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Run a Better Half with Betterave

Posted on January 20th, 2018 by

There is a tremendous amount of rubbish printed about sports nutrition. One thing that sounds like total rubbish is the claim that consuming beetroot shots can boost your race results by 1-2%. That equates to about a minute off a half marathon, which is a huge claim.

And yet the evidence is pretty good. A paper in the Journal of Applied Physiology by Prof Andy Jones of the University of Exeter is the main one cited in the many newspaper and magazine stories on the subject. You can find a readable account in this article from Runner’s World.

On a practical level, the bottom line is that you should probably try 2 shots of Beet It concentrated beetroot about 2-3 hours before you want to hit peak beetroot. So for a ten mile race probably take it 2 hours before the start. Weirdly you mustn’t brush your teeth since the interaction of mouth bacteria is an important part of the chemistry behind it. The optimal dose varies from person to person so you might experiment.

Should you get Beet It, Beet It Sport or Beet It Pro Elite, or some other brand? It really depends how much you want to pay as there doesn’t seem to be any meaningful difference between the products. The research was done using the cheapest option.

Whether it is true or total rubbish, its pretty harmless. The flavour is a bit disgusting, but that is part of the fun. Like everything, however, you shouldn’t try it for the first time on marathon day. So if you’re racing this weekend, why not give it a go?