Study: Betalains in beets can help reduce fatigue and boost athletic performance

Studies have shown that beets offer many benefits, such as promoting heart health.

Data has also revealed that the nutritious root vegetable contains natural plant pigments and phytochemicals that have science-backed abilities to sustain and boost the health and function of several body systems.

Additionally, a recent study found that unique compounds in beets can help fight oxidative stress and inflammation. Researchers also reported that these compounds may help reduce fatigue, boost energy levels and even improve athletic performance.

The study was published in the journal Current Nutrition Reports. For this study, the research team analyzed betalains for their therapeutic potential.

Betalains, the natural plant pigments responsible for the bright red color of beets, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds also boost the levels of beneficial nitric oxide in the body, in turn helping to relax arteries and improve blood flow and circulation.

The researchers said this increases the availability of oxygen, which leads to enhanced performance during exercise. The review authors credited betalains with alleviating exercise-induced fatigue and improving sports performance.

The new review builds on previous studies, such as a small randomized controlled trial published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise that showed how beet juice can improve oxygen use and enhance performance in a group of amateur cyclists exercising at simulated high altitudes. (Related: Un-beet-able: Study shows beetroot can boost athletic performance.)

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The authors of the recent review also mentioned other studies showing how betalains could help ease exercise-induced muscle damage.

Both professional and amateur athletes know that intense physical activity can damage skeletal muscles, which causes symptoms like stiffness, pain and loss of muscle strength that can last from two to 14 days.

People who have overexerted themselves at the gym may understand the aching and weakness that can follow after intense physical activity. Fortunately, beets and beet juice might offer some relief.

A 2024 study published in the journal Nutrients found that beetroot extracts can significantly decrease blood levels of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and malondialdehyde. For the study, researchers observed 32 elite athletes who had just run a marathon.

The results of the 2024 study also revealed that beet extracts boost the activity of glutathione, a potent antioxidant and detoxicant produced in the body. The research team suggested that beetroot supplementation “positively influences” recovery from muscle damage.

The 2024 study also supports the findings of an earlier article published in the journal Sports Medicine, where researchers credited betalains with reducing post-exercise muscle damage, inflammation and fatigue. They also added that the compounds helped speed recovery after workouts.

Beets can also support optimal heart health

Experts also think that the same properties of beets that enhance athletic stamina, like boosting increasing nitric oxide and promoting blood flow, can support optimal heart health.

Aside from betalains, research has suggested that healthy levels of potassium in beets can help lower blood pressure.

In addition, one cup of cooked beets contains four grams of fiber, which can help support lower levels of homocysteine. This can offer benefits because excessive amounts of homocysteine have been linked to heart disease.

Sarah Thomsen Ferreira, a registered dietitian, has advised that beets can help improve arterial health and reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

Beets are savory and earthy with a satisfying consistency. A low-calorie superfood, beets may help create a sense of fullness that can reduce overeating and fight against obesity. As a bonus, beets can help stabilize blood sugar. These root crops are also a good source of folate, a B vitamin that can help prevent strokes.

Watch this clip to find out how drinking Organic Beet Juice can support a healthy brain and heart.

This video is from the Health Ranger Store channel on

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