The beet juice revolution among endurance athletes has roots in a 2009 study done by Exeter University in the United Kingdom. Its findings were pretty simple: drinking regular beet juice increased blood nitrate levels and reduced resting blood pressure.
Also, and perhaps more importantly for runners, it reduced oxygen consumption during moderate running and increased time to exhaustion by 15 percent.
At the time that the study started making its way around endurance sports circles, there were few beet-related products marketed toward endurance athletes. As a result, Olympic athletes, Tour de France riders and even age-group endurance athletes had to make beet juice the old-fashioned way—which is probably ideal, of course, though often messy—while awaiting the market of beet-related products.
Well, those products have arrived.
RELATED: Beet Juice: The Drink of Champions
Due to increased media attention on the super vegetable and its perceived benefits for endurance, beetroot juice has become vogue among athletes of all levels. The Auburn University football team drinks it. Ryan Hall has said he consumes it. So do top professional cyclists. And its surge in popularity with the general public is reflective in the market, which now has plenty of options geared specifically toward athletes.
We tested a few of them out: