Emily Z. is really into beets, but here’s a spoiler alert. She doesn’t even like them.
Beets are so hot right now. Hotter than Yerba Mate drunk from a gourd, hotter than caveman diets, hotter than trendy workout classes you’re the first to hear about, hotter even than having conflicting feelings about a certain podium-girl-butt-grabber whose redeeming qualities include the ability to strap his bikes on a roof rack without dismounting.
The quick and dirty explanation for their popularity is that the high concentration of nitrates found in beets increases blood flow and oxygen intake in the muscles, making endurance athletes faster for longer. Also, I imagine technicolor pees contribute to the appeal.
The lengths I have gone to in order to consume my pre-cyclocross beet juice has left bath tubs stained purple and been so suspicious that in one instance hotel staff peeked in the room without knocking at 3AM, I imagine to check that we weren’t cooking meth or anything equally sinister. Somehow I don’t think, “don’t worry, we were just juicing raw beets at 4AM yesterday” would have been a satisfactory explanation, anyway. Alas, some people will never understand your lifestyle.
Here’s the thing: I loathe beet juice. I’m one of those people who will eat absolutely anything put in front of her without flinching, but make me down a liquified beet and I will gag. They taste like spicy dirt to me, very literally.
I can’t overstate my relief and wonder the first time I tried the Naked Power Garden Berry Veggie juice. It’s loaded with beets, chickpeas, sweet potato and carrots, but tastes unquestionably like cherries. It’s not just delicious “for a veggie juice,” it’s just plain delicious. The morning before a race I down one, and sometimes add a scoop of Pure Clean Powder powdered beets for an extra boost, and now the days that I don’t get my veggie smoothie I feel like my legs are filled with bricks, and my results would suggest the same.
Give it a try before your next race… just as long as you aren’t racing against me.