Your new endurance boost? Beet juice

March 14, 2016

Ten days before a triathlon, Lauren Goss is reaching for beet juice, a popular companion on the endurance circuit.

"It gives you more endurance," Goss said.

Jessica Cording, a New York-based dietitian, said athletes like beet juice because it’s rich in nitrates that can improve blood flow, allowing the body to use oxygen more efficiently.

"Those who swear by it feel it boosts performance and endurance and improves tolerance of high-intensity exercise," she said.

Goss, a Boulder, Colo.-based professional triathlete and spokeswoman for the beverage Beet Performer, has been drinking beet juice since 2012.

Rather than consume it daily, she opts to down 8 ounces a day for the 10 days leading up to an event. The morning of the race — maybe three hours before — she’ll drink another 8 ounces.

"I want to be able to feel the difference," she said.

Before she discovered Beet Performer, Goss would puree beets herself. About three beets will deliver 8 ounces.

Goss said she prefers the canned beverage, which "doesn’t taste like soil."

She said she has noticed her results getting better, although the average person’s regular workout might not be as dependent on a 10-second improvement.

She recommends giving beet juice a test run during training.

"Don’t go try something new on race day," she said. "That’s the worst thing you can do."

Cording added a warning for people with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones: Beets are very high in oxalate, she said.

Goss said she was a beet fan before gravitating to the juice but noted that not everyone might find it as easy as she did to jump on the trend.

"The taste is strong," she said.


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