Beetroot is something of a superstar supplement: it fights inflammation, reduces oxidative stress, and can even boost your performance in endurance exercise.
For these reasons, beet juice and beetroot supplements are popular among a wide range of fitness and health enthusiasts, and has been hailed as one of the top superfoods out there.
It’s also used as a core ingredient for many pre-workout drinks.
Our research team put together these rankings of the top beetroot supplements right now.
1. HumanN BeetElite
When it comes to beets for increasing athletic performance, BeetElite is the best choice. It’s the brand that is used by dozens of elite athletes and pro teams to increase performance, and it strikes a good balance between purity and usability.
Each serving contains the equivalent of six whole beets, and the powder is flavored with natural black cherry and stevia leaf extract. This eliminates the astringent, unpleasantly tart taste you can get from a pure beetroot juice powder, but it doesn’t introduce anything unnatural, it keeps the carb content low, and it doesn’t go overboard with extra ingredients.
The company also offers a lower-dosage beet supplement called SuperBeets, but BeetElite comes in a higher dose per package.
2. Ora Renewable Energy
Ora offers something new: a plant-based pre-workout energy supplement. As you might guess, the nitric oxide boosting effects of beetroot powder play a central role in this supplement.
Beetroot is accompanied by supplements like matcha and green coffee bean to boost energy, and coconut water for electrolytes.
If you want a workout supplement that doesn’t include artificial ingredients and flavors, Ora should be one of your top choices.
3. Havasu Beet Root Powder +
Havasu Beet Root Powder + is a strong candidate for people looking to improve their endurance exercise performance with a beetroot powder supplement.
It throws in some additional supplements like cordyceps mushrooms to boost your VO2 max and increase aerobic performance. These extras simultaneously make it better for athletes and worse for the general population.
If you just want to take beetroot for its health benefits, you don’t need these added ingredients, but these can make a big difference if you are running, cycling, swimming, or doing another endurance sport.
4. Lakewood Organic Pure Beet Juice
If powderized dried beets aren’t your thing, getting beetroot in juice form might be your best option. You can drink Lakewood Organic’s beetroot juice straight-up, but it also blends well into smoothies and protein shakes. The nutrients and antioxidants aren’t as concentrated in a juice form versus a powder, so you will have to drink more of it.
On the other hand, being able to consume beetroot in a variety of ways is never a bad thing. Another downside is the carbohydrate content–if you are trying to keep your carb intake low, juiced beets is not the way to go.
5. Starwest Botanicals Beetroot Powder
When it comes to bulk beet powder, Starwest Botanicals takes the crown. With a pure, organic product with a well-renowned reputation, Starwest is the best choice if you will be mixing up your own supplements or are looking for a pure beetroot powder to incorporate into a smoothie.
If you want a little something extra in your beetroot supplement, then there are other options out there.
6. VivaDeo Pure Beets
Pure Beets by VivaDeo offers a one hundred percent pure powdered form of beetroot, and it’s organic to boot. The organic source means you can be confident there are no pesticides or herbicides that make it into the supplement, and the lack of other ingredients keeps the calorie count low and the purity high.
It’s clearly geared towards people oriented towards improving their overall health, so there aren’t any ancillary ingredients to boost athletic performance, but sometimes that’s just what you want.
7. BulkSupplements Pure Beet Root Powder
Bulk Supplements comes through again for the rigorously minimal do it yourself-ers. They offer a large, highly pure package of beet root powder with nothing extra added. The downside for this supplement specifically is that you don’t know a whole lot about the source of the beetroot powder. For example, is it organic?
Other powder forms have a leg up on BulkSupplements in this situation for this specific reason. Still, BulkSupplements offers a quality beetroot product that’s hard to call a bad choice. If you want huge volumes of beetroot powder, BulkSupplements is the only way to go–you can get up to five kilograms in one bag!
8. Zhou Nutrition N.O. Pro
Zhou Nutrition makes one of the few beetroot based supplements that comes in capsule form. It includes a blend of amino acids alongside the beetroot powder; these are supposed to further augment the nitric acid boosting properties of the supplement.
The downside of the pill based form is you have to take a lot of them to get even a small dose of beetroot powder. Most people should opt for a powder based beetroot supplement so they can get a higher dosage of beets.
9. BPI Sports Health Green Tea Beetroot Fiber MCTs
If the name doesn’t give it away, one look at the ingredients list should reveal that this supplement is something of a hodgepodge of different supplement ingredients that are currently popular, and they don’t all necessarily go together.
Combining green tea extract and beetroot powder is a reasonable idea, since both may improve exercise performance, but adding fiber and MCTs to that mix doesn’t make sense if the purpose is increasing performance.
10. Premium Miracle Beets
Premium Miracle Beets is reasonably popular, but doesn’t back this popularity up with transparency. Its ingredients are locked up in a “proprietary blend”–yes, it contains beetroot powder, but it also contains grape seed extract, blueberry powder, cranberry powder, and nearly a dozen other ingredients.
The problem with the proprietary blend is that you can’t tell how much of each ingredient is included. With beetroot powder especially, you want to be able to measure your dosage out so you know you are getting the optimal amount. With a supplement like this, that’s not possible.
Who should buy beets?
Most of the health benefits of beets are oriented towards its ability to help your body produce nitric oxide, which helps relax your blood vessels and increase blood flow.
There are three primary health outcomes that have solid scientific evidence supporting beets: These are improved endurance performance, decreases in blood pressure, and maintaining or even boosting cognitive function.
If one or more of these benefits sounds like what you are looking for, beets are a great option.
How we ranked
When formulating our rankings of beet supplements, our first requirement was that the dosage of raw beet material be in line with scientific recommendations based on the latest research.
We referred to comprehensive, systematic reviews of all of the research on beets and beetroot conducted to date, which discuss dozens of different studies which use both liquid and solid beet extracts.
Since no decisive advantage appeared for one or the other form, we included both types in our rankings. However, we did eliminate products which had too little beet extract, or diluted beet juice with too many other ingredients.
The same was not true for tinctures and elixirs: because the recommended dose of beet juice or beet extract is fairly large, tinctures or elixirs are not an optimal form of delivering the nitrates in beets in supplemental form.
For this reason, we excluded products like HawaiiPharm Beet Root Glycerite, since it’s just not easy enough to get an effective dosage compared to other forms of beets. Then, we chose the best beet products from each category (flavored powder, raw beet powder, liquid juices, and capsule-based supplements) for further evaluation.
Next up, we looked at the other ingredients included in the beet products. Powder-form beet supplements are typically designed to be mixed with water as soon as you are ready to take the supplement, so they virtually always include flavoring and a non-caloric sweetener like stevia.
With the powder based supplements that remained on our list, we checked to see if they used natural sweeteners instead of artificial sweeteners, and likewise for artificial flavoring versus natural flavoring.
Products like HumanN Beet Elite, which uses black cherry flavoring and stevia for flavoring, scored well. We eliminated products that relied on sugar or artificial flavoring.
Finally, we cut products that had too much in the way of additional ingredients. While beet extract is included in many supplements alongside other ingredients to boost nitrate levels, we wanted to stick as close to the scientific literature as possible.
That means primarily or exclusively delivering beet in supplement form. So, products like N.O. Rush from Goliath by Dr. Emil didn’t make the final list, because of their heavy reliance on additional ingredients (we do have separate nitric oxide supplement rankings for more comprehensive products that aim to boost your body’s nitric oxide levels).
Beets are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Scientifically called “beta vulgaris,” beetroot is a highly nutritious root vegetable, which is also taken as a supplement.
It also rich in various plant compounds, such as inorganic nitrate, betanin and vulgaxanthin (1).
Both raw beetroot and its juice offer plenty of health benefits. This article will discuss all the health benefits of beetroot intake along with recommended dosage and possible side effects in detail.
Beets could help lower your blood pressure. Hypertension is a health condition in which blood pressure goes abnormally high which damages the heart and also the blood vessels. This condition has been identified as the biggest risk factor for cardiac diseases, stroke, and even premature death across the globe (2).
In this condition, high blood pressure leads to the thickening of the heart muscle which then needs a greater force for pumping blood. This action further injures the arteries and makes them stiffer. The stiffer the heart, the longer it takes to relax.
However, regular intake of beetroot juice can significantly reduce elevated levels of blood pressure. According to research studies conducted on nitric oxide and hypertension in the years 2014 and 2015 (3, 4), people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure by consuming a diet that is rich in inorganic nitrates (found in abundance in beetroot juice).
Beetroot is rich in inorganic nitrate content which converts into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is a biological messenger that passes through the arteries and sends signals to the muscle cells (present around the artery walls) to relax. When the muscle cells in the arteries relax, the blood vessels dilate, resulting in lower blood pressure.
A study conducted by a team of researchers in 2008 showed that the intake of beetroot juice can lower blood pressure level by nearly 3 to 10mm/Hg in a few hours (5).
Furthermore, researchers have confirmed that on a public health level such a reduction can equate to nearly 10 percent reduction in the number of deaths that occur due to cardiovascular diseases.
Also, if people with high blood pressure continue to drink beetroot juice on a daily basis, researchers say that it can have an even greater effect on their health.
Dietary nitrate found in beetroot juice offers cardiac benefits. This can be backed by a study ‘Heart & Circulatory Physiology’ that was published in the American Journal of Physiology. The research specifically focused on beetroot juice which is rich in dietary nitrate content and found out how it impacts patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases (6).
The research found that dietary nitrate content found in beetroot juice helped lower overstimulation of patient’s sympathetic nervous system in patients suffering from cardiac diseases. This further helped in keeping heart rate as well as blood pressure normal.
Drinking beetroot juice regularly can help slow down the progression of dementia. A study conducted by researchers at the Wake Forest University found out that beetroot juice helped improve oxygenation in the brain, which slowed down the progression of dementia.
Blood flow to different parts of the brain lowers with age which leads to cognitive decline and increases the chances of dementia. However, chances of developing this condition can be lowered through regular beetroot juice consumption.
Consumption of beetroot and beetroot juice can improve athletic performance. This improvement in performance and exercise duration is primarily because of dietary nitrate found in high concentration in this supplement. Studies show that increased levels of plasma nitrate can improve exercise tolerance, especially when athletes engage in long hours of endurance exercise and training.
Nitrates are known to reduce oxygen use when the body engages in physical activities by affecting mitochondria’s efficiency. Mitochondria are the cell organelles that are responsible for energy production through respiration (7).
Since beetroot improves the body’s oxygen use, it can also help increase stamina and result in better endurance exercise performance. This can be supported by a research study ‘the Effects of Dietary Nitrate on Oxygen Cost during Exercise’ (8). It was found that the juice extracted from beetroot improved athletic performance by nearly 2.8% or about 11 seconds during a 4 kilometer bicycle time-trail, and around 45 seconds in a time trail of 16.1 kilometer.
Rich in fiber content, beetroot is also helpful in keeping the digestive tract healthy. The fiber present in beetroot prevents constipation.
The numerous nutrients, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins found in beetroot such as folate, bioflavonoids, iron, Vitamin A, B and C and potassium keep the body healthy by fighting against diseases and preventing cell damage.
Nitrate from beets might help with erectile dysfunction. Since erectile dysfunction depends strongly on the ability of your body to redirect blood flow, a lack of a natural ability to produce nitric oxide (a natural vasodilator) can cause problems with sexual function and sexual wellness in men.
According to an interesting review by Nathan Bryan at the University of Texas Health Science Center, agents that promote nitric oxide production could assist with sexual dysfunction (8).
Typical supplements that provide your body with the prerequisites to synthesize nitric oxide on its own, like L-arginine, tend not to work, but the research we’ve already discussed suggests that beets might be able to assist through a different pathway.
While we definitely need more research, the possibility that beets could also help with sexual dysfunction is an exciting one, and given the excellent safety profile of beets, means that they might be worth a try for men with erectile dysfunction.
Careful observers will even notice the presence of beetroot and other nitrate-promoting ingredients in male enhancement pills and other sexual health supplements for men.
Beet supplementation can increase blood flow to your brain and improve cognitive performance. Since beets help your body generate nitric oxide, which in turn increased blood flow by inducing vasodilation, beets also appear to improve cognitive function.
This was demonstrated in a study published in 2015 in the journal Physiology & Behavior (9). In it, volunteers were given either a placebo supplement or a beet juice supplement, then completed a cognitively demanding task. During the task, the researchers measured blood flow to the brain, as well as performance on the task itself.
After analyzing the results, the researchers found that the beet juice both increased blood flow to the brain and improved performance on the cognitive task. These findings suggest that beet supplements could be a potent nootropic, enhancing mental as well as physical performance.
Beetroot is mostly well-tolerated by individuals. However, excessive use and consumption of beetroot can also have side effects on the body.
For example, oxalate is found in high levels in beetroot that is known to form kidney stones (9) Besides this, beetroot also contains FODMAPS. These are found in fructose form that are short-chain carbohydrates that help feed the bacteria in the gut.
In individuals with irritable bowel syndrome, it can upset the digestive system. Also, people who have hemochromatosis, which is an iron overload disease, should also avoid excessive beetroot consumption as it is rich in iron content.
Beet supplements can also turn your urine a reddish or pink color, but this is a benign side effect: it’s just from your body excreting the compound, and it will go away within a few days if you stop taking a beet supplement.
Whether or not you will get red/pink urine or feces after taking a beet supplement depends on gut flora, iron levels, and other factors that nutritionists don’t fully understand. The effects are harmless, though, and only occur in 10-14% of the population, so this phenomenon isn’t something you need to worry about.
The dose of beetroot is determined on the basis of its nitrate content. Usually, the nitrate target is around 0.1 to 0.2mmol/kg. It is nearly about 436 mg for a person who weighs 150 pounds.
Beetroot can be baked or eaten raw. In addition, it can also be consumed in the form of a smoothie or a puree.
Q: What is a beet supplement good for?
A: Beets contain naturally-occurring nitrates, which help your body produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning it helps your blood vessels relax and increases blood flow to your muscles and to your brain.
Nutritionists have found this property helpful on several fronts. First among these is improving athletic performance, especially in endurance events. The increased blood flow to muscles helps reduce oxygen consumption and increases your efficiency at submaximal intensities.
Cognitive performance improves with beet supplements too, thanks to the increased blood flow to the brain. Some research has indicated that this same property might even be useful for slowing the progression of dementia in older adults. Finally, beet supplementation has been used to reduce blood pressure, again thanks to its vasodilating effects.
Q: How many carbs are in a beetroot supplement?
A: The amount of carbs in a beetroot supplement depends entirely on the form of the supplement. Pure beetroot juice contains about 23 grams of carbohydrates (20 of which are naturally occuring sugar) per eight fluid ounce cup.
On the other hand, a pure beet extract has essentially no carbs. The same is true for powder based beet supplements that use a natural sweetener like stevia and a non-caloric flavoring agent. You’ll find several of these carb-free beet supplements in our top-ranked beet supplements.
Q: How do you take a beetroot supplement?
A: The optimal time to take a beetroot supplement to improve performance appears to be between 90 and 150 minutes before you exercise. In this sense, it’s a bit different than a pre-workout supplement you’d take right before going to the gym.
Beets require a bit more planning for maximum efficacy. Similar rules apply for the cognitive benefits of beets, since they too rely on the nitric oxide generated from the nitrates in beets.
If you want the benefits of chronic beet supplementation, it appears that you need to take a beet supplement or drink beet juice everyday for at least 15 days to see the benefits. Most research on beets is related to acute exercise performance, so research on its long-term health potential is ongoing.
Q: What is the most pure brand of beet supplement?
A: If purity is all you care about, we recommend Starwest Botanicals Beetroot Powder. This bulk powder-form supplement contains 100% pure beet powder with no stabilizers, flavoring agents, or sweeteners.
While other beet supplements are higher on our rankings, they achieved their higher place thanks to ease of use and taste, without compromising much on purity.
Q: How much cooked beet is equivalent to a beet supplement?
A: To get the amount of nitrate from cooked beets that you’d get from a beet supplement, you’d need a pretty hefty serving of beets: 8 mmol of nitrate is the standard effective dose in scientific studies, and it takes 12 ounces of cooked beets, or about 344 grams, to achieve this nitrate dosage.
In terms of beet juice, it only takes about 150 ml of liquid to get the equivalent dosage. After looking over these numbers, it’s pretty clear why beet supplements are so popular: getting a strong performance enhancing effect would require a tremendous and probably unpalatable amount of cooked beets in your diet.
Q: How much beet juice supplement should you drink?
A: In terms of (pure) beet juice supplement, research has been conducted on doses ranging from as little as 70 ml to as much as 500 ml.
The most effective dosage appears to be at least 150 ml (five fluid ounces). Doses lower than this don’t provide enough nitrates to help your body increase its nitric oxide production. Beyond 150 ml, it’s not clear whether more beet juice, and therefore more nitrates, are better.
Taking beets for athletic performance is a fairly new strategy, so there haven’t been a huge number of studies that examine the dose-response relationship between beet juice volume and athletic performance. Certainly, nothing over 500 ml seems warranted.
Q: How much beet juice is safe?
A: The safety of beet juice for health adults is excellent. No studies on beet juice for performance have reported any harmful side effects linked to beet juice. A few health conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome and people at risk for kidney stones, might be negatively affected by beet juice, but healthy adults don’t need to worry about these.
Red/pink urine or feces is a “side effect” that occurs in 10-14% of the population, but this is a harmless side effect. The real question is “how much beet juice is necessary,” and the answer to that seems to be at least 150 ml, and there’s no evidence that more than 500 ml is helpful or necessary.
Q: How often should you take a beet supplement?
A: If you are looking purely for the performance enhancing effects of beets, you only need to take a beet supplement on days where you are going to do a high intensity workout or a cognitively demanding task.
If, however, you are looking for the chronic benefits of beet supplementation, such as lowered blood pressure, taking a beet supplement once per day for at least 15 days is necessary to start seeing the benefits.
So far, research has focused on one single dose of beets per day, and has not examined whether splitting the dosage up across the day would be more beneficial.
Q: Should you take beets and caffeine together?
A: Caffeine is another very potent performance enhancer, especially when it comes to endurance performance. Interestingly, some preliminary evidence suggests that beet supplements and caffeine can interact in a negative way, attenuating some of the improvements in blood flow that is associated with beet supplements.
This could be because caffeine induces a vasoconstricting effect, which reduces blood flow to the brain (caffeine pills are often used for headaches for this reason), while beets are vasodilators: they increase blood flow, which is a big part of their performance enhancing effects.
It should be noted that the research on the beet/caffeine interaction is preliminary, and more work needs to be done to confirm them, so don’t write off both as part of a performance enhancement stack just yet.
Beetroot is a highly nutritious root vegetable that can lower blood pressure, improves cardiac health, fights diseases and prevent cell damage.
It also helps slow down the progression of dementia in seniors. However, excessive consumption of beetroot can result in kidney stones and disrupt the digestive system of those that suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
For BodyNutrition‘s #1 beet recommendation, click here.