Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Beet It Sport shots: 400mg; Beet It Sport bars: 200mg; Beet It Sport nitrate 3000: 3000mg
Dietary nitrate is a molecule found naturally in the diet in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, rocket and beetroot.
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.
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.
Most anti-cavity fluoride containing mouthrinses are OK, you should keep using them as recommended by your dentist. There is evidence to show that some antibacterial mouthrinses containing chlorhexidine might disrupt the conversion of nitrate to nitrite in the mouth. You should consider avoiding these if you are using Beet It Sport to improve performance. If you have been recommendeded to use mouthrinse by a dental professional seek their advice first. For more information on oral health and sporting performance please visit the Centre for Oral Health and Performance website.
1 Woessner M, Smoliga J, Tarzia B, Stabler T, Van Bruggen M, Allen J. A stepwise reduction in plasma and salivary nitrite with increasing strengths of mouthwash following a dietary nitrate load. Nitric oxide 2016; 54: 1-7
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes! Beet It Vodka Martini, anyone?