Tara Gidus

Runner Recipes: Eat (or drink) your beets!

Want to run faster?

Research has shown that eating beets can truly enhance running performance. Beets are high in nitrates, which researchers believe is the key to faster running times. Nitrates help to widen the blood vessels, allowing for more blood flow and better endurance.

Most of the nitrates we consume come from vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, and root vegetables. Beets are one of the top sources of nitrates found in nature.

In one study, runners who fueled with beets pre-workout ran an average of 3% faster than those that didn't eat beets.

If you've ever tried to cook beets before, I'm sure you may have made a big mess of the kitchen with their bright red juice. I've got you covered - no fuss required with this runner recipe since this drink is made with canned beets! They are just as nutritious (as long as you get them canned without added sugar), but no mess! The added sodium found in the canned beet is actually good for runners, too!

Guzzle this beet juice after a run. It's light, hydrates, contains easy to digest carbohydrates, and you can reap the benefits of beets too!

Beet Juice
Makes 2 cups

  • ½ cup canned red beets, drained
  • 1 ½ cup frozen mixed berries
  • ½ cup 100% grape juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6-oz raspberry-flavored Greek yogurt

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!


Known as the "Diet Diva," Tara Gidus is a nationally acclaimed nutrition expert and the official nutritionist of runDisney.