essential nutrients such as folate, potassium, and vitamin C. It is a top source of nitrates, nutrients also found in green leafy vegetables.

The Benefits of Beet Juice

According to recent research, inorganic nitrates in beet juice are converted in the body to nitrite and nitric oxide, a molecule involved in blood vessel dilation. As a result, beet juice has been found to enhance blood flow to muscles and to the brain. Here's a look at several beet juice benefits that have been explored in scientific studies.

1) Lower High Blood Pressure

Some research shows that drinking beet juice may help bring your blood pressure down. In a 2015 study published in Hypertension, for instance, drinking 250 milliliters (about 8.4 ounces) of beet juice daily was found to lower high blood pressure. After four weeks of daily beetroot juice, participants with hypertension had a significant decrease in blood pressure compared to those who drank a placebo (a nitrate-free beet juice). What's more, researchers found an improvement in endothelial function (the functioning of the inner lining of blood vessels). 

2) Exercise Performance and Stamina

Often consumed by athletes to improve performance, some studies suggest that drinking beet juice may help boost stamina and improve exercise performance. In a report published in 2017, for instance, scientists reviewed 23 previously published studies on the effects of beet juice supplementation (alone and in combination with other supplements) on cardiorespiratory endurance in athletes. Results showed that beet juice improved endurance, increased the time to exhaustion, and may increase oxygen flo

3) Inflammation

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).

Side Effects

The natural red color of beet juice may temporarily add a red tinge to urine and stools.

Raw beets contain high levels of oxalates, naturally-occurring substances found in many foods like spinach, rhubarb, almonds, and cocoa. Consuming high levels of oxalates may promote the development of kidney stones in some people. While the highest levels are found in beet greens (which are not typically included in beet juice), low-oxalate diets typically exclude beets. (In one study, fermenting beets reduced their oxalate concentration.)

Beet juice consumption may interfere with way your body metabolizes medication. According to a case report, a 50-year old woman who was taking methotrexate for psoriasis developed methotrexate intoxication after drinking beetroot juice.

Beet Juice Recipes

Since beet juice has such a strong flavor, it is sometimes mixed with other juices (such as carrot, apple, and lemon) before drinking to improve the taste. Learn about other ingredients to use in juicing.

The Takeaway

Although it's too soon to recommend beet juice as a treatment for any condition, increasing your dietary intake of beets (as well as other nitrate-rich vegetables such as spinach, arugula, lettuce, and radishes) may help enhance your overall health. 

Sources

Domínguez R, Cuenca E, Maté-Muñoz JL, et al. Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017 Jan 6;9(1). pii: E43.

Kapil V, Khambata RS, Robertson A, Caulfield MJ, Ahluwalia A. Dietary nitrate provides sustained blood pressure lowering in hypertensive patients: a randomized, phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Hypertension. 2015 Feb;65(2):320-7.

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.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.