With spring in our sights, outdoor workouts are finally back in play, and we couldn’t be more psyched. Although we loved our months of stress-reducing yoga and kickass home workouts, we’re totally ready to ditch our home gyms for a little cardio in the sun. Before we put on our colorful workout gear and hit the pavement, experts say that a good hearty breakfast is the key to really making our workout count. But according to the scientists at Washington University’s School of Medicine, green juice might not be the best pre-workout drink for us — this new study suggests that beet juice is the new muscle-boosting blend to power back pronto.


Published in Circulation: Heart Failure, the study measured how the muscles of nine subjects with heart failure reacted to a small serving of concentrated beet juice. The researchers chose participants with heart failure because their muscles could not deliver as much power, which means that improvements could be measured more easily. Almost immediately after drinking the two-third cup of concentrated beet juice, the participants saw a significant increase in muscle power at 13 percent on average. “We’re seeing these improvements within about an hour and a half to two hours after ingestion,” Peterson told NPR. “It’s pretty dramatic.” Combined with the researchers’ previous studies on how beet juice affects muscle power in athletes, which yielded a six percent increase in power, Peterson and Coggan’s research is already dramatically changing the pre-workout game.


So what’s the magic ingredient in beet juice that makes it so powerful? According to Peterson, it’s all about the nitrate. When ingested, the nitrate ion turns into nitric oxide which can have the effect of increasing muscle power. It’s the kind of improvement that people only start to see after two or three months of resistance training, says co-author Andrew Coggan. With that kind of incredible power, it’s a wonder more people haven’t made the switch already. Check out these 15 beetalicious bites, including a power-inducing smoothie, to test out the power of beets for yourself.

What’s your tried-and-true pre-workout meal? Mention @BritandCo in your comments on Twitter!

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