Is beet juice good for losing weight?

With the popularity of juicing and smoothies for health and weight loss, beet juice has emerged as a potential superfood. Beets are packed with beneficial nutrients like folate, manganese, and potassium. Some claim that beet juice can not only help with weight loss, but provide energy, improve stamina, and decrease blood pressure.

But is drinking beet juice actually an effective way to lose weight? Or are the benefits over-hyped? Here’s a comprehensive look at the science behind beets, beet juice, and weight loss.

An Overview of Beet Nutrition

Beets, also known as beetroot, are the taproot portion of the beet plant. Beets are usually a deep reddish-purple color, but can also be golden or rainbow-colored. They have an earthy, rich flavor and are eaten cooked, raw, or juiced.

Some of the key nutrients found in beets include:

  • Folate – important for cell growth and DNA formation
  • Manganese – helps form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones
  • Potassium – maintains fluid balance and nerve transmission
  • Vitamin C – supports immune function and collagen formation
  • Betaine – decreases homocysteine levels to lower heart disease risk
  • Nitrates – converted into nitric oxide to dilate blood vessels and improve circulation

Beets are very low in calories, with only 59 calories in one whole medium beet. They have a high water content and are fat-free and cholesterol-free.

Weight Loss Benefits of Beet Juice

Drinking beet juice regularly may potentially help with weight loss in several ways:

Increased Nutrient Absorption

Beets are high in fiber, providing 4 grams per beet. Fiber slows digestion, keeps you feeling full for longer, and supports healthy digestion and nutrient absorption. This can prevent overeating and promote weight loss.

Liver Detoxification

Animal studies have found that beetroot juice enhances liver detoxification enzymes. Your liver helps metabolize fat, so improving liver function with beet juice could aid weight loss.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Chronic inflammation is linked to obesity. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in beets, like betalains, may help suppress inflammation. This could make weight management easier.

Increased Energy and Endurance

Research shows that nitrate-rich beet juice can boost energy, stamina, and exercise performance. This allows you to exercise longer and burn more calories and fat.

Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is associated with obesity. The nitrates in beet juice help dilate blood vessels to decrease blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure could improve overall metabolic and heart health to further support weight loss.

Possible Drawbacks of Beet Juice for Weight Loss

Despite the potential benefits, there are some disadvantages to consider when drinking beet juice for weight loss:

High in Sugar

Beets have 10 grams of sugar per beet. Juicing beets concentrates the sugars. Consuming too much added sugar can lead to weight gain, not loss.

Temporary Side Effects

Some people experience temporary side effects from beet juice like diarrhea, stomach cramps, and red stool. This could discourage drinking it regularly.

Nutrients Lost During Juicing

Juicing beets removes the fiber content, causing a loss of nutrients and fullness. Blending beets into smoothies retains more fiber for greater health benefits.

High in Calories If Mixed with Other Ingredients

Store-bought beet juice often has high amounts of added sugar, fruit juices, or other mix-ins that significantly increase the calorie and sugar content compared to straight beet juice.

Beet Juice for Weight Loss Results from Studies

Several studies have looked specifically at the impacts of beet juice on weight loss. Here are some of the key findings:

Study Methods Results
Randomized control trial in 19 overweight/obese adults (2018) Consumed 140ml concentrated beet juice or placebo daily for 3 days Beet juice significantly lowered insulin resistance but did not decrease body weight
Study in 12 healthy adults (2019) Consumed 500ml high-nitrate beetroot juice or placebo for 7 days Beet juice lowered insulin resistance and visceral fat thickness compared to placebo
Clinical trial in 24 obese individuals (2020) Consumed 100ml beetroot-carrot juice or placebo for 90 days Juice group lost significantly more body fat mass with no change in weight vs placebo

Overall, research suggests beet juice could potentially improve markers of metabolic health like insulin resistance in overweight/obese people. Lowering insulin resistance helps regulate blood sugar levels and metabolism to support easier weight control.

However, most studies did not find significant decreases in overall body weight from beet juice. More extensive, long-term studies are still needed, but evidence is lacking that beet juice directly causes notable weight loss.

How to Add Beet Juice to Your Diet

If you want to try beet juice to harness any potential weight loss benefits, here are some tips:

Drink 2-4 Ounces Per Day

Stick to a small serving of 2-4 ounces per day. Larger amounts could cause temporary digestive side effects. Start with a 1 ounce shot and work up from there.

Focus on Fresh Beet Juice

Juice fresh beets yourself or look for 100% pure beet juice without added sugars or juices. Added ingredients spike calories and carbs.

Try a Beet-Carrot or Beet-Apple Juice

Mix beet juice with low-sugar fruits/veg like carrots or green apples to enhance the flavor and dilute the earthiness.

Consume Before Exercise

Drink beet juice 2-3 hours before your workout. Studies show benefits on performance when taken at this timing.

Avoid Juicing Too Frequently

Aim for 2-3 times per week rather than daily to prevent excessive sugar intake and minimize potential digestive issues.

The Bottom Line

Beets and beet juice contain many nutrients and compounds that may promote weight loss, like fiber, antioxidants, and nitrates. Drinking small amounts of beet juice could potentially help boost metabolism, energy, and exercise performance.

However, the evidence that beet juice directly increases significant weight loss is lacking. Some studies reveal only minor decreases in body fat, but not weight.

If you enjoy the taste and want to include beet juice in a healthy diet focused on whole foods, lean proteins, veggies, and fiber, it may offer general health benefits. But don’t rely on beet juice alone as a magic solution for weight loss.

For most people, the best way to lose weight involves a combination of a calorie-controlled diet, regular exercise, and other lifestyle changes. But adding a small daily serving of beet juice could be a tasty adjunct.

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