You may have heard that there are benefits to performance from taking beet juice or beet root powders but what about whole beets? Yes! Whole beets can provide performance benefits. There is some research that does link whole beets to performance gains as well.
For example: A 2012 study (Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) examined the effects of whole beets on a small group of men and women. They underwent treadmill testing to examine the effects of whole beets on performance. The one group consumed 200 grams of baked beet root (about 1 cup of roasted beets) 75-minutes before a 5 km run and the other group consumed a cranberry relish as a placebo. The result: the group that consumed the beets was 5-percent faster in the last 1.1 miles (1.8 km) of the run.
If you have never tried beets before, we suggest roasting them. The roasting process brings out a hint of sweetness in the beets.
HOW TO ROAST BEETS:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Trim the beet greens and bottom portion of the beet (long and then.) Scrub the trimmed beets with a vegetable brush. Then slice the beets into quarters (pictured right). Place the beets on aluminum foil, once all the beets are on the foil cinch the foil to close all the beets in the foil in a packet. Place the packet of beets on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 - 45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Then carefully remove the beets from the foil, onto the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and continue baking for another 10 - 15 minutes. Once the beets are cool enough to work with, slip the skin off from the beets. Enjoy the beets as in or try on top of a salad with pumpkin seeds, feta, and your other favorite salad toppings (example pictured below)!
Another convenient way to incorporate whole beets into your routine is with Love Beets - they are ready to eat beets that are available in containers in the produce section of the grocery store. Check out the delicious flavors or stick with the traditional plain beets.