The benefits of beet juice have been under scrutiny for years now, and as health awareness grows with a demand for natural alternatives to performance snacks, more and more studies seem to pop up confirming the power vegetable's status. Beet Performer is one of the providers out there that is pushing the nitrate heavy juice to athletes, citing some of the clinical studies that prove its ability to improve stamina, strength and recovery. The science is real and involves the biological benefits of nitrate consumption.

Mysterious ingredients and the high sugar content of conventional energy supplements have led a swarm of athletes in search of natural replacements. Finding a natural supplement that provides the endurance enhancing qualities of the artificial impostors is difficult. After all, replicating a sugar rush and caffeine-induced performance boost is near impossible with natural ingredients. But recent studies are revealing the benefits of beet juice via the high nitrate content of the vegetable that induce nitric oxide generation in the blood. Through a series of chemical reactions in the body, the nitrates (NO3-) contained in beet juice is converted to nitric oxide (NO), which has been shown to reduce the amount of oxygen needed to produce energy during exercise.

In a study by Lee J. Wylie et al. in the Journal of Applied Physiology, 10 males were put through moderate to intense cycling exercises while using beet juice as a supplement. The study found there was a reduction in oxygen consumption, VO2, when moderate doses of beetroot juice were consumed vs. non-consumption VO2 levels. Wylie et al. are not alone in their findings as a similar study in PubMed found supportive results on the consumption of oxygen as well as improvements in time-trial performance.

My experience with Beet Performer was not a measured lab experiment but I did enjoy its lack of additives and processed sugar. Taken during and before an intense bike ride, I was not in want of any other supplements during my rides and had ample energy for sprints and long climbs. Mentally, my focus never wavered and I felt confident I was going to nail my line every time. I felt fueled up for the duration of my ride, which I attribute to the Beet Performer.

Beet Performer comes in 2 flavors, beet with B12 and beet with passion fruit juice. The B12 juice is a more natural beet flavor while the passion fruit flavor, as the name suggests, is sweeter. Although I had my reservations at first, the veggie juice was enjoyable and I found myself disappointed when I hit the bottom of the can. Both painted my tongue red when consumed, but who would notice on the trail when you're flying past them? Unless perhaps if you're Gene Simmons.

In the past there were conflicting studies on the actual benefits of beets, but the scientific community has moved to the conclusion that there is a noticeable effect on the performance of athletes when consuming beet juice. My ride was definitely improved after consuming Beet Performer 1 hour before riding and I had plenty of energy leftover. A 12-pack of Beet Performer is going for $33.98 on the website which breaks down to just over $3 a ride to ensure your getting the most out of your workout. Check out the website for ways to purchase Beet Performer online or locate a nearby store that carries the brand.