Beets: Super Food or Super Hype?
Last week, I talked about acai berry; and while I didn't come right out and say it, it's pretty easy to see there's a lot of hype behind that particular "superfood".  This week, I want to continue on the same like of skeptical analysis, with beets under the microscope.
If we take a look at beets (beetroot, table beet, garden beet, red beet, etc) from a macronutrient point of view, it doesn't seem to offer much; 1 cup equates to 100kcal, 4g F/17g C/3g F. Looks preferentially like a PWO veggie carb source.  As a side note, beets are used to create table sugar, due to the high sucrose content.  Looking at the micronutrients, the profile seems ok, but nothing really stands out. (Potassium and folate seems to be the winners.)
Where beets DO shine lies in the nitrate, betanin (this is what can turn exit materials alarmingly red), isobetanin, and vulgaxanthin concentrations.  I'm going to concentrate on the first, as that's where the ergogenic effects for athletes comes from.
Beets are a food that have one of the highest naturally occurring concentrations of nitrate; this nitrate is added to a "pool", and utilized in the nitric oxide cycle.  Simply speaking, nitrates cause a reduction in the oxygen cost of exercise.  Is this a big deal?  Yes, this is a big deal.  And, it's been studied:
Consensus?  True superfood for any athlete…and so much carry over in health and longevity (beyond the scope of this post) that these should be in your diet every week!
And to leave you with homework—tell ME where you think the preservative sodium nitrate, and the concern over nitrates lies in relation to the above information…and is it valid???
Mike Kesthely
5 rounds for time:
Run 400 m
30 walking lunges
– warm up specifically for both
– record when you feel pacing gets smooth on runs per 400 m
3 sets @ 95%:
10 TnG DL AFAP – 40% 1RM
AD 20 sec MAX effort
rest walk 4-6 min
3 sets @ 95%:
10 heavy russian swing
Row 20 sec MAX effort
rest walk 4-6 min
10 PS – 30% 1RM TnG AFAP
Run 20 sec @ 95%
walk rest 4-6 min
– speed and effort is goal in these sets
– extend rest times into late portions of 4-6 min as needed, record rest times
– ensure you open up hips and do specific prep prior to each of 3 sets
AD 3 min @ Z1
AD 35 sec @ 90% aer
rest walk 25 sec x 30 straight sets
3 min walk cool down
A. emom – 20 min – PC TnG x 2 – 80% 1RM
B. emom – 20 min – PS TnG x 2 – 76% 1RM
C. emom – 20 min – 2pd KBS x 6 + burpee x 6
– same work per set in AM for AD working sets
– record rpm avg per set in AM
– record weight used for PC and PS skill work
– record time/set for C
for times:
Row 1K time trial
rest 15 min
Row 1K time trial
rest 15 min
Row 1K time trial
– ensure you warm up with preloading the exact row pace you want
– work on breath control and perfect form from stroke 1 onward