Can A Drink Improve Physical Performance?

by , under Health

Still working on my pushup challenge but for some reason, the past few days I kind of laid off the routine. Well, the reason is because I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with some other things that I need to get done. But with that in mind, I’ve been thinking about cardiovascular health and that I should be doing more to work on that, as well.

I came across some information about some research that concluded that drinking beet juice can give you an almost immediate benefit in cardiovascular performance. I don’t remember all the details but it was something about some cyclist racers drinking beet juice everyday, and they saw improved performance in their endurance on long trips.

So I admit I got interested. Went to the local grocery store and when I couldn’t find beet juice, I asked a staff person. They looked at me funny as if to say, “Why the hell do you want to drink beet juice?” and then went on to advise me they had nothing like that in the store. Went to the local health food store. “No, we don’t have that here. Heard of it, but not enough demand to carry it.”

So, the next time I was at the Farmer’s Market, I bought up several bunches of beets. At least I knew they were organic (not that I’m really into the whole “organic” thing – I think a lot of it is way too exaggerated). After returning home with them, I told my son, “Ok.. we’re going to try something different today” and proceeded to get out my juicing machine, which hadn’t been used in about ten years.

We scrubbed the beets and put them through the juicer. I must say that the vivid red color of the juice was very enticing! But the odor? Not so much… I challenged my son to be courageous enough to take the first sip, but he insisted that I do that. I think he wanted to observe my closely and make sure I did not gag before he tried it. So I did. I didn’t gag. But it was hard not to…

My son took a sip and the expression on his face was priceless. “Dad! This takes like dirt! It tastes nothing like the beets we baked.”

Ah yes… the beet juice did have a taste that seemed close to what dirt might taste like along with some other flavors, but that dirt taste was a bit hard to take.

I didn’t make my son drink any more of it, but I didn’t let it go to waste either. We didn’t get a ton of juice from the beets I had bought, but there was enough there for a few glass fulls. I wasn’t going to drink it all at once, but I found mixing it with some soda water worked well to make it more palatable.

Then, a friend of mine of eastern European descent told me about Beet Kvass. It’s not exactly the same as beet juice, rather the juices and goodness of chunks of beets are extracted out by a process of lactobacterial fermentation. It requires salt.. and that interested me, and so I gave that a try. Ok.. again, not the most tasty drink in the world, after it was ready, but it was much better than the pure juice – and apparently with similar medicinal benefits, according to my friend.

I haven’t tested it yet to see if it actually improves my cardiovascular endurance, but I am going to try this stuff out a bit more.

Tell me, would you drink this stuff?

  1. Dave Roberts

    Oh man… lol.. I would, but I think my wife would be calling me weird or something. But I grew up on a farm, so I’ll try anything, at least once. We ate a lot of beets. My dad used to claim it was beets, sprinkled with apple cider vinegar, that helped keep him strong.

    I can see how the salt might make the stuff taste better when made into a sort of juice. But it’s fermented?

  2. Dave Roberts

    And by the way, what’s up with the pushup routine? Don’t be a lazy bum! “Down and give me 40” as my gym teacher used to say :)

    • admin

      Dave, yeah. It is fermented. But not like wine is fermented. It’s not yeast. And salt makes everything taste better.

      40 pushups eh? Well… come on Coach! Let me build up to that! :)

    • admin

      Jeff.. haha! I used to say the same thing about liver. Then I made my own pate :) And knowing it’s good for me helps too!

      • Jeff Sweeney

        Come on buddy. First beets.. and now… liver?? What are you on?

        Remember the Happy Days episode with The Fonz and liver? That is so me. Just thinking about liver kinda makes me feel all shaky. Let alone seeing it, smelling it cooking, or .. bleh.. eating it.


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