A number of studies have shown that the lowly beet is high in dietary nitrate, a natural substance that boosts the efficiency of working muscles, delays exhaustion, and improves overall exercise performance.
Not a beet fan? Chard, arugula, celery, and rhubarb are also high in dietary nitrates. Mix these vegetables into your morning smoothie for a high-octane endurance boost.
• 2 cups coarsely chopped spinach
• 2 cups filtered water
• 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
• 1 small raw beet, trimmed and chopped (about 1/3 cup)
• 1 pear, cored and chopped
• 1 stalk celery, chopped
• 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
Optional: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. (If your blender isn’t powerful, grate the beets and chop the celery into small pieces.)
Recipe by Melissa McLean JoryThe Gluten-Free Edge:  A Nutrition and Training Guide for Peak Athletic Performance and an Active Gluten-Free Life, by Peter Bronski and Melissa McLean Jory. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment.