According to some in depth scientific studies, beetroot juice and/or supplements can boost your performance in the gym. 

It’s no secret that a well-balanced nutrient dense diet is the holy grail of peak physical performance.  But what’s the secret behind this vibrantly coloured root vegetable?

Beetroot juice in weightlifting

Put simply; beets contain extremely high nitrate levels.  When consumed, these convert to a gas known as nitric oxide.  And nitric oxide has been proven to boost workout performance.  

Perhaps you’ve seen ‘nitric oxide’ on sale at your local health foods or supplement store.  When you take these supplements, they emulate the same outcome.

But how does it work?

Nitric oxide widens the blood vessels to increase blood flow (this is why beetroot supplements are widely recommended to support the reduction of high blood pressure). 

In the gym; this increased blood flow improves lung function and also enhances muscle contraction. 

As a result; athletes perform better and weightlifters boost their muscle growth potential.

*I’ll link some studies below if you want to explore the science behind this in more depth.

Before you hit the supplement store

It’s always best to get nutrients from the food you eat before you reach for supplements.  Of course, supplements have their place, but why not try adding more beets and other like foods to your diet?

I love beets, they’re delicious roasted with other root vegetables, sliced thinly in sandwiches, added to cous-cous and salads, or if you’re a ‘get it done’ kinda gal – whip up a beetroot smoothie.

Other foods with a high nitrate content include

  • Celeriac
  • Fennel
  • Parsley
  • Celery
  • Cress
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Rocket

And I am sure there are many more to add to the list.

So now you know the secret behind beets, why not get some in you before a workout and challenge yourself to a new one rep max!

Related references

Effect of Whole Beetroot on Muscular Endurance and Power in Powerlifters and Physique Competitors

Effects of chronic dietary nitrate supplementation on the hemodynamic response to dynamic exercise

Why You Might Want To Be Drinking Beet Juice At The Gym

Beetroot juice and exercise: pharmacodynamic and dose-response relationships

Effects of beetroot juice supplementation on intermittent high-intensity exercise efforts