When i registered for my first half marathon in Bangalore in Oct 14, nothing in me was prepared to even finish it. The number ’21 Kms’ gave me shivers and i could not wrap my head around how people can ran 42 km or 50 km, 100, even 400 kms for that matter. Anyhow, I started my training, searched, researched and did everything to at least finish the mammoth 21 kms. The day came, i ran and fought for every breath and every step prayed not to die and when i crossed the finish line I just could not believe it . Yes i finished, it was not a great timing, i could not feel my legs, could not get off the bed for the entire day, could not walk for couple of days but i finished. I was so glad it was over.
After the race got over, the training and euphoria subsided and exactly like every marathon runner, i signed up for another race. Yes, after all the suffering and pain, i signed up for another one. This time it was Delhi Marathon! But this time i was more confident and i knew what to do. I knew, training was important but right food and diet can make a whole lot of difference.
If you are a runner, you would know, we can eat and gosh to the extent that it is embarrassing. Therefore it is very important to get a diet which is healthy, filling and nutritious. I did a lot of research, one thing came out clear; beetroot is the super food for not just runners but for all athletes. It is like an organic performance booster. Beetroot has been accepted as a endurance boosting food in recent years. Actually nitrates in any form of food help endurance and stamina. They also keep our hearts healthy and guess what Beets are superb source of nitrate. Not just nitrate, beets are rich in vitamin B and lots of antioxidants which help in energy productions. In fact the beautiful deep purple colour of beets comes from the pigment called betalins which posses anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
There were a number of articles emphasizing on drinking beetroot juice everyday to have better stamina. I decided to include beets in my diet and this is how i came up with this beetroot smoothie.I prefer this smoothie over beet juice simply because this is so much easier to make and trust me you do not want any added hassles after 1- 1.5 hr of run in the morning. I also add apple in this because….apples are so amazing, also because they counter the raw, earthy taste of beets and add their sweetness and creaminess.
As you would see in the recipe, i have boiled the beets. I do that because i am not a fan of raw beets. Boiling them sort of cooks them and makes them softer. You can also roast or bake them. You can definitely add them raw just that raw beets don’t make very smooth and creamy smoothie and it tastes grainier and just ‘raw’. But to mention, I use normal blender, may be powerful vita mix type blender can make creamy smoothie of raw beets as well. Let me know if you try and it works out fine.
Black salt or rock salt is the secret ingredient of this smoothie. It goes so well with apple and beets and brings out the flavors. Do not miss on that. Mint and ginger are also the wonder ingredient. Mint leaves a very refreshing after taste. You will find it hard to believe that this healthy drink is so incredibly delicious. This is totally gluten free recipe.
And yes, i improved my time in Delhi marathon by 21 minutes in the span of two months..21 minutes yayyy!! Of course a lot of other things contributed but there was this smoothie which i included in my diet regularly. So may be beets are magical. From my personal experience, i definitely recommend this smoothie to all athletes, specially to the beginners like me. Happy running!!
- 1 beetroot
- 1 Apple (3/4th of the quantity of beetroot)
- 3 tbsp yogurt
- Handful of mint
- 2 inch ginger
- 1/2 tsp of black salt or rock salt
- 1 tsp of honey/sugar
- 1/4 cup of water
- Peel and cut he beetroot and boil for 2-3 minutes or till it's soft in about 1/4 cup of water. We can use the same water while blending so do not add too much water. You can also skip this step and simply use the raw beet.
- Cut medium size pieces of apple and remove seeds.
- When beetroot cools down, throw everything in the blender, add some ice as well and blend till it makes smooth paste
- Add some lemon juice just before you serve (Optional)
- Feel free to adjust water to make the consistency of your choice
- You can also blue berries, pineapple or any other fruits you like