There are many so-called “weight loss drinks” that don’t actually help. What about beetroot juice, is it good for weight loss?
Beetroots, also know as beets, are the red root of the beet plant. They can be eaten raw and boiled on their own or as an ingredient in other dishes. Another popular way to eat them is as beetroot juice.
Most juices are not great for weight loss but beetroot juice may be a good fit for your weight loss diet. If you decide to implement beetroot juice into your daily life make sure you choose the ones that don’t have added sugar and other sweeteners.
Find out what nutrition values you can expect from beetroot juice, some alternative weight loss drinks, and if you do decide to drink more beetroot juice when to do it for better weight loss results.
How is beetroot juice made?
The way beetroot juice is made is pretty simple. The process starts with the whole vegetable, the beet.
You then press out the juice of the beetroot. You can either strain out the pulp or leave it in. Finally, some beetroot juice brands add garlic, salt, sugar, and other sweeteners.
These different methods make it so the nutrition in beetroot juices can be different. This in turn makes it so they have different effects on weight loss.
In this article, the nutrition info of a kind of unsweetened beetroot juice will be used (1). If you buy or prepare beetroot juice at home you want to avoid the ones with a lot of added sugar and other sweeteners. Possibly also the ones with a lot of salt if your diet is already rich in sodium.
Micronutrients in beetroot juice
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in beetroot juice.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of this kind of beetroot juice provides you with approximately (1):
- Potassium: 7% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Sodium: 6% of the DV
- Iron: 3% of the DV
- Calcium: 1% of the DV
These amounts will also vary depending on how the beetroot juice brand extracts the juice. The numbers from the example above are not impressive values per 100 grams compared to many other foods. The thing is that 100 grams of a fluid is easily consumed. One glass of beetroot juice would already be around 200 grams.
Beetroot juice can help you consume decent amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, there are many foods that can provide you with a lot more vitamins and minerals.
Beetroot juice also contains antioxidants, substances that can help your body deal with oxidative stress. It’s not clear if and if they do, to what extent, these substances can help you lose weight.
Nitrates in beets may improve exercise performance
Improving exercise intensity and duration can help you lose weight by allowing you to burn more calories. The difference in calories burned between running for example 25 minutes and 30 minutes can be 50 calories or more depending on how fast you run.
Dietary nitrates from beetroot juice are not a magic weight loss substance but they might help you get some more calorie burning out of your workouts.
Fiber in beetroot juice for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
This example of beetroot juice contains around 3 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in beetroot juice you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a good amount.
Will beetroot juice help you lose weight?
Before knowing whether or not beetroot juice deserves a spot in your weight loss diet you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in beetroot juice.
This example of beetroot juice contains 38 calories per 100 grams. 34 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (8.5 g per 100 grams of which 3 g fiber).
Beetroot juice is not very suited for low carb diets like for example the keto diet. It is very easy to go over your daily carbohydrate limit with this juice.
Besides that, this example of beetroot juice is on the low side in calories per 100 grams. The problem is that beetroot juice is a liquid.
Solid food will leave you feeling full a lot longer. Partly because liquid is easier to process, partly because solid whole foods often contain more fiber. Try eating 100 grams of potatoes vs drinking half a glass of beetroot juice or any other liquid.
This makes beetroot juice not very filling compared to the number of calories it contains. The extra micronutrients are nice but they are not enough to make drinking all those calories a good thing for your weight loss and health.
The particular example of beetroot juice used may still be a good weight loss option depending on what other foods you compare it with. Like with most foods, you can have some beetroot juice and still lose weight.
Make sure to check the nutrition label of the particular beetroot juice you have in mind before implementing a lot in your diet.
Drink these things instead
While it’s probably better to drink beetroot juice compared to most soft drinks and fruit juices, you may want to stay away from it if you’re looking to lose some weight. It’s generally better to consume these calories in solid food that will satisfy your hunger for longer and provide you with more nutrients.
When should you drink beetroot juice for weight loss?
If you do decide to drink beetroot juice, the time you drink it may influence your weight loss.
The calories in beetroot juice are mainly from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates raise insulin. Insulin in turn can mess with the production of sleep hormones. Sleep is important for your weight loss and health.
That’s why you preferably want to drink beetroot juice earlier in the day or at least not right before bed. To enjoy the potential workout benefits you want to drink beetroot juice 2-3 hours before your workout (6).
How much beetroot juice should you drink
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Consuming enough vitamins and minerals is important for both your short and long-term health and weight loss. Beetroot juice doesn’t provide you with a lot of vitamins and minerals so you definitely need other nutritious foods as well.
If you have consumed enough vitamins and minerals you can see how much beetroot juice still fits within your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too.