When you’re going for a run, whether it’s a 5k jog or a marathon, it’s important that your body has enough fuel so that you can maintain your pace.
For those that run, the food and drink that you consume is your fuel, so knowing what you should eat and when - before, during and after your runs - is key to putting in a good performance.
In this blog post, we review why consuming a nutritious shot containing beetroot can be a great way for runners to get the fuel that they need, but also what runners should look for when choosing the best beetroot shot for them.
10 things runners should look for from a beetroot-based pre or post-workout shot
Below, we have listed the key things that make up an excellent beetroot shot for runners. The list includes a mixture of ingredients and vitamins to look out for. Now, we’re not mixing these things up to be confusing - instead we’re trying to make it easier for those that run to find the very best shot out there, as some companies make it easy to find the ingredients list, while others shine a light on the vitamins contained within the ingredients.
By using our list below, you can easily identify a good beetroot shot when you see one and know whether it’s perfect for fuelling your body pre-run, helping it to recover post-run or both.
1. Vitamin A
If you enjoy running in the evening or at night, then having a healthy diet that is rich in vitamin A may well improve those runs after the sun goes down.
Vitamin A is great for keeping your skin strong and in good condition, as well as improving your eyesight so that you can stay sharp and focussed on those evening jogs.
Potassium is great for runners as it works together with sodium to regulate your fluids and electrolyte levels. It’s striking the right balance that regulates your heartbeat and prevents muscles from cramping. This is why you can often find water and bananas handed out to fatigued runners after marathons and half marathons.
We add pomegranate seeds to our turmeric and beetroot shots to provide a kick of potassium in each sip.
3. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is found in two of our key shot ingredients - watermelon juice and ginger. Vitamin B6 is a runner’s friend as it promotes normal red blood cell formation.
It’s well known that athletes need to maximise their red cell count, and so taking vitamin B6 supplements or ensuring that it’s found within your beetroot shot is a great way to get a B6 boost.
4. Turmeric / Curcumin
You may be surprised to see turmeric in this list - but we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t share just how good this ingredient can be for runners.
Almost a third of each and every one of our shots contains turmeric root - and that’s simply because of the amazing benefits such a simple ingredient has to offer.
Beetroot is full of antioxidants, is great for athlete recovery, a boost for your immune system, supports digestion and is a rich source of vitamins C & B6.
It’s important to introduce some of the science behind this - and that’s that curcumin is the primary active ingredient in turmeric that gives it so many of its benefits. Cucumin is a powerful polyphenol with anti-inflammatory properties and has the ability to increase the amount of antioxidants our body produces naturally.
The challenge of turmeric / curcumin as ingredients is that they are not easily absorbed by the body. This is exactly why a liquid form, such asa shot, is the best way to take turmeric.
5. Black Pepper
Understanding the benefits turmeric and curcumin have to offer is key in order to appreciate why black pepper is an ingredient to look out for in a shot designed to help with both activity and recovery.
Black pepper has been proven to increase the absorption of turmeric (curcumin) by upto 2,000%. So if you’re hoping that your beetroot and turmeric shot will really pack a punch, then look out for black pepper as a key ingredient.
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is really important for runners, as it helps with both the growth and repair of tissue in the body.
Vitamin C is also not stored in the body, so in order to get it you need to make sure you include it in your diet.
A great way for runners to do this is by choosing a beetroot shot that is high in vitamin C. Here at The Turmeric Co., our beetroot shots are a great source of both iron and vitamin C.
7. Multiple Fruits (e.g. lemon, pomegranate and watermelon)
Runners need energy and fruits can provide that energy, whilst also providing more health benefits. Fruit can hydrate, while also protecting muscles from DOMS.
At The Turmeric Co., we use lemon, pomegranate and watermelon as the three key fruits in our shots. Below, we’ve given a snapshot of why we choose each ingredient and what makes them perfect for runners:
Watermelon - is low in sugar, contains vitamins A, B6 and C. It’s also high in Amino Acids and antioxidants and is an excellent source of lycopene.
Lemon - Is high in vitamin C and other vitamins as well as minerals. It’s also low in carbohydrates.
Pomegranate - We use pomegranate seeds, which have powerful antioxidant properties, are high in vitamin C, potassium and an excellent source of Polyphenols.
8. No water, no apple juice, no preservatives, no sweeteners
As a company that specialise in developing and rigorously testing turmeric and beetroot-based shots, we have learnt enough along the way to know what not to look for from a healthy shot too.
Our top things to look out for on this front are shot products made with water and apple juice as main ingredients, as well as those that contain preservatives.
If you want to consume a performance-enhancing or recovery-enhancing shot, you want it to be fresh and not full of preservatives or diluted with water.
It’s our opinion that using water as a main ingredient is a bit of a cop-out by those developing these products. Water is cheap. Also, plain water doesn’t hold any nutritional value (other than being water, which is generally considered to be a nutrient). But why would you use plain water when you can use watermelon juice?
Watermelon juice contains vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium and vitamins B1, B5 and B6. So to us, it seems crazy to use plain water when you can get so much more from an ingredient like watermelon.
Watermelon juice is also 90% water, so it contains better hydration for a runner than an alternative like apple juice.
As much as it’s great to follow the science above and look for all of the above when choosing a beetroot shot that’s great for running, we would also always recommend reading the reviews of others
Look for beetroot shots that have lots of reviews (more than a couple of dozen), so that you can be sure that the product has been tried and tested by more than a couple of people.
It’s also important to look out for *paid review or *sponsored review disclaimers. Although most of these reviews tend to still be the genuine review of an athlete or influencer, we generally recommend reading a mix of paid and unpaid reviews to make sure you’re getting an honest appraisal across the board.
We’ve saved the most obvious until last. But that’s simply because it goes without saying that you’ll be looking for beetroot as a key ingredient within your beetroot shot.
However, just because it says beetroot on the label or on the bottle, that doesn’t mean it contains a high amount of beetroot proportionally. For example, a shot described as a beetroot shot may only actually contain a small amount of beetroot.
To help you ascertain exactly how much beetroot there is in the shot / drink, look at the order the ingredients are named in. Ingredients by law must be named in order from most to least prevalent. For example, in our Turmeric Co. Beetroot Shot, the ingredients are as follows:
Ingredients: WATERMELON, TURMERIC ROOT (30%), BEETROOT (15%), POMEGRANATE, LEMON, GINGER ROOT, PARSLEY, FLAX OIL, BLACK PEPPER.
That means by reading the above label, you can clearly see that 15% of each shot is made from beetroot, while 30% of the shot is turmeric root. Be wary of any shot where beetroot is listed / claimed in the description or product name, but is not in the top 3 ingredients on the label.
Beetroot’s nutritional value
Beetroot is highly nutritious. It is rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. This vegetable is also a great source of fibre, manganese and potassium.
This nutritious combination is good for your general health, including maintaining a healthy blood pressure. A 2019 study even found that high doses of beetroot improved time trial results of experienced cyclists - although more research would be needed in runners to claim the same benefits.
Shop the best beetroot shots for runners now at The Turmeric Co.