Enhance Sports Performance with the Power of Beets

True Protein Blogger 1 by Scott Tindal | Performance Nutritionist 26 October 2020

Consumption of nitrate-containing foods and supplements has been shown to improve the efficiency of working muscles to reduce the work required to achieve the same result. Find out how to take them to optimise your performance!

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Enhance Sports Performance with the Power of Beets

Nitrates are certainly a trending buzz word in the sporting world. The portrayal of their benefits within social and mass media certainly paints a very bright (purple) picture. You may have read our article on how nitrates enhance overall health - if not, you may benefit from reading it prior to the below, which will dive into how they can boost your athletic performance.

To sum up:

  • For sports performance improvement, 400mg nitrates are required to be consumed for at least five to seven days consecutive prior to a sporting event

  • Nitrates peak in the blood approximately 2 hours after consumption - this should be a consideration for your chosen sport

  • Up Beet contains 400+mg nitrates for a performance serve (3 tablespoons) - the equivalent of 450-500g beetroot, celery or spinach.

  • Up Beet has been independently tested and verified by the Australian Government to contain 400+mg nitrates per 21g serve

  • Consumption of nitrate-containing foods and supplements has been shown to improve the efficiency of working muscles to reduce the work required to achieve the same result

Boost Performance Naturally

When we regularly participate in exercise, training and sport we invariably become more efficient at the same level of intensity and therefore have a perceived reduction in effort. This takes into account mechanical, neurological and physiological processes.

Consumption of nitrate-containing foods and supplements has been shown to improve the efficiency of working muscles to reduce the work required to achieve the same result. In the context of exercise, it means your athletic capacity can be improved. Breaking it down even further - it means you can go further and longer at the same intensity without fatiguing (1,2) - something that pretty much what everyone wants when it comes to sports with an aerobic element.

 

What do nitrates do?

Nitrate supplementation has been shown to reduce the ATP and PhosphoCreatine (PCr) cost (energy production at the cellular level) associated with producing muscular contractions, effectively reducing the amount of PCr utilised for the given work completed. Subsequently, nitrates enhance muscle contractile efficiency in addition to improving the efficiency of the cellular metabolism for energy production (oxidative phosphorylation)(1-4,8). To sum up: you can perform more contractions with less energy being required to do so, thus improved efficiency is achieved. 

Studies have demonstrated that increased dietary nitrate intake for five to seven consecutive days resulted in more than a fourfold increase in saliva and plasma nitrate, nitrite and subsequent nitric oxide. Through the study of nitrate-rich supplements meeting the criteria of 400mg nitrates, we have seen improvements in the reduced cost of oxygen uptake and improved efficiency in walking, running, rowing, cycling and repeated sprint exercises.

This improved efficiency is not limited to any particular demographic, with the benefits being seen in all age groups studied including untrained males, trained males and females, healthy men and women along with patients suffering from peripheral artery disease (2). It is exciting to see that the benefits of nitrate supplements can assist young and old, male and female and also those individuals who are attempting to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

It should be noted that if you are an elite or highly training athlete then the results may not be as impressive. Research investigating the effect on professional cyclists has been equivocal and this may be explained by the enhanced physiological system of these athletes and their pre-existing high levels of nitric oxide that is already produced endogenously (inside their body)(9).

 

Introducing: Up Beet

True are pleased to announce the launch of our brand-new product Up Beet, a scientifically supported dosage of 400mg+ dietary nitrates to boost everyday energy and sports performance. 

 

True Up Beet is made from 100% natural beetroot powder extract, one of the world’s richest sources of dietary nitrates. The benefits of adding nitrates to your diet include:

  • Increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles
  • Improved muscle efficiency and performance
  • Enhanced immunity and wellbeing

Optimised Dosage

In order to achieve the sports-related benefits of nitrates or beetroot powder, the dosage to be consumed is higher than that required to provide basic health benefits(3). Studies on the optimal dosage of dietary nitrates in regards to enhanced athletic performance suggest 400mg is the magic number. True Up Beet has been formulated in conjunction with our trusted advisory board of Accredited sports dieticians, nutrition experts and fitness professionals to ensure our product not only meets but exceeds this standard. 

Up Beet has been verified by the National Measurement Institute of Australia, a government facility responsible for maintaining Australia’s standards of measurement. The analysed nutritional properties of Up Beet confirm that it contains no less than 2% nitrates. Due to its higher water-soluble nature, our beetroot extract has more bioavailability, further enhancing its absorption. The results are attached (here) and viewable on our website alongside the nutritional information panel (NIP).

Having said this, exceeding the recommended sporting dose is not reported to have an increased effect on performance - so please do not waste your precious Up Beet by taking more than is recommended!

How to take Up Beet for Boosted Athletic Performance

Studies have revealed that subjects' athletic performance was enhanced when taking 400mg dietary nitrate supplements for seven consecutive days. For this reason, we recommend upping your consumption of Up Beet to the sports dosage of three tablespoons per day in the lead up to your athletic event. This maximises the levels of nitric oxide (NO) in the body and can lead to results including improved time to exhaustion, improved VO2 by demonstrating a reduced uptake of oxygen for the same amount of work, increased peak power output, improved time trial performance and repeated sprint efforts(7).

The other important factors to consider is that peak NO levels will occur around two-three hours after ingestion of a nitrate-containing supplement or food. If you believe your sporting event will require you to have peak levels of NO in your body, aim to time the intake of the nitrate-containing food/supplement accordingly.  

Please note: Do not take Up Beet after using mouth wash!(4) As highlighted in our health benefits of nitrates article, salivary organisms are crucial for the formation of nitric oxide from nitrates. Without them, the formation of NO is depleted and the foods and supplements you are consuming could be rendered useless.

Make sure you have tried and tested taking Up Beet prior to a sporting event to make sure it sits well with your body. Do not take it for the first time on the day of an important sporting event - this is a cardinal rule for any supplement, Up Beet is no different!

 

Tested for True Potency 

In the world of sports supplementation, not all products are created equally. Several studies have investigated various beetroot powder supplements on the market and unfortunately, most do not deliver what they claim to contain. Gallardo & Coggan tested 26 supplements in 2019 (7). Only five of the beetroot powder supplements tested had the claimed amount of nitrates within them.

Always striving to refine and innovate our products through research and development, we have had Up Beet analysed and tested by the National Measurement Institute of Australia, a government facility responsible for maintaining Australia’s standards of measurement. The results confirmed the 400mg+ dosage of each serve, as True Up Beet utilises a standardised red beetroot extract that contains no less than 2% nitrates. Due to its higher water-soluble nature, the beetroot extract has more bioavailability, further enhancing its absorption. The results are attached (here) and viewable on our website alongside the nutritional information panel (NIP).

Shot it down or mix it up!

Up Beet allows for a convenient and delicious method of increasing dietary nitrates in conjunction with a diet full of vegetables and salads. 

The preferred method of consuming the supplement is really up to you! You will find that Up Beets works extremely well in tandem with some of our other natural performance-boosting supplements. Here are some of our favourite ways to take it:

Shoot it down

The quickest and easiest way to go. Mix three tablespoons with 70-150ml water and shoot it down

With Greens & Creatine

Greens adds a natural hit of micronutrients and delicious taste, while Creatine has shown promising additional ergogenic benefits (5). Add three tablespoons to 150-300ml water, ice, one scoop of True GREENS, ½ frozen banana, one scoop True CREATINE MONO and blend.  

With Pre

The addition of PRE works well due to the natural concomitant effect of caffeine and nitrates (6). Add three tablespoons to 150-300ml water, ice cubes, 1 scoop True PRE and blend.

Knowing that beetroot can be an acquired taste, we have used cherry concentrate to add some sweetness and bite to our blend. It’s perfect in fruit smoothies or enjoyed on its own with water and ice, making it a standout in the market (compared to currently available beetroot concentrates which are barely palatable). 

 

It is certainly worth trialling a few different blends and seeing how your body responds to the addition of extra supplements. Taste will also be a major factor in how you tolerate these mixtures - but we know you’ll love the flavour of Up Beet!

References

  1. Larsen et al. 2011. Dietary inorganic nitrate improves mitochondrial efficiency in humans. Cell Metab. 2011, 13, 149–159

  2. Clements, William T et al. “Nitrate ingestion: a review of the health and physical performance effects.” Nutrients vol. 6,11 5224-64. 18 Nov. 2014 Nitrite and Nitrate in Human Health and Disease.

  3. Wylie, Lee J et al. “Beetroot juice and exercise: pharmacodynamic and dose-response relationships.” Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985) vol. 115,3 (2013): 325-36.

  4. Clements, William T et al.“Nitrate ingestion: a review of the health and physical performance effects.” Nutrients vol. 6,11 5224-64. 18 Nov. 2014

  5. Galvan et al. Acute and chronic safety and efficacy of dose dependent creatine nitrate supplementation and exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016;13:12.

  6. Lane et al Single and combined effects of beetroot juice and caffeine supplementation on cycling time trial performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014;39(9):1050–7.

  7. Breese, Brynmor C et al. “Beetroot juice supplementation speeds O2 uptake kinetics and improves exercise tolerance during severe-intensity exercise initiated from an elevated metabolic rate.” American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology vol. 305,12 (2013).

  8. Bondonno et al, 2015. Short-Term Effects of a High Nitrate Diet on Nitrate Metabolism in Healthy Individuals. Nutrients 2015, 7, 1906-1915.

  9. Nyakayiru, Jean M et al. “No Effect of Acute and 6-Day Nitrate Supplementation on VO2 and Time-Trial Performance in Highly Trained Cyclists.” International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism vol. 27,1.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: all content provided here is of a general nature only and is not a substitute for individualised professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and reliance should not be placed on it. For personalised medical or nutrition advice, please make an appointment with your doctor, dietitian or qualified health care professional.

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