Homemade Nitric Oxide for Athletic Performance: Beet, Pomegranate, and Orange Smoothie

November 18, 2022

Have you heard of nitric oxide and its fabulous properties for sports performance? If you haven't, be sure to read our article about this beneficial molecule.


Nitric oxide is a natural-occurring gas in the body, promoting blood vessel relaxation and allowing athletes to increase their endurance. 


Its supplements are quite popular among exercising enthusiasts, however, today we propose a delicious and natural source, a rich and homemade recipe with which you can get a good supply of nitric oxide. 


We are not only going to explain how to prepare it, but we are going to tell you the properties of each ingredient, as well as the precautions we should take to understand that, as in all areas of life, we should not abuse anything.


Ingredients


What will we need for our potion?


  • 1 cooked beet (you can buy them already cooked and vacuum-packed)

  • 1 pomegranate

  • 1 orange

  • Optional. 1 tablespoon of activated chia. This is achieved by soaking it for at least 1 hour.

  • You can add water to make the mixture more fluid.


Preparation


  • The first thing would be to soak the chia to activate it since we should hydrate it for at least one hour.

  • Cut the orange in half and squeeze it.

  • The pomegranate can also be cut in half and squeezed like the orange, or patiently remove the grains and then add them whole to the mixture.

  • If you have raw beets you should boil them, and if you have bought cooked beets you are good to go.

  • Now put all the ingredients in the blender and add water depending on whether you like it thicker or thinner.


Properties of the ingredients


Beets


Beets provide good amounts of inorganic nitrate that, once ingested, is metabolized into nitric oxide.


Contain polyphenols (anthocyanins) which give it its characteristic color. Polyphenols act concerning as:


  • Stabilizers (providing a longer-lasting effect).

  • Antioxidants (blocking the damaging effect of free radicals produced after their metabolization).

  • Endothelial protectors (they will improve intrinsic production).


Excellent source of inulin, a prebiotic that will help improve our intestinal flora.


High concentration of water-soluble vitamins (especially folic acid or vitamin B9) and fat-soluble vitamins, as well as minerals and trace elements.


Pomegranate


It is one of the fruits with the highest concentration of polyphenols (punicalagin) as well as an excellent amount of water-soluble, fat-soluble vitamins and minerals.


Orange juice


We add it to provide extra sweetness as well as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which at the same time help to better assimilate nitric oxide. 


Activated chia


It provides a good amount of Omega-3 fatty acids that help the proper functioning of neurons, is a cardiovascular and intestinal protector and helps the assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins, among others.


It also contains water-soluble fiber that improves intestinal transit and has vitamins and minerals.


How Much and When Should You Drink?


It's ideal to consume about 500 ml of this smoothie a day to obtain the expected benefits. The best times would be before exercise (at least 90-60 minutes before) or even better after as a recovery.



Precautions 


The consumption of beet can cause reddish urine and stools, which disappear about 2-3 days after suppressing the intake of the same. In case of persistence of this coloration in the urine, consult your doctor to rule out digestive and/or renal hemorrhages.


The beet contains high amounts of oxalates (although they are reduced after cooking and water disposal) that can cause renal calculus formation as well as gastric irritation in predisposed people.


They also interfere with the absorption of calcium and iron, so it is not recommended to combine dairy and meat products (or iron supplements) in the same intake.


It is necessary to say that an excess of fructose ingested in liquid form, can cause gastrointestinal irritations. However, vegetable fiber reduces this effect. 


Final Word


As you can see, combining these excellent nutrients creates a potent nitric oxide powerhouse, excellent for high-performing athletes before and after training. Bon appétit!