Beetroot Juice – Recent Study

Many thanks to my client that asked me about beetroot juice and cycling.  If you are a keen cyclist check with your Sports Dietitian before filling your drink bottle with beetroot juice!  It may not meet all your fluid and performance goals.   In June this year, the Journal Med Sci Sports and Exercise published an article on beetroot juice and cycling time trial performance.  It was a preliminary study as it only had 9 athletes in the trial.  It was a randomised trial meaning that for one experiment athletes were given 500mls of beetroot juice and for the next trial 500mls of nitrate-depleted beetroot juice.  The study did show an improvement in cycling performance for a 4km and 16.1km cycling time trials of 2.8% and 2.7%.  The big question now is will the results be the same when a larger group of athletes try the same experiment?  Are there any side effects of drinking 500mls of beetroot juice just before a cycling time trial?  Love to hear any experiences if you have tried this already.

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