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Want to improve your athletic performance? The weird reason you need to eat more beets

Written by Ali Donahue
Want to improve your athletic performance? The weird reason you need to eat more beets

Quick Take

Want to improve your athletic peak performance? Sure, you can find pills, powders, bars, creams, and even candies everywhere - all promising to boost your performance. But whole beets will power your workout better than anything on the market. Here's why.


On this page

Eat beets to get more oxygen for less effort

See faster muscle recovery

Reduce inflammation

Improve digestion and gut health

How much beets should I be eating to boost athletic performance?

Key Takeaways

Free Download: Ultimate Little Guide to Plant-Based Eating

A gift for you: FREE Ultimate Little Guide to Plant-Based Eating

Get more oxygen for less effort

When you train your body, you make it easier for your muscles to get oxygen.

Stronger lungs make for bigger breaths. A stronger heart increases oxygen-rich blood flow. Stronger red blood cell development means the cells can carry more oxygen. Bigger muscles can take in more oxygen.

That’s all great!

However, the effort it takes to get energy from that oxygen remains the same.

But not when you eat beets.

Beets have dietary nitrates in them that become nitric oxide when you eat them. Nitric oxide helps your body draw more oxygen into your muscles without working any harder.

Per, our trusted nutrition site, a 2012 study “gave physically fit men and women a cup and a half of baked beets, which is equal to about a can of beets, 75 minutes before running a 5K.”

At the end of the race, the beet group was running faster, but without heart rates. They reported less exertion.

Beets don’t just make your oxygen-to-muscle pathway more efficient. They make it easier.

(This is exactly why we made MamaSezz Strong Heart Beets! Add it to your next order.)

See faster muscle recovery

Beets are packed with betacyanins, which give the veggie its bright color. But they are far more powerful than pigment. Betacyanins contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce muscle soreness.

What's this mean for your workout and performance? Vegan athletes eating beetscan return to peak performance state more quickly.

Reduce inflammation

Dealing with inflammation? Beets may be particularly helpful for athletes coping with chronic inflammation.

With chronic inflammation, white blood cells attack healthy tissue. This can impact athletic performance, and lead to chronic health problems like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, and more.

But you can reduce chronic inflammation by adding anti-inflammatory foods to your plant-based diet. And, you guessed it, beets are one of the best foods for your whole food plant-based diet, thanks to their anti-inflammatory betalains and polyphenols.

(Check out these 8 ways to turn MamaSezz Strong HeartBeets into vegan smoothies.)

Improve digestion and gut health

An unhappy digestive system is as much an obstacle to peak performance as a strained ligament or crisis of confidence. Maybe more, as nearly all your energy needs are met through food passing through that digestive system!

Luckily, beets are a high fiber food, which is excellent for your gut health and digestion. They should be a staple of the vegan-athlete diet. Fiber helps you stay regular, feeds healthy gut bacteria, aids in healthy weight lossand keeps digestive illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis at bay.

How much beets should I eat to boost athletic performance?

We recommend 1/2 a cup of beets the night before an athletic event, and another 1/2 cup the morning before you perform. An easy way to get your beets in? MamaSezz Strong Heart Beets - pureed beets seasoned just right. Eat them right from the bag, blend them into a smoothie, make oil-free salad dressing, and so much more. 

Get 10% OFF vegan athlete meals 

Boost your performance, without all the meal prep. Say hello the MamaSezz Peak Performance Bundle -- ready-made meals delivered to your door and specially formulated for whole food plant-based athletes.

Key takeaways

  • Beets are proven to aid in reaching peak performance by helping muscles extract more energy from oxygen without out more effort

  • Beets have been shown to aid in muscle recovery.

  • Beets help reduce inflammation.

  • Beets support easy digestion.

  • MamaSezz Heart Beets are the fastest way to get beets in your peak performance diet today. 

Don't forget your FREE download: Ultimate Little Guide to Plant-Based Eating



By Becky Karush

Becky Karush is a writer, copywriter, and family woman. She came up through newspapers and magazines, including Disney FamilyFun and Martha Stewart Whole Living, with road trips to teaching and farming. She’s run BeckyK Creative Marketing since 2012. She hosts and produces READ TO ME, a literary podcast that ends the cult of the critic and surfaces the power and beauty in great writing.

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