FAQs

What is the difference between Beet It Organic shots and Beet It Sport shots? . . .

Beet It Organic shots (black labelling) contain 300mg of nitrate, Beet It Sport shots (silver labelling) contain 400mg of nitrate – both from concentrated beetroot juice. Beet It Organic shots are designed to contribute to a healthy active lifestyle, whereas Beet It Sport shots are designed specifically for sports performance.

How much nitrate is in the Beet It Sport shots, bars and nitrate 3000? . . .

Beet It Sport shots: 400mg; Beet It Sport bars: 200mg; Beet It Sport nitrate 3000: 3000mg

What is dietary nitrate? . . .

Dietary nitrate is a molecule found naturally in the diet in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, rocket and beetroot.

How is dietary nitrate turned into nitric oxide? . . .

Summary: Dietary nitrate is converted to nitrite by bacteria on the tongue, before predominantly becoming converted to nitric oxide in the stomach.

The current understanding is that nitrate is readily taken up in the upper gastrointestinal tract, and plasma nitrate levels rise and remain elevated. Once in the circulation, ~25% of the nitrate load is actively absorbed and concentrated by the salivary glands in the mouth. Following secretion of nitrate-containing saliva into the mouth, anaerobic bacteria on the tongue reduce nitrate to nitrite via nitrate reductases – an important step as mammalian cells cannot effectively metabolise this nitrate. Nitrite is then swallowed in the saliva to enter the low acidic stomach, where it is rapidly protonated (converted) to form nitric acid, which then decomposes via various reactions to form the effector molecule, nitric oxide (NO). It is therefore likely that the initial interaction of nitrate in the mouth, is not ‘concentrated enough’ to cause significant increases in nitrite.

Will I get an increased benefit if I swell the juice in my mouth? . . .

Summary: No, drink Beet It Sport as usual.

After consuming a Beet It Sport shot, some of the nitrate will be initially converted to nitrite in the mouth on the first pass, however, the high concentration of this nitrate solution will be enough to saturate the oral nitrate reducing bacteria so if you were to hold it in your mouth, for example, this would not increase salivary nitrate beyond the saturating level of the oral bacteria.

How long do the effects of dietary nitrate last for? . . .

Summary: The effects peak 1-3 hrs after consuming and last for around 6 hrs, before returning to baseline after 12-24hrs.

Blood plasma nitrate and nitrite have been shown to peak 1-3hrs post ingestion of Beet It Sport, remain elevated for ~6hrs and gradually return to baseline at 12-24hrs post ingestion. Thus athletes exercising for 4-6hrs+, may gain a benefit from “topping up” plasma nitrate and nitrite during exercise. This can be achieved via our Beet It Sport Beetroot Flapjacks, which offer a “top up” of 200mg nitrate and a slow-release 24g of carbohydrate.

Why concentrated beetroot juice? . . .

Summary: Concentrated beetroot juice is the most palatable way to consume the optimal nitrate dose

Beetroot is particularly high in dietary nitrate and is the easiest to consume in large amounts in a juice, relative to other leafy green, nitrate-rich vegetables. Beet It Sport shots are conveniently concentrated, which is why they are the gold standard nitrate products for over 200 universities and over 100 professional sports teams worldwide.

How much Beet It Sport should I take? . . .

Summary: Consume 1-2 shots one to three hours before training and for up to six days prior to competition.

Research has shown we need to consume at least 400mg of dietary nitrate per day for exercise performance benefits. This can be found in one Beet It Sport shot or two Beet It Sport bars or one 33ml serving of Beet It Sport nitrate 3000.

Will I get an increased benefit by consuming more nitrate than the dosing guideline? . . .

Summary – The body reaches a ‘saturation point’ after two Beet It Sport shots, therefore there is no need to consume any more.

Not likely. Wylie et al. (2013) investigated the influence of ~250mg, ~520mg and ~1,050mg of ingested nitrate in beetroot juice (Beet It Organic Shots) and also the ‘dose-response’ relationship between acute nitrate ingestion and exercise performance. An amount of ~250mg of nitrate did not significantly improve exercise performance in the study by Wylie et al. (2013). In contrast, ~520mg and ~1,050mg nitrate doses both resulted in improved exercise performance, but ~1,050mg was no more effective than ~520mg of nitrate. These results indicate that there may be a ‘threshold’ amount of nitrate required to be ingested for exercise performance benefits to be obtained. In addition, that extra nitrate (~1,050mg) ingestion will not further improve exercise performance.

Are there any side effects of consuming Beet It products? . . .

Summary: Only beeturia (pink wee and stools) – its vegetable juice!

Beet It Sport shots have been scientifically tested on thousands of athletes and it appears beeturia (pink pee) is the only side effect reported. Given the natural ingredients are simply concentrated beetroot juice (98%) and lemon juice (2%); made from concentrates, it is not surprising that we have seen no side effects from consuming our recommended dosing in the scientific research. Like with all nutritional supplements, it is important to trial them in training before competition, as people respond in different ways to different supplements.

What can I expect to feel after taking Beet It? . . .

Summary: Beet It is not a stimulant, you may ‘feel’ it during exercise when you usually fatigue.

Beet It products are not stimulants like caffeine, so do not expect euphoric effects after consuming. Beet It Sport has been shown to increase time to task failure and improve the oxygen cost of exercise, resulting in improved performance times. So you are most likely to ‘feel’ a benefit during exercise, particularly when you are accustomed to becoming fatigued.

Why is Beet It the gold standard used by research teams and sporting professionals throughout the world? . . .

Summary: We consistently ensure our Beet It Sport shots contain 400mg of dietary nitrate, which offers robust reliability for research teams and sporting professionals.

Most of the published research papers on the subject of nitrate supplementation specifically used our Beet It shots or Beet it juice. This is because they deliver a controlled dose of dietary nitrate – which freshly pressed beet juice cannot do – dietary nitrate levels in beet juice fluctuate enormously. Also we make a nitrate depleted version of our BEET IT shots which research teams use as a placebo for double blind crossover trials – the gold standard for unbiased research. All the sports performance research published to date has been independently undertaken by leading university and elite sports research bodies (such as the Australian Institute of Sport). It has not been funded by Beet It. Beet It has been used in over 100 research projects throughout the world by universities in projects from as far afield as USA, Australia, Canada, Holland, Sweden, Korea, China, Germany, Denmark, Brazil, Nepal, New Zealand, France as well as many in the UK.

Can I take Beet It Sport with prescribed medication? . . .

Summary: There should be no problem, however consult your doctor or GP if in doubt of interaction effects of Beet It and medication.

As with any prescribed medication it is always important to check with your doctor before changing your diet. Because Beet It is a natural product, we suggest you treat is as any other vegetable juice – drinking in moderation, however we would always advise contacting your doctor if you are worried in any way.

When were the beneficial effects of beetroot juice/nitrates discovered? . . .

Summary: The beneficial effects of beetroot juice on exercise performance were discovered in 2009.

The first human study to investigate the exercise benefits of dietary nitrate from beetroot juice supplementation, was published in 2009 by Bailey and colleagues at The University of Exeter. 8 healthy volunteers received either 3 days of 500ml (~350-400mg nitrate) of beetroot juice or 500ml of blackcurrant cordial (placebo). In summary, authors reported a ~5% reduction in oxygen cost of cycling exercise and a 16% improvement in time to exhaustion, in the beetroot juice group compared to placebo group.

What are the physiological mechanisms behind the performance gains? . . .

Summary: There are multiple mechanisms involved, but it is likely caused by increased blood flow and oxygen, changes to mitochondria and changes to muscle contractility.

The exact mechanisms are yet to be full clarified by scientific research. Nitrate’s end product, nitric oxide, has multiple roles in physiology, so it is possible there are several explanations for the beneficial effects of nitrate supplementation. For benefits to endurance performance, it is likely caused by the vasodilatory effects of nitric oxide, which allows greater blood flow and oxygen to the working muscles and simultaneously, the mitochondria that produce energy in the muscles may become more efficient. However, for high-power/sprint sports, the mechanisms of action are likely due to beneficial changes to muscle contractility.

Is Beet It effective for all level athletes? . . .

Summary: Beet It is effective for recreational level athletes and elite level athletes may require a larger dose of dietary nitrate.

The majority of research demonstrating the beneficial effects of dietary nitrate supplementation has been conducted using sub-elite, recreationally active participants, which covers most of the general population. However, a small number of studies reported the same nitrate dosing does not benefit elite athletes, possibly due to their habitual diet already nitrate-rich, or their nitric oxide production is already increased. It is possible that elite athletes require an increased duration or amount of nitrate compared to the sub-elite athletes. We know of numerous elite athletes who supplement dietary nitrate, including Eliud Kipchoge in preparation for his valiant Breaking 2hr marathon attempt.

I hate the taste of beetroot, will I manage to drink the Beet It Sport shots? . . .

Summary: You may be pleasantly surprised by the taste of our shots, however if you cannot tolerate them, why not try them mixed in a smoothie or opt for our delicious Beet It Sport bars.

Beet It Sport shots are certainly an acquired taste. Those who are serious about their sport usually tolerate the taste for its beneficial effects. After all, 70ml is merely a mouthful and there are plenty of alternative ways to consume them; mixing with smoothies, yogurt, muesli and more. If the taste is still an issue after experimenting, we recommend trying our delicious Beet It Sport flapjacks, which contain 200mg of nitrate from concentrated beetroot juice, oat flakes, raisin, apple extract and sunflower oil. Many athletes find these more palatable than our shots as they contain a 24g of slow-release carbohydrates, which is perfect for prolonged exercise.

Can I drink Beet It as well as consuming alcohol? . . .

Yes! Beet It Vodka Martini, anyone?

Dosing
 

Our evidence-based dosing guideline for Beet It Sport is derived from almost a decade of research into dietary nitrate supplementation.

The current guideline is to:

Consume 1-2 shots one to three hours before training and for up to six days prior to competition.


Top Tips

 · Break a Beet It Flapjack into your porridge or yogurt for a nitrate-rich breakfast

· Mix a serving of Nitrate 3000 into smoothies

· Take a Beet It Flapjack during long cycle rides for slow-release energy and a nitrate top-up


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Placebo

We are incredibly proud to have developed nitrate-depleted placebo versions of our Sport Shots in conjunction with The University of Exeter. 

Why remove the active ingredient? 

Researchers need to test Beet It Sport against a true placebo to ensure the beneficial effects are indeed caused by the active ingredient, nitrate.

Nitrate-depleted shots also enable a double-blind trial to be conducted, which means neither the participant nor researcher know which participants are receiving the nitrate-rich Beet It Sport shot and which are not. Ultimately, this leads to more robust research as researchers can attribute the positive effects to the active ingredient, nitrate.

We are happy to provide our Placebo Beet It Sport shots to teams and institutions worldwide for research. For more information please get in touch.

 
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Glossary

Whilst all of our products are made with simple ingredients, there are plenty of seemingly complicated terms used when it comes to describing their benefits. Here we've created a simple Beet It Glossary to try and help with a little of the jargon.


Aerobic metabolism
The generation of energy that is dependent on the presence of oxygen. Marathon running predominantly involves aerobic metabolism.

Anaerobic metabolism
The generation of energy without the presence of oxygen. Sprint running predominantly involves anaerobic metabolism.

Antioxidants
A molecule that inhibits oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation of molecules can be damaging. Antioxidants are naturally found in foods high in vitamin C and E.

Bioavailability
The proportion of a substance (e.g. nitrate) that enters the bloodstream and becomes active in the body. For example, dietary nitrate is an effective method of increasing nitric oxide bioavailability.

Cognitive performance
The ability to think, reason and recollect and make decisions.

Concentrated
Having water content removed or reduced to increase the proportion of a specific substance in a solution – our 70ml Beet It Sport shots are the concentrated equivalent to ~500ml of regular beetroot juice.

Dietary nitrate
A natural molecule found mainly in the diet as green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and beetroot. Nitrate is the active component in beetroot juice responsible for the health and exercise benefits, as proven by research using our placebo Beet It Sport shots.

Dosing
The amount that should be administered for optimal results. Exercise Physiology – how the human body functions during physical exercise, the acute and chronic adaptations and responses to a range of exercise types.  

Flavonols
Potent antioxidants that are found in many fruits and vegetables (see antioxidants).

mmol
Units used to quantify the amount of nitrate contained within our products. Most scientific research display nitrate in mmol rather than mg. Conversion factor is 1mmol = 62mg.

mg
Units used to quantify amount of nitrate contained within our products. 

Mitochondria
Where the biochemical processes of respiration and energy production occur – the ‘energy factories’ of a large number of human cells.

Nitrite
The molecule that nitrate becomes converted to by the bacteria on our tongue and circulates in our blood stream.

Nitric Oxide
The molecule that nitrite becomes converted to at various locations in our body. It is responsible for a variety of health and performance benefits, commonly known as the end-product ‘effector molecule’ in the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway.

Oxygen efficiency
How efficient we are at using the oxygen we breathe to produce energy during exercise.  

Peripheral arterial disease
The narrowing of the arteries in the body that restrict blood flow to limbs and organs.

Physiological
The way in which the human body and parts function.

Plasma nitrite
The concentration of nitrite in the blood.

Skeletal muscle contractile properties
The elements of skeletal muscle that allow muscle contraction and relaxation.

Vasodilation
Dilation, or relaxation of blood vessels which in turn decreases blood pressure.


Still have questions? It may be answered in our FAQs.