Beetroot Supplement vs. Beetroot Juice

Beets are filled with essential nutrients and have a variety of health benefits. However, these sweet root vegetables are not often used in cooked dishes. You might find that consuming a beetroot supplement or beetroot juice is an easier way of integrating this healthy food into your diet.

Beets are filled with essential nutrients and have a variety of health benefits. (Image: Liudmyla Chuhunova/iStock/GettyImages)

Beetroot Juice Nutrition Facts

Beetroot is well known for being rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals. According to a study in the January 2019 issue of the Journal of Food Chemistry, beetroot also contains a variety of beneficial bioactive compounds, including phenolic compounds, carotenoids, flavonoids and betalains.

Unfortunately, the beetroot juice you can typically find in your supermarket might lack most of these nutrients. The USDA says that a cup (8 ounces) of organic beetroot juice has 70 calories, 1 gram of protein and 18 grams of carbohydrates; 13 grams of these carbohydrates come from sugar. This beetroot juice doesn't contain large amounts of any micronutrient.

If you're hoping to obtain the benefits of beetroot in juice form, you're best off making your own beetroot juice at home. One cup of raw beetroot equals about 136 grams, or one and a half beets. This means that you'll probably need at least two beets to make a cup (8 ounces) of beetroot juice from raw beetroots. The USDA states that two beetroots (164 grams) contain:

  • 70 calories
  • 15.6 grams of carbohydrates (11 grams come from sugar, while 4.6 grams come from fiber)
  • 2.6 grams of protein
  • 14 percent of the daily value (DV) for copper
  • 8 percent of the DV for iron
  • 12 percent of the DV for potassium
  • 24 percent of the DV for manganese
  • 8 percent of the DV for magnesium
  • 6 percent of the DV for phosphorus
  • 6 percent of the DV for zinc
  • 6 percent of the DV for riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • 6 percent of the DV for vitamin B5
  • 6 percent of the DV for vitamin B6
  • 44 percent of the DV for vitamin B9
  • 8 percent of the DV for vitamin C

While you're certainly going to lose certain nutrients, like fiber, when juicing beets, making your own beetroot juice at home should allow you to retain many essential vitamins and minerals.

However, according to a study published in the February 2016 issue of the Journal of Food Science and Biotechnology, you will also end up with a larger amount of sugar in beetroot juice compared to whole beets. This study also found that beetroots, which contain phenolic compounds and other antioxidants, can retain most of these beneficial bioactive compounds during the juicing process.

Beetroot Supplement Nutrition Facts

Beetroot supplements are produced in two main ways: You can either take beetroot juice and dehydrate it to create a powder, or you can dehydrate whole beets through a process like freeze-drying. Once dried, the beets are then crushed into powdered form.

The way your beetroot supplement is made will influence its nutrition and its quantity of beneficial bioactive compounds. All beetroot supplements can be used in the same ways, though. Most people mix about a tablespoon of beetroot powder into a smoothie, water or other beverage.

In most cases, your average beet supplement contains more than just beets. You may find ingredients like green tea, collagen peptides, dietary fiber or other fruits and vegetables in beet powder. For example, the USDA listing for beetroot powder also contains carrot, kale and spinach.

HumanN's beetroot supplement, SuperBeets, is primarily made from beets but typically contains natural fruit flavorings. SuperBeets contains 15 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrates (3 grams are sugar) and 1 gram of protein per tablespoon (5 grams). There is also 5 percent of the DV for potassium and 83 percent of the DV for vitamin C in each tablespoon.

Notably, SuperBeets markets itself as having as much nitric oxide as three whole beets. The Journal of Food Science and Biotechnology study found that beetroot powder has an equivalent amount of nitric oxide compared to beetroot chips and cooked beetroot. However, it was far less than the amount found in beetroot juice.

Beetroot Pills vs. Juice Benefits

Several nutrients in beetroot supplements are retained well. In fact, the Journal of Food Science and Biotechnology study found that there were more organic acids, like citric acid and ascorbic acid, in beetroot powder compared to beetroot juice.

However, other nutrients are lost during the creation of powder. That being said, if you're trying to avoid sugar, you'll be pleased to know that there is also about half as much sugar in a powdered beetroot supplement compared to beetroot juice.

Most companies that produce beetroot powders, pills or capsules don't claim that you'll obtain all the nutrients found in whole beets or juice in a single beetroot capsule. However, you may often see products listing health benefits similar to that of SuperBeets powder or soft chews.

HumanN claims that there is the same amount of nitric oxide in your standard serving of beetroot powder as there would be in multiple beets. In HumanN's case, each tablespoon of beetroot supplement powder is equivalent to three whole beets. Nitric oxide levels in beetroot powder and whole beetroots is often equivalent, so this claim could certainly be factual.

However, the results from the Journal of Food Science and Biotechnology study found that beetroot juice has five times as much nitric oxide compared to the equivalent amount of beetroot powder and whole beetroot. This means that there is likely to be less nitric oxide in these beetroot pills versus juice.

The nutrients in beetroot are good for your health. However, the nitric oxide content of beets is just as important and has been associated with many beetroot health benefits. These include improved performance in sports, improved cardiovascular function and reductions in blood pressure. Discuss it with your health provider first if you're considering taking beetroot supplements.

Ultimately, if you're consuming beetroot supplements for their nitric oxide and vitamin C, they're certainly healthy and equivalent to whole beetroots. Beetroot powder and capsules are also a lot more convenient than consuming freshly juiced beets or whole beets. However, in a comparison of beetroot pills versus juice, the juice wins. Fresh beetroot juice contains a wider variety of nutrients, along with larger amounts of phenolic compounds and nitric oxide.

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