This Is How Beets Can Help With Muscle Recovery

Beet juice no longer bears the stigma of being your grandma's favorite drink. Besides offering tons of flavonoids from their bright pinkish-red pigment, beets are now widely known as synonymous with an energizing, healthy vegetable – and, perhaps, muscle recovery. Rich in folate, Vitamin C, iron, and magnesium, beets also contain antioxidants that are vitally important in functions ranging from keeping your heart healthy to fighting inflammation (via Mindbodygreen). By drinking a juiced form of the vegetable, it may even be a worthy addition to your gym routine. 

Jaime Schehr, N.D., R.D. shares with Mindbodygreen, "Studies show that beetroot juice has the potential to reduce muscle pain if consumed post workout. Beetroot juice does not, however, improve strength or performance in most studies. If you wanted to take beetroot juice, it would be appropriate to do so post-workout, especially between bouts of repeated exercise such as sprinting and interval training."

Since an intense workout can trigger oxidative stress and thus the release of free radicals that cause inflammation, drinking beetroot juice can combat this source of inflammation before it reaches its full effect, as noted by Men's Health.

You can drink your beets, too

If you're looking for a quicker, easier way to get your servings of the nutrients in beets, drinking beetroot juice can offer the same benefits as eating the whole vegetable. When consumed cold, drinking beet juice can actually be pretty tasty. After a workout, it offers a welcome cooling beverage that's doing tons of work beneath your skin. If neither of these are really your style, beetroot powder can do the trick as well. 

Nitrate, a compound that is powerfully anti-inflammatory, helps to reduce the levels of free radicals post-workout that often lead to soreness (via Men's Health). Plus, beetroot juice can help protect your heart, lower your blood pressure, and decrease your risk of heart disease, as noted by Men's Health. With all of these benefits, it's not a bad idea to start adding this powerful drink to your routine. 

You can begin by drinking 7-10 ounces after doing vigorous exercise like HIIT, running, or lifting weights to reap the benefits. Offsetting the stress your body may have endured, beetroot juice gives a nutrient-dense twist on traditional workout recovery.