Lucie Loves... Fitness // How eating beetroot can help post-exercise muscle recovery. #BEETYOURBEST  


As a freelancer, I’m quite used to every day being different from the next. So on this particular Tuesday morning, it was no surprise to find myself heading east on the jubilee line to London Bridge. The lure? If I’m honest, it was the promise of a free HIIT workout and a healthy breakfast, with celebrity fitness trainer and PT to Millie Mackintosh, Olivia Cooney of Pop-Up Fitness & Sports and Exercise Nutrition Expert, Dr Tom Clifford.

Unfortunately, it meant peeling myself out of bed for an 8:30am start time… but… every cloud… the class was to take place in the stunning loft space of an old – yet extremely photogenic – London warehouse. I’d invited Lucie Loves’ Men’s Lifestyle Blogger, James Barley, to come along with me.

Olivia Cooney put us all through our paces with a series of high intensity interval training exercises. We burpeed, side-planked and boxed our way through it, accompanied by a live DJ set from The Collyer Twins.

If you’ve read my fitness posts before, you’ll have seen that I’m quite a fan of boxing as a form of keeping fit. Check out my review of the Get Fit Not HIIT class at Total Boxer.

The premise of the class was to impart beetroot-related knowledge to fitness & lifestyle bloggers like me, and get to try some of Olivia’s tasty beetroot-based recipes, such as: chocolate beetroot energy balls, on-the-go sweet chilli beetroot frittata, balsamic beetroot and carrot fritters with garlic and mint yoghurt and beetroot falafels.

“Dr Tom Clifford, a scientist at Newcastle University whose focus is exercise physiology and nutrition, is one of the experts trying to unravel the mechanisms and plant chemicals which make beetroot so beneficial. He says: “Beetroot is full of nitrate, which our bodies convert into nitrite, and then into nitric oxide, when we eat it — and nitric oxide seems to be involved in absolutely everything. It has a regulatory role in a lot of different processes including respiration, immune function, blood pressure, and muscle contraction.”

I was interested to hear how eating beetroot before and/or after exercise can support post-exercise muscle recovery. Personally, I like the flavour and can eat it until it’s coming out of my ears, but I appreciate that its earthy taste isn’t for everyone. If you’re keen to introduce beetroot into your diet, try adding it to your fresh juices.

Beetroot Facts

  • 100 grams of raw beet has just 43kcal and 0.1g of fat and is bursting with nutrients including:
  • 1.6g protein
  • 2.8g  bre
  • 6.7g slow release sugars (glycaemic load 5)² 
  • 4.9mg vitamin C
  • 109mcg folate
  • 16mg calcium 0.8mg iron
  • 23mg magnesium 
  • 325mg potassium 
  • 128mg betaine

For recipe ideas and to find out more about the benefits of beetroot, visit:

Photography © James Barley