Beetroot juice has become a popular health drink due to its many potential benefits. Some of the top touted benefits of drinking beetroot juice include lowering blood pressure, enhancing exercise performance, and fighting inflammation. But is it safe and effective to drink beetroot juice every day?
Benefits of Daily Beetroot Juice
Here are some of the key benefits associated with drinking beetroot juice daily:
1. May Lower Blood Pressure
Beets are high in nitrates, which the body converts into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps blood vessels relax and dilate, which lowers blood pressure. Studies show that drinking beetroot juice can significantly reduce blood pressure within just a few hours.
One study had participants drink either 250 mL (about 1 cup) of beetroot juice or water. After drinking the beetroot juice, participants saw an average 5-10 mmHg drop in blood pressure over a 6 hour period.
Another study in people with high blood pressure showed a maximum drop of 8/4 mmHg after drinking 500mL (about 2 cups) of beetroot juice daily for 4 weeks. While more research is needed, evidence suggests beetroot juice may help lower blood pressure, especially when consumed daily.
2. May Enhance Exercise Performance
Drinking beetroot juice daily may help boost athletic performance and increase stamina. Beetroot juice increases nitric oxide levels, which allows more oxygen to reach your muscles. This oxygen boost may help you workout longer or at a higher intensity.
One study showed that athletes who drank 500mL of beetroot juice daily for 6 days were able to exercise for up to 16% longer. Similar studies confirm improved time-to-exhaustion in cyclists, runners, and swimmers after drinking beetroot juice.
3. Contains Powerful Antioxidants
Beets provide a number of potent antioxidants including betalains, phenolics, and flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol. Antioxidants protect your cells against oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Oxidative stress contributes to chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods like beets may help defend against these conditions.
4. May Fight Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is at the root of most diseases. Beetroots contain pigments called betalains which exhibit potent anti-inflammatory abilities.
One rat study showed that beetroot juice reduced several markers of inflammation and protected against organ damage caused by inflammation.
More human research is needed, but the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of beetroot juice could promote good overall health if consumed regularly.
Downsides of Drinking Beetroot Juice Daily
Despite the potential benefits, there are some downsides to consider if you drink beetroot juice daily.
1. High in Sugar
Beets themselves are high in natural sugars. When juiced, the fiber is removed leaving only the liquid high-sugar concentrate.
One cup (240ml) of beetroot juice provides about 58 calories and 13 grams of sugar. For comparison, a 12 ounce can of Coke has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar.
While the sugar in beetroot juice is natural, it can still negatively impact blood sugar levels. Consuming beetroot juice daily could cause issues for those with diabetes or already high blood sugar.
2. Possible Kidney Stones
Beets are high in oxalate, a compound that can contribute to kidney stones when consumed in excess.
Those with a history of kidney stones may want to moderate their beetroot juice intake to avoid exacerbating the condition.
Drinking beetroot juice daily can cause beeturia, a harmless condition that turns your urine pink or red.
Beeturia occurs because betalains, the pigments that give beets their color, are broken down during digestion and absorbed into the bloodstream. About 10-14% of people experience beeturia after consuming beets.
While beeturia is not dangerous, it can be alarming if you’re not expecting it. Drinking beetroot juice daily essentially guarantees you’ll experience beeturia.
4. Medication Interactions
Nitrates in beetroot juice can interact with certain medications, especially drugs used for treating erectile dysfunction like Viagra or Cialis. Combining beetroot juice with these medications can cause your blood pressure to drop precipitously low.
Additionally, the nitric oxide from beetroot juice may interact with drugs used prior to surgery. It’s best to discuss beetroot juice with your doctor if you take any medications.
How Much Beetroot Juice Should You Drink Daily?
There’s no official recommended daily intake for beetroot juice. However, most studies showing benefits used between 500–1000ml per day.
This table summarizes some common dosages used in scientific research:
|Beetroot Juice Amount||Potential Benefits|
|250mL (1 cup)||May lower blood pressure over 6 hours|
|500mL (2 cups)||Improved time-to-exhaustion for athletes|
|500mL (2 cups)||Lower blood pressure over 4 weeks|
|1000mL (4 cups)||Improved cycling time-trial performance|
Aim for at least 1 cup (250mL) to receive benefits. You can potentially drink up to 4 cups (1 liter) daily, but monitor your body’s response. Start slow and work your way up.
To maximize the nitrate content, drink beetroot juice 2-3 hours before exercise or any activity where boosted performance is desired.
How to Incorporate More Beetroot Into Your Diet
Don’t enjoy drinking beetroot juice everyday? You can still reap the benefits of beets through other methods:
- Add raw beets to salads and sandwiches
- Lightly roast beet wedges seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper
- Blend beets into smoothies
- Make beet hummus
- Add beet powder to baked goods like muffins or waffles
Be creative and try incorporating more beets into your meals for a nutritional and antioxidant boost.
Safety and Side Effects
When consumed in normal food amounts, beets are safe for most people. But drinking beetroot juice daily or in large quantities may cause some side effects including:
- Stomach upset or diarrhea
- Kidney stones in susceptible individuals
- Low blood pressure
- Sugar spikes
Introduce beetroot juice gradually to assess your tolerance. Avoid drinking beet juice daily if you have diabetes, kidney issues, or take blood pressure or nitrate medications.
If you experience any negative side effects, stop consuming beetroot juice and talk to your healthcare provider.
The Bottom Line
Drinking beetroot juice daily offers a number of science-backed health benefits, including lower blood pressure, enhanced exercise performance, and decreased inflammation.
Aim for 1-2 cups (250–500mL) per day to improve health and maximize workout potential. Include other beet foods in your diet for additional benefits.
However, drinking too much beetroot juice daily could cause side effects like sugar spikes, kidney stones, and medication interactions in susceptible individuals.
If you have diabetes, kidney problems, or take nitrate drugs, talk to your healthcare provider before adding daily beetroot juice to your diet.
Overall, incorporating a moderate amount of beetroot juice as part of a healthy, balanced diet can provide impressive benefits for your health and performance.