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Nitrate Fuelled: How to Train Like a Marathon Champion

It’s claimed that dietary nitrate could be the secret tool to achieving your best marathon performance yet. Indeed, marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and six-time Paralympian gold medal holder David Weir have given their support to the nitrate in the form of Beet It Sport.


Here, Jonathan Cartwright, of Beet It Sport, the brand known for its consistent and reliable dose of dietary nitrate (400mg) for improved performance, gives his tips on how to experience the best nitrate gains, whether you love beetroot juice or not.


Beet It Sport backer: Eliud Kipchoge with Jonathan Cartwright.

Why vegetables are not enough

The International Olympic Committee recently concluded that we need to consume 310g to 560mg of nitrate per day to have any effect on exercise performance.


This equates to at least 200g of spinach, 100g of rocket or drinking around 500ml of beetroot juice, which is a big ask before you train.


The nitrate values will also be inconsistent in the diet, so you never really know if you’re consuming enough nitrate to positively impact your performance.


That’s why Beet It Sport shots make life easier. In each 7cl dose of concentrated beetroot juice there is at least 400mg of nitrate.



The right nitrate strategy

Performance benefits are generally shown to occur within one to three hours of drinking a concentrated beetroot shot, so it’s important to plan in advance.


Prolonging your nitrate intake over three to six consecutive days, in the lead up to the marathon, is also a positive strategy to maximise your performance.


However, it is always best to try the strategy in training first to see what works best for you.


Mix it up!

Beet It Sport ‘Nitrate 400’ is a concentrated beetroot shot and while some people love it, others are not so keen. A good tip for tastier consumption is to mis it into a smoothie.


Nitrate super smoothie recipe:

1 x Beet It Sport Shot

1 x banana

1 x cup of mixed berries

1 x cup of natural yogurt

1 x cup of ice

1 x cup of water


Method: Blend together for a delicious pre-train or race smoothie.


Something different: Cereal with Beet It Sport.

Alternatively, you can get your dietary nitrate fix from other Beet It Sport products, such as adding Beet It Sport Flapjack into porridge oats for a boost of colour and nitrate at breakfast, or add 33ml of Nitrate 3000 super concentrate beetroot cordial to water for an additional nitrate boost.


Read my review: Beet it Sport Flapjack.


Don’t wash your mouth out

There is evidence that mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine may disrupt the conversion of nitrate to Nitric Oxide, which ultimately leads to no performance benefit.


However, most fluoride mouthwashes are fine, so just keep an eye out for chlorhexidine on the label.


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