Skip to Content

Does beet juice really lower your blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious medical condition that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other health complications. About 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, which is defined as a systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic blood pressure of 80 mm Hg or higher.[1] Making lifestyle modifications such as following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing alcohol intake, and not smoking can help lower blood pressure. There has been growing interest in whether drinking beet juice can also help lower blood pressure. Let’s take a closer look at the scientific evidence.

What are beets and beet juice?

Beets are a root vegetable that come in a variety of colors, most commonly purple. The pigments that give beets their rich color are antioxidants called betalains. Betalains have been studied for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxification properties.[2]

Beet juice is made by juicing raw beets. It contains high amounts of inorganic nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is a molecule that dilates blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.[3]

Do clinical studies support that beet juice lowers blood pressure?

Several clinical studies have found that consuming beet juice can lead to a reduction in blood pressure:

A 2012 study

In a 2012 study published in Nutrition Journal, 15 men and 15 women with high blood pressure drank either 17.6 ounces (500 mL) of beet juice or a placebo juice devoid of nitrates daily for four weeks.[4] The results showed:

  • Systolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 4.4 mm Hg in the beet juice group, compared to placebo.
  • Diastolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 1.1 mm Hg in the beet juice group, compared to placebo.

A 2015 study

A 2015 study in Hypertension examined the effects of drinking 8 ounces (240 mL) of beet juice versus placebo juice for seven days in 14 men with high blood pressure. The researchers found:[5]

  • 24-hour systolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 8 mm Hg after drinking the beet juice.
  • 24-hour diastolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 2 mm Hg after drinking the beet juice.

A 2019 study

A 2019 randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Human Hypertension provided 64 men and women with stage 1 hypertension either 16 ounces (480 mL) of beet juice or a nitrate-depleted placebo juice daily for four weeks.[6] The beet juice resulted in:

  • A decrease in 24-hour systolic blood pressure of 7.7 mm Hg.
  • A decrease in 24-hour diastolic blood pressure of 2.4 mm Hg.

How much beet juice should you drink?

Based on the current research, drinking 8 to 16 ounces (240 to 480 mL) of beet juice per day seems effective for lowering blood pressure. The optimal frequency is unclear, but the studies showing reductions in blood pressure provided the juice daily. Beet juice is perishable and some of the nitrates can degrade over time, so it’s best consumed fresh.[7]

One thing to keep in mind is that some people experience beeturia (reddish/pink urine) after eating beets, which is harmless. Drinking a large amount of beet juice at one time may temporarily turn urine and stools pink or red.[8]

Are there any side effects of drinking beet juice?

Beet juice is safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The nitrates in beet juice can temporarily lower blood pressure. Those already taking medication to treat high blood pressure should be cautious with beet juice due to the risk of blood pressure dropping too low.
  • There’s a theoretical risk that the nitrates in beet juice could trigger migraines, so those prone to migraines should use caution.
  • The oxalates in beets may contribute to kidney stones in susceptible individuals.
  • Beet juice is high in sugar. Consuming large amounts may be problematic for those with diabetes or trying to reduce sugar intake.

Are there any drug interactions?

Nitrates can enhance the blood pressure lowering effects of certain medications used to treat high blood pressure, such as:[9]

  • ACE inhibitors like lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril) or ramipril (Altace)
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) like losartan (Cozaar) or valsartan (Diovan)
  • Diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide
  • Calcium channel blockers like amlodipine (Norvasc)
  • Beta blockers like metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL)

Using beet juice alongside these drugs can potentially cause excessively low blood pressure. Those on antihypertensive medications should consult their doctor before adding beet juice to their diet.

Are there nitrate-free alternatives to beet juice?

For those looking to avoid beet juice specifically, other nitrate-rich vegetables and their juices could be considered, such as:[10]

  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • Bok choy
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Celery

However, more research is needed on whether these alternative nitrate sources are as effective as beet juice for lowering blood pressure.

Does the nitrate content degrade over time?

Yes, the nitrate content in beet juice can degrade over time. For best results, beet juice should be consumed fresh or with minimal processing.

One study found that storing beet juice for 48 hours at 39°F (4°C) resulted in only minor losses of nitrate, retaining >90% of the original content. However, storing beet juice for 48 hours at room temperature (68°F/20°C) led to substantial nitrate losses of 15-35%.[7]

Other research found pasteurizing beet juice had minimal effects on nitrate levels when done at appropriate temperatures and times. However, nitrate content was reduced by 15% when juice was pasteurized at higher temperatures.[11]

Boiling beet juice results in significant nitrate losses of around 45-60%.[12]

So for maximum nitrate preservation, beet juice is best stored chilled and consumed within 2 days. Pasteurization should be done carefully at lower temperatures if possible. Boiling or cooking beet juice is not recommended.


Several clinical studies have shown drinking 8 to 16 ounces of beet juice per day can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. Beet juice is a source of inorganic nitrates, which the body converts to nitric oxide – a compound that dilates blood vessels.

However, those already taking antihypertensive medications should use caution with beet juice due to the risk of blood pressure dropping too much. There is also the possibility of beeturia, color changes to urine or stools, and potential side effects in susceptible individuals.

For people looking to avoid beet juice specifically, other nitrate-rich vegetables may offer similar blood pressure-lowering benefits but more research is needed. When preparing beet juice, preserving the nitrates is best achieved by juicing fresh beets and chilling the juice, rather than storing at room temperature, boiling, or over-pasteurizing.