Project Beet Juice

Beets Beet Root Beet Juice

First, I want to thank those of you who have been following, sharing and contributing to this project. I appreciate your contributions and am delighted by your interest. Hopefully, you will find the information below of some benefit in your own training.

That said, I would like to offer my not quite final thoughts on my personal results. Not quite because I plan to give this another round later this month, as part of my training and prep for the Dam to Dam 20k, June 2. I’d like to include some additional products, and try juicing my own fresh beets! Stay tuned for that.

First, here’s a recap of my trials:

Day 1:

BeetElite Powder
BeetElite Single Serve Powder

Product – Beet Elite 10g Single serve pack (mix w/4-6 ozs of water)

Went out for a short run about 30-40 minutes after drinking the Beet Elite supplement. Was not “feeling it” at all, but my desire to get the low down on this beet juice thing and my 10k race coming up on Sunday got me moving. Mile one was pretty much as expected… kind of a slog. But consecutive miles seemed to come a little easier. When the final numbers were up, I had shaved 1:30 off my 5k PR (which I set less than a week ago). AND actually felt much better at the end of my run than I did at the beginning.

Day 2:

Product – R. W. Knudsen Organic Beet Juice (8 oz serving)

RW Knudsen Organic Beet Juice
R.W. Knudsen Organic Beet Juice

I switched my workout schedule this week, so today was strength training with no run. Did about 1.5 hours of leg and core work after having my serving of beet juice. I felt strong for most

of my workout but didn’t notice any measurable increase in performance at the gym. I plan to use this same product for a few more days, which will allow me to get a run in while using it.

Items of note: The serving size of today’s juice was 8 oz. twice as much liquid volume as yesterday’s powder (which calls for 4-6oz of water). The juice was very “earthy” tasting, which makes the larger serving more of an issue. So far, the Beet Elite wins in the taste column.

Day 3:

Product – R. W. Knudsen Organic Beet Juice (8 oz serving)

Carried my serving of beet juice on the road with me today, so I could have it just before my hike with Austin Trail Running It was an easy 3 mile hike, so not much to say here. I had hoped to get a run in while drinking this same product, but I finished the bottle today. Will try this one again on another round. Tomorrow I should receive my shipment of Beet It Sport and will use that until after my race on Sunday.

Items of note: So far, I have not noticed the discoloration of my “wastes” as many users have mentioned. Not terribly disappointed though 

Day 4:

Product: Beet It Sport – 2.4 oz concentrated beet juice shots

My package of Beet It Sport shots arrived just minutes before we left for today’s strength training session. That being the case, Sandy and I decided to go ahead and have one before heading to the gym.

At 2.4 oz. These shots are the smallest liquid volume of any of the products we have tried. Ironically, these may be the best tasting so far. They are definitely Sandy’s favorite and are top two for me (with the Beet Elite powder being my other fave)

Beet It Sport Concentrated Beet Juice Shots
Beet It Sport Concentrated Beet Juice Shots

Again, with the gym workout, I didn’t expect to see a noticeable performance gain, but I did feel like I was recovering more quickly between my sets. Sandy also mentioned feeling less tired after the workout.

We will be doing a shakeout run tomorrow in preparation for our 10k on Sunday. It will be interesting to see how we feel on a run after using the Beet It Sport shots for a couple days.

Items of note: Still have not noticed the discoloration of my “wastes” as many users have mentioned. I just wonder how much beet product those folks are consuming, or better yet how little water they are drinking? Lol!

Day 5:

Product: Beet It Sport – 2.4 oz concentrated beet juice shots

Our shakeout run turned into a rained out run. No testing today, but we did still have our shot since we are prepping for our 10k on Sunday.

Day 6:

Product: Beet It Sport – 2.4 oz concentrated beet juice shots

Did a short, slow run to loosen up the legs in preparation for our 10k race. The run felt pretty normal, but we didn’t really push it hard since we are racing tomorrow.

Day 7:

Product: Beet It Sport – 2.4 oz concentrated beet juice shots

Today was our 10k race, the Silicon Labs Sunshine Run. We each had Beet It Sport shots about 45 minutes before start time. Sandy was nursing some hamstring soreness, so she decided not to push it (but did complete the race! Go Sandy! #neverquit) I decided that I would run my own race and push for the better proof of time I was in search of (for Wine & Dine at Walt Disney World corral placement) and for the sake of this project.

My run felt good, and at the 5k split, I was about 3 or 4 minutes ahead of my 5k PR (still not my sub-30 5k, but that leaves something for me to work on next time). I pushed myself, and even though the out and back course was uphill for the last few miles I finished with a 10k PR that was over 10 minutes faster than my previous PR, which was set just a couple weeks ago at the Cap 10k (previous 1:22:58 – new 1:11:03).

I’m not going to say it was easy. I pushed myself and was pretty determined to get that faster POT. I worked hard and didn’t leave much in the tank.

So, the question is, did the beet products give me a boost of performance or extra endurance? Looking at the results on paper would definitely point to a resounding yes! But paper doesn’t know how I felt during the run, how hard I pushed myself, how driven I was to break my PR and even how I felt after the race. On the flipside, I can’t go back and do it over without using the beet products. So where does that leave me? Here’s what I know for sure:

  • I knocked quite a chunk out of my 10k PR (almost 10%), in a matter of only a few weeks
  • My 5k split was about 3 minutes faster than the 5k PR which I set just 6 days prior, on Day 1 of this project
  • I pushed myself, but never to the point of failure (and didn’t barf)
  • I was tired after the race but recovered very quickly
  • I didn’t experience any adverse effects from any of the products that I tested

I understand that my sample here was pretty small. Which means I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying with a doubt that there was a positive effect. However, there definitely was not any negative effect. Since this is a food product and not a chemical substance, I would definitely recommend giving it a try. I do plan to try this again before my 20k in a few weeks in order to give it another test under different circumstances (weather, environment, etc).

For those of you who would like to give these products a try, here is some additional info you might find helpful.

Taste – My favorite for taste was the Beet Elite 10g Single serve pack (dark cherry flavor). To me, this one had the least earthy taste of all the products tried. Sandy noticed a slight artificial sweetener aftertaste with the Beet Elite, and she preferred the Beet It Sport shots, which were my second favorite in taste. The R.W. Knudsen Organic Beet Juice was just that, beet juice and sorry, but beets taste like dirt.

Convenience/Portability – For convenience the beet juice, and the beet juice shots were ready to drink and required no mixing. The beet juice, however, was a little awkward to carry and consume on the fly. For this, the beet juice shots were the best. I would also consider the single serve Beet Elite packs, to be ultra portable (great for a backpacking trip) but do require water, and mixing.

Price – At $4.98 for a 32oz bottle, the R. W. Knudsen Organic Beet Juice was the value winner (about $1.25 per serving) but lacked in taste and portability. The most expensive product I tested was the Beet It Sport – 2.4 oz concentrated beet juice shots (about $3.30 per serving) although these tasted much better than the beet juice, and were more portable.  Weighing in at $2.79 each (a little less in the 10 serving multipack, and even less by the canister) the Beet Elite single serve packs were ultra-portable, and my winner in the taste category.

So there ya have it. I hope I have shed at least a little light on the subject of beet products and their endurance enhancing abilities. All-in-all I would say beets are a win. If nothing else, they are a veggie and are good for you in that respect. I will definitely add these (and other beet products) to my training regimen in the future. But don’t just take my word for it. Go out there and do some research of your own. What do you have to lose (other than maybe an old PR or two!)? And as always, if you have an experience to share, a product suggestion, a funny story, or even a differing opinion, please share it in the comments below.

Happy training! -Fatman

Lloyd and Sandy with Beet It Sport Shorts Beet Juice
The Lab rats!