One of my favorite things to tell clients is that they should find ways to cheat to reach their goals. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really think there are any free lunches overall… But, I do think there are things we can do to make reaching our goals easier. This actually applies to all areas of life, but for my clients, we’re talking about food and exercise. One of the most fun things I do is to find these ways of Cheating—then I share them with people, or actually, I usually get my clients to try them out so I can know if they work for real. Since my foundation for lifestyle goals is to get there through natural, clean, and healthy means, I don’t worry about side effects or dangers.
Some of my favorite ways to cheat include: coconut oil, gelatin, coconut flour, intermittent fasting, chlorella, fermented cod liver oil… and oh so many more!
But back to today’s topic.
I found an interesting way you can improve your endurance without training any differently! It’s so simple it doesn’t even seem possible.
It’s true. If you drink beet juice and then go on a bike ride a couple hours later, you’ll be able to cycle at the same pace while using less energy than you normally would. This translates to athletic performance by allowing you to work for longer before becoming fatigued (better race times—you don’t get tired and have to slow down). For average non-racing people it works the same way. It just helps us be more efficient at our cardio workouts so we can work out for longer (get more cardiovascular benefits over time, and burn more calories in a given workout).
If the natural nitrates in beets make it past your saliva (where it can be converted to non-boosting nitrite) and all the way into your blood vessels, their effects on muscle contraction, blood flow, and nerve transmission are the likely culprits for why this works. Athletes have become pretty serious about beets, even doing shots of concentrated beet juice before workouts to get the effects.
For regular people, it looks like we’ll get the best results by consuming 500ml of straight beet juice 2.5 hours before a cardio workout. That said, that’s a lot of beet juice (yuck!), and if you’re not used to consuming this it can also make you run for the toilet. I recommend that for us non-competitive athletes, we just work more beets into our lives. Beet juice actually does taste good when you mix it with other things! One of my favorite juices is a combo of beets, lemon, ginger, and apple. You can also eat beets a few hours before you work out, although the effects of this method haven’t been studied.
Here are some ways you can consume more beets!
Simple Pickled Beets – Small Footprint Family
Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Butternut Squash – The Sprouting Seed
Fermented Beets – Oh Lardy!
Marinated Golden Beets – Living Low Carb One Day at a Time
BBQ Sweets and Beets – Dr. Peggy Malone
What’s your favorite way to consume beets?
What’s your favorite way to cheat to reach your goals?