fuel me: pure clean powder

First of all, I swam in the ocean this morning for the first time in seven months. I am a new woman. Secondly, beets.

I’ve waxed poetic about beets a lot on this blog. I roast them on a regular basis for salads, and have been known to use them for hummus, my Grandma’s amazing beet borscht, and in one of my favorite pasta dishes ever.

Too often, we busy triathletes can barely keep our fridges stocked with vegetables, let alone finding the time to roast and puree beets with ricotta for stuffed shells. (Yeah, that’s the above recipe again. So good.)

That’s where Pure Clean Powder comes in. Solving the age-old conundrum of how to get the magic beet into the smoothie, this company packaged up the nutritional powerhouse into a convenient powder. Two smoothies later, I’m already a fan.

I discovered the powder on a local cyclist and ultrarunner‘s Instagram feed, and was intrigued. After securing a few of the single-serving packets,* I set to work with my Vitamix, intent on creating the world’s best beet-infused smoothie.

V8’s evil twin

My first attempt (above) was decent, but far too vegetal. You have to be careful when including vegetables in a smoothie to balance them with enough sweetness, and I failed. Smoothie #1 (AKA: V8’s evil twin) didn’t live up to my expectations. I used half a frozen banana, a small handful of mixed berries, a small navel orange, two handfuls of spinach, one whole carrot, water, and a single-serving package of the Pure Clean Powder.

I wised up for Smoothie #2, which much more closely resembled something you could name “Tropical Sunset” or “Berry Blast,” as per this hilarious article on the confusion between strains of marijuana and smoothie varieties. This one featured more frozen banana, berries, yogurt, water, and Pure Clean Powder. I figure if you’ve got a freaking beet in your drink, you can save the spinach and carrots for another time.

The one and only.

If you haven’t read all the raving reports of how great beet juice is for endurance athletes, get on it. Or just read Pure Clean’s summary of the science, covering all the juicy details on nitrates, vasodilation, oxygen uptake, and power output. Time to check out of here for the day and go down a beet smoothie. Maybe, just maybe, it will vasodilate me enough to stay with the lead pack tomorrow at San Luis Rey.

*Full disclosure: I contacted Pure Clean Powder for samples to review.