Beetroot Powder: The ultimate natural supplement for enhanced health
Beets are a knobby root vegetable with a distinctive dark red coloring. It’s an easy-to-grow crop that’s been around for eons, which may explain why it pops up in so many recipes and cultural cuisines.
Beetroot powder is made from dehydrated beets that are ground down into tiny particles. The powder is a concentrated version of the vegetable. (One teaspoon of beetroot powder is considered the same as a whole beet!)
Many view beets as a “superfood” given their impressive nutritional resume, says Sedlacek. Beetroot powder is growing in popularity as a supplement that taps into those natural health benefits.
Beetroot powder can be mixed with water to make a juice or added to smoothies, sauces or even baked goods for a nutritional bump.
Beetroot powder as a performance enhancer
Understanding how beetroot powder can serve as a natural performance enhancer takes a little knowledge of biological science.
Let’s start with this fact: Beetroot powder is rich in nitrate, a compound made of nitrogen and oxygen. On its own, nitrate doesn’t do much for your body. But when your saliva converts it to nitrite and nitric oxide … well, good things happen.
“Nitric oxide relaxes and expands your blood vessels, which allows for increased blood flow and more oxygen delivered throughout your body,” explains Sedlacek. “In athletic terms, that can help you perform better for longer.”
There’s plenty of evidence showing how consuming beetroot powder can improve performance in endurance activities, too. For instance:
- Recreational athletes were able to ride exercise bikes longer at higher intensity levels after just six days of drinking beetroot juice. Researchers called the findings “remarkable.”
- Walking up steep hills became easier with less overall energy burned after participants took a beetroot supplement. Recovery time was faster, too.
- Kayakers on a national team improved time trial performances by an average of 1.7% after being given a beetroot supplement. The improvements at that level of competition were considered significant.
- Adolescents having obesity experienced improved exercise tolerance after drinking beetroot juice, which worked to extend the time spent doing physical activity.
There’s less conclusive research regarding whether beetroot powder can boost quick-burst activities such as sprinting or weightlifting. But a recent study of sprint cyclists indicates there may be some benefits in activities where the focus is on power and acceleration.
When to use beetroot powder
Timing is key if you’re planning to use beetroot powder to gain a competitive edge. The reason? It’s not exactly a fast-acting pre-workout supplement.
“Beetroot powder works best if taken about two to three hours before performance,” says Sedlacek. “It needs some time to get in your system. You’re not going to take it and see instant results.”
Plus, a big boost isn’t guaranteed: “Supplements affect everyone differently,” notes Sedlacek. “It might be something you need to experiment with a bit within the recommended amounts to take.”
Beetroot powder for sexual health?
Beetroot powder also may help enhance amorous physical activity for men and women.
Studies show that nitric oxide “is an essential mediator of erectile function.” Given that, many believe that beetroot powder can help alleviate erectile dysfunction (ED) by improving blood flow to the penis.
In addition, beetroot powder works to decrease high blood pressure — another common cause of ED.
High blood pressure also can reduce blood flow to the clitoris and vagina, lowering libido and making it more difficult to get aroused. In theory, beetroot powder may address those issues and improve the sexual experience.
It should be noted, though, that claims related to beetroot powder and sexual health are thin on scientific confirmation and heavy on anecdotal tales.
Other potential benefits of beetroot powder
The list of potential benefits offered by beetroot powder also includes:
- Fighting inflammation. Beets and beetroot powder contain betalains, an antioxidant and natural pigment with anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is linked to diseases such as heart disease, asthma and Type 2 diabetes.
- High-fiber content. Eating a diet high in fiber can lower your risk of chronic disease — and beetroot powder is packed with fiber.
- Better brain function. Increased blood flow to your brain can help with cognitive function.
- Potassium source. Surprise! A beet contains more potassium than a banana, an attribute that’s passed along in beetroot powder. Potassium can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
The following table listsTrusted Source the nutritional information of 100 grams (g) of beetroot powder.
|Quantity per 100 g
Beetroot powder also contains biologically active plant nutrients called phytonutrients. These phytonutrients may play a role in lowering a person’s risk of chronic diseases.
Phytonutrients found in beetroot powder include:
Determining the dosage required to gain the benefits of beetroot powder is challenging. Different products suggest different doses to achieve various effects, and studiesTrusted Source on the health benefits of beetroot powder do not specify the dosage required to achieve results.
Suggested doses usually appear on the product label.
Some products recommend 3–6 g of powder, while others suggest taking 2–3 teaspoons. On beetroot juice products — usually intended for athletes — manufacturers may suggest drinking 140 milliliters per day.
While the listed doses may be safe, researchers cannot confirm that these doses provide health benefits to everyone. Individuals should consult a healthcare professional before trying beetroot powder, especially if they take other medications or have health conditions.
Beetroot powder is a versatile food product that people can easily add to their diet.
While studies have extensively explored its benefits, it is not yet clear how beneficial beetroot powder is on chronic diseases and athletic performance. In appropriate amounts, it is a generally safe food supplement.
Researchers are still determining the mechanisms explaining the benefits of beetroot powder and the required dose to achieve these benefits.
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