People use beet most often for athletic performance. It is also used for liver diseases, reducing muscle soreness after exercise, high blood pressure, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- Athletic performance. Drinking beetroot juice might improve exercise performance during aerobic activities in some people. But it's unclear how much or how often beetroot juice is needed for benefit. And any benefit in elite athletes might be too small to be meaningful.
- Muscle soreness caused by exercise. Drinking beetroot juice a few times a day for about 48 hours after exercise may reduce muscle soreness after sprinting or jumping.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Heart disease. Early research shows that taking red beetroot extract for 2 weeks can reduce total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol, and triglycerides in people with heart disease.
- High blood pressure. Drinking beetroot juice might reduce blood pressure in some people. But it doesn't seem to work in people with high blood pressure.
- High levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia). Taking a mixture of beet and hawthorn seems to reduce triglycerides by a small amount in people at risk of heart disease. But taking beet leaf doesn't seem to reduce triglycerides.
- Obesity. Taking beet leaf doesn't seem to improve weight loss when taken for 4 weeks in people already given nutrition advice.
- High blood pressure during pregnancy. Early research shows that taking beetroot juice doesn't lower blood pressure in pregnant women with high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure in arteries in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension). Early research shows that taking beetroot juice doesn't lower blood pressure in the lungs of people with pulmonary hypertension.
- Painful response to cold especially in the fingers and toes (Raynaud syndrome). Early research shows that drinking beetroot juice for 2 weeks does not seem to reduce pain in the fingers or toes when people with Raynaud syndrome are exposed to cold temperatures.
- Liver disease.
- Other conditions.
Beet can make urine or stools appear pink or red. But this is not harmful. There is concern that beets might cause low calcium levels and kidney damage. But this hasn't been shown in people.
Special Precautions and Warnings
We currently have no information for BEET overview.
- For athletic performance: Beetroot juice 70-140 mL daily has been used, often taken a few hours before exercise. Baked beetroot 200 grams taken 75 minutes before exercise has also been used. Beetroot concentrate 50 mg twice daily for about 6 days has been used.
- For muscle soreness caused by exercise: Beetroot juice (Love Beets Beetroot Juice) 125 or 250 mL per serving has been used for a total of 7-8 servings over approximately 2 days following exercise.
Briskin, B. S. and Demidov, D. A. [Enterosorption with pectin-containing medication in the treatment of peritonitis]. Khirurgiia (Mosk) 2005;(4):14-19. View abstract.
Cossack, Z. T. and Musaiger, A. O. Effect on lipid metabolism of beet fibre in desert nomads with low habitual fibre intake. Eur.J.Clin.Nutr. 1991;45(2):105-110. View abstract.
Frank, T., Stintzing, F. C., Carle, R., Bitsch, I., Quaas, D., Strass, G., Bitsch, R., and Netzel, M. Urinary pharmacokinetics of betalains following consumption of red beet juice in healthy humans. Pharmacol Res 2005;52(4):290-297. View abstract.
Granado, F., Olmedilla, B., Blanco, I., and Rojas-Hidalgo, E. Major fruit and vegetable contributors to the main serum carotenoids in the Spanish diet. Eur J Clin Nutr 1996;50(4):246-250. View abstract.
Hagander, B., Asp, N. G., Efendic, S., Nilsson-Ehle, P., Lungquist, I., and Schersten, B. Reduced glycemic response to beet-fibre meal in non-insulin-dependent diabetics and its relation to plasma levels of pancreatic and gastrointestinal hormones. Diabetes Res. 1986;3(2):91-96. View abstract.
Hagander, B., Asp, N. G., Ekman, R., Nilsson-Ehle, P., and Schersten, B. Dietary fibre enrichment, blood pressure, lipoprotein profile and gut hormones in NIDDM patients. Eur J Clin Nutr 1989;43(1):35-44. View abstract.
Hamberg, O., Rumessen, J. J., and Gudmand-Hoyer, E. Blood glucose response to pea fiber: comparisons with sugar beet fiber and wheat bran. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1989;50(2):324-328. View abstract.
Hara, H., Haga, S., Kasai, T., and Kiriyama, S. Fermentation products of sugar-beet fiber by cecal bacteria lower plasma cholesterol concentration in rats. J Nutr 1998;128(4):688-693. View abstract.
Lampe, J. W., Slavin, J. L., Baglien, K. S., Thompson, W. O., Duane, W. C., and Zavoral, J. H. Serum lipid and fecal bile acid changes with cereal, vegetable, and sugar-beet fiber feeding. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1991;53(5):1235-1241. View abstract.
Langkilde, A. M., Andersson, H., and Bosaeus, I. Sugar-beet fibre increases cholesterol and reduces bile acid excretion from the small bowel. Br.J.Nutr. 1993;70(3):757-766. View abstract.
Mitchell, S. C. Food idiosyncrasies: beetroot and asparagus. Drug Metab Dispos. 2001;29(4 Pt 2):539-543. View abstract.
Schwab, U., Louheranta, A., Torronen, A., and Uusitupa, M. Impact of sugar beet pectin and polydextrose on fasting and postprandial glycemia and fasting concentrations of serum total and lipoprotein lipids in middle-aged subjects with abnormal glucose metabolism. Eur J Clin Nutr 2006;60(9):1073-1080. View abstract.
Stevens, J., Ahn, K., Juhaeri, Houston, D., Steffan, L., and Couper, D. Dietary fiber intake and glycemic index and incidence of diabetes in African-American and white adults: the ARIC study. Diabetes Care 2002;25(10):1715-1721. View abstract.
Tamme, T., Reinik, M., Roasto, M., Juhkam, K., Tenno, T., and Kiis, A. Nitrates and nitrites in vegetables and vegetable-based products and their intakes by the Estonian population. Food Addit.Contam 2006;23(4):355-361. View abstract.
Thorsdottir, I., Andersson, H., and Einarsson, S. Sugar beet fiber in formula diet reduces postprandial blood glucose, serum insulin and serum hydroxyproline. Eur.J.Clin.Nutr. 1998;52(2):155-156. View abstract.
Watts, A. R., Lennard, M. S., Mason, S. L., Tucker, G. T., and Woods, H. F. Beeturia and the biological fate of beetroot pigments. Pharmacogenetics 1993;3(6):302-311. View abstract.
Arnold JT, Oliver SJ, Lewis-Jones TM, et al. Beetroot juice does not enhance altitude running performance in well-trained athletes. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2015;40:590-5. View abstract.
Ashor AW, Jajja A, Sutyarjoko A, et al. Effects of beetroot juice supplementation on microvascular blood flow in older overweight and obese subjects: a pilot randomised controlled study. J Hum Hypertens 2015;29:511-3. View abstract.
Bahadoran Z, Mirmiran P, Kabir A, Azizi F, Ghasemi A. The nitrate-independent blood pressure-lowering effect of beetroot juice: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Adv Nutr. 2017;8(6):830-838. View abstract.
Balsalobre-Fernández C, Romero-Moraleda B, Cupeiro R, Peinado AB, Butragueño J, Benito PJ. The effects of beetroot juice supplementation on exercise economy, rating of perceived exertion and running mechanics in elite distance runners: A double-blinded, randomized study. PLoS One. 2018;13(7):e0200517. View abstract.
Betteridge S, Bescós R, Martorell M, et al. No effect of acute beetroot juice ingestion on oxygen consumption, glucose kinetics, or skeletal muscle metabolism during submaximal exercise in males. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2016;120(4):391-8. View abstract.
Bondonno CP, Liu AH, Croft KD, et al. Absence of an effect of high nitrate intake from beetroot juice on blood pressure in treated hypertensive individuals: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2015;102:368-75. View abstract.
Boorsma RK, Whitfield J, Spriet LL. Beetroot juice supplementation does not improve performance of elite 1500-m runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2014;46:2326-34. View abstract.
Breese BC, McNarry MA, Marwood S, et al. Beetroot juice supplementation speeds O2 uptake kinetics and improves exercise tolerance during severe-intensity exercise initiated from an elevated metabolic rate. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2013;305:R1441-50. View abstract.
Buck CL, Henry T, Guelfi K, Dawson B, McNaughton LR, Wallman K. Effects of sodium phosphate and beetroot juice supplementation on repeated-sprint ability in females. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Oct;115(10):2205-13. View abstract.
Cermak NM, Res P, Stinkens R, et al. No improvement in endurance performance after a single dose of beetroot juice. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2012;22:470-8. View abstract.
Clifford T, Allerton DM, Brown MA, et al. Minimal muscle damage after a marathon and no influence of beetroot juice on inflammation and recovery. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2017;42:263-270. View abstract.
Clifford T, Bell O, West DJ, Howatson G, Stevenson EJ. The effects of beetroot juice supplementation on indices of muscle damage following eccentric exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016;116(2):353-62. View abstract.
Clifford T, Berntzen B, Davison GW, et al. Effects of beetroot juice on recovery of muscle function and performance between bouts of repeated sprint exercise. Nutrients 2016;8. pii: E506. View abstract.
Clifford T, Constantinou CM, Keane KM, West DJ, Howatson G, Stevenson EJ. The plasma bioavailability of nitrate and betanin from Beta vulgaris rubra in humans. Eur J Nutr. 2017;56(3):1245-1254. View abstract.
Clifford T, Howatson G, West DJ, Stevenson EJ. Beetroot juice is more beneficial than sodium nitrate for attenuating muscle pain after strenuous eccentric-bias exercise. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2017;42(11):1185-1191. View abstract.
Cuenca E, Jodra P, Pérez-López A, et al. Effects of beetroot juice supplementation on performance and fatigue in a 30-s all-out sprint exercise: A randomized, double-blind cross-over study. Nutrients. 2018;10(9):1222. View abstract.
de Castro APRB, da Cunha DT, Antunes AEC, Corona LP, Bezerra RMN. Effect of freeze-dried red beet (Beta vulgaris L.) leaf supplementation on biochemical and anthropometrical parameters in overweight and obese individuals: a pilot study. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2019;74(2):232-234. View abstract.
de Castro TF, de Assis Manoel F, Figueiredo DH, Figueiredo DH, Machado FA. Effects of chronic beetroot juice supplementation on maximum oxygen uptake, velocity associated with maximum oxygen uptake, and peak velocity in recreational runners: a double-blinded, randomized and crossover study. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2019;119(5):1043-1053. View abstract.
de Oliveira GV, Nascimento LADD, Volino-Souza M, Mesquita JS, Alvares TS. Beetroot-based gel supplementation improves handgrip strength and forearm muscle O(2) saturation but not exercise tolerance and blood volume in jiu-jitsu athletes. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2018;43(9):920-927. View abstract.
Dillen K, Demont M, Tillie P, Rodriguez Cerezo E. Bred for Europe but grown in America: the case of GM sugar beet. N Biotechnol 2013;30:131-5. View abstract.
Flueck JL, Bogdanova A, Mettler S, Perret C. Is beetroot juice more effective than sodium nitrate? The effects of equimolar nitrate dosages of nitrate-rich beetroot juice and sodium nitrate on oxygen consumption during exercise. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2016;41:421-9. View abstract.
Garnacho-Castaño MV, Palau-Salvà G, Cuenca E, et al. Effects of a single dose of beetroot juice on cycling time trial performance at ventilatory thresholds intensity in male triathletes. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018;15(1):49. View abstract.
Henrohn D, Björkstrand K, Lundberg JO, et al. Effects of oral supplementation with nitrate-rich beetroot juice in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension-results from BEET-PAH, an exploratory randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. J Card Fail. 2018;24(10):640-653. View abstract.
Hobbs DA, George TW, Lovegrove JA. Differential effect of beetroot bread on postprandial DBP according to Glu298Asp polymorphism in the eNOS gene: a pilot study. J Hum Hypertens. 2014;28(12):726-30. View abstract.
Hobbs DA, Goulding MG, Nguyen A, et al. Acute ingestion of beetroot bread increases endothelium-independent vasodilation and lowers diastolic blood pressure in healthy men: a randomized controlled trial. J Nutr. 2013;143(9):1399-405. View abstract.
Hoon MW, Johnson NA, Chapman PG, Burke LM. The effect of nitrate supplementation on exercise performance in healthy individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2013;23:522-32. View abstract.
Hoon MW, Jones AM, Johnson NA, et al. The effect of variable doses of inorganic nitrate-rich beetroot juice on simulated 2,000-m rowing performance in trained athletes. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2014;9:615-20. View abstract.
Jajja A, Sutyarjoko A, Lara J, et al. Beetroot supplementation lowers daily systolic blood pressure in older, overweight subjects. Nutr Res. 2014;34(10):868-75. View abstract.
Jonvik KL, van Dijk JW, Senden JMG, van Loon LJC, Verdijk LB. The Effect of beetroot juice supplementation on dynamic apnea and intermittent sprint performance in elite female water polo players. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018;28(5):468-473. View abstract.
MacLeod KE, Nugent SF, Barr SI, et al. Acute beetroot juice supplementation does not improve cycling performance in normoxia or moderate hypoxia. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2015;25:359-66. View abstract.
Montenegro CF, Kwong DA, Minow ZA, Davis BA, Lozada CF, Casazza GA. Betalain-rich concentrate supplementation improves exercise performance and recovery in competitive triathletes. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2017;42(2):166-172. View abstract.
Muggeridge DJ, Howe CC, Spendiff O, et al. A single dose of beetroot juice enhances cycling performance in simulated altitude. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2014;46:143-50. View abstract.
Muggeridge DJ, Howe CC, Spendiff O, et al. The effects of a single dose of concentrated beetroot juice on performance in trained flatwater kayakers. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2013;23:498-506. View abstract.
Mumford PW, Kephart WC, Romero MA, et al. Effect of 1-week betalain-rich beetroot concentrate supplementation on cycling performance and select physiological parameters. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2018;118(11):2465-2476. View abstract.
Murphy M, Eliot K, Heuertz RM, Weiss E. Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance. J Acad Nutr Diet 2012;112:548-52. View abstract.
Ninfali P, Angelino D. Nutritional and functional potential of Beta vulgaris cicla and rubra. Fitoterapia 2013;89:188-99. View abstract.
Ormesher L, Myers JE, Chmiel C, et al. Effects of dietary nitrate supplementation, from beetroot juice, on blood pressure in hypertensive pregnant women: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled feasibility trial. Nitric Oxide. 2018;80:37-44. View abstract.
Rahimi P, Mesbah-Namin SA , Ostadrahimi A, Abedimanesh S, Separham A, Asghary Jafarabadi M. Effects of betalains on atherogenic risk factors in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Food Funct. 2019;10(12):8286-97. View abstract.
Rasica L, Porcelli S, Marzorati M, et al. Ergogenic effects of beetroot juice supplementation during severe-intensity exercise in obese adolescents. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2018;315(3):R453-R460. View abstract.
Rokkedal-Lausch T, Franch J, Poulsen MK, et al. Chronic high-dose beetroot juice supplementation improves time trial performance of well-trained cyclists in normoxia and hypoxia. Nitric Oxide. 2019;85:44-52. View abstract.
Shepherd AI, Costello JT, Bailey SJ, et al. "Beet" the cold: beetroot juice supplementation improves peripheral blood flow, endothelial function, and anti-inflammatory status in individuals with Raynaud's phenomenon. J Appl Physiol. (1985) 2019;127(5):1478-90. View abstract.
Siervo M, Lara J, Ogbonmwan I, Mathers JC. Inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation reduces blood pressure in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Nutr 2013;143:818-26. View abstract.
Wong RH, Garg ML, Wood LG, Howe PR. Antihypertensive potential of combined extracts of olive leaf, green coffee bean and beetroot: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial. Nutrients. 2014;6(11):4881-94. View abstract.
Wylie LJ, Bailey SJ, Kelly J, et al. Influence of beetroot juice supplementation on intermittent exercise performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 2016;116:415-25. View abstract.
Wylie LJ, Kelly J, Bailey SJ, et al. Beetroot juice and exercise: pharmacodynamic and dose-response relationships. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2013;115(3):325-36. View abstract.
Zand J, Lanza F, Garg HK, Bryan NS. All-natural nitrite and nitrate containing dietary supplement promotes nitric oxide production and reduces triglycerides in humans. Nutr Res 2011;31(4):262-9. View abstract.
You Might Also Like
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.