Why You Should Be Drinking Beet Juice Before You Work Out

Beets are a popular addition to salad and known for their bright red color. You can reap the benefits by eating them raw, cooked, or even juiced. The beet juice craze began when Olympic athletes used it as a performance enhancer and it has since become popular as a pre-workout drink.

Click here for the 10 Ways to Use Beets in Your Sweets slideshow.

Is beet juice the new protein powder? A new study found that just a two-thirds cup of beet juice can significantly improve muscle power. The participants in the study found an increase in the force and velocity of their muscles by about 13 percent after consuming the juice. According to Linda Peterson, the coauthor of the study, beets are filled with nitrate and, when you consume nitrate, the body converts it into nitrite and then into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide gives you the boost in muscle power.

Beets are a low-calorie root vegetable that are high in potassium, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, carotenoids, iron, manganese, and magnesium, so you don't have to be a professional athlete or committed gym-goer to benefit from beet juice.

The accompanying slideshow is provided by fellow Daily Meal editorial staff member Angela Carlos.