Racing endurance sports is hard. It is demanding of time, mental strength, and of course the body. As athletes we are always looking for that extra edge to get us closer to the next level without having to invest more time and energy into training. As a professional especially, as this is my full-time job, I am constantly doing research on ways I can gain an edge or performance or more importantly recovery.
Research has shown that beet juice is converted to nitric acid which helps blood flow, muscle contraction and neurotransmission, which can help in athletic performance. Beet juice also contains high amounts of iron that regenerates and activates our blood cells to carry fresh oxygen to the body. After learning about the benefits of beets it was a no brainer for me. I typically have a can of beet juice 2 hours before a key session or race.
Tart cherry juice has been another one I have been learning about for a while. I have always had trouble recovering from training and then also sleeping at night after hard days of working out. Tart cherry juice has high levels of potassium and has been shown to decrease inflammation and reduce muscle damage. I like to start my day with tart cherry juice when I have hard training on tap and also after the training for muscle restoration and rebuilding and to prevent further damage to the muscles. Cherry juice also has been shown to help aid in sleep. I have always struggled with sleep while training at a high level. At night I will have some cherry juice and it seems to be promoting better sleep for me without waking up in the night.
So, overall, my daily routine is to have a can Beet Performer 2hr before hard training sessions. I have a can of Cherry Performer often mixed into a smoothie or just alone right after hard training sessions and at night before bed. Keep in mind, consuming these will not magically make you an Olympic athlete. However, they will give you a little extra boost of talent without training more. In the end isn’t that what we want? Also, both juices are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that keep us healthy day in and day out.