Pro Secrets: The Magic Drink

Top athletes share their meal strategies

Mar 7, 2013
Outside Magazine

   Photo: Kim D. French/

At the London Olympics, Olympic Training Center dietitians put out cartons of Beet-It beetroot juice, considered legal blood doping by some because of its powerful antioxidants and a substance called nitrate, which reduces the amount of oxygen muscles need, improving performance and stamina. Still, no one drank it. “The flavor is really strong,” says OTC senior executive chef Jacque Hamilton. So she mixed it with fresh pineapple and orange juice, added grated ginger, blended it with crushed ice, and served it in wine glasses. “The athletes loved it so much they started calling me at 6:30 in the morning to find out when it was being served.” Hamilton’s recipe: put four ounces of beetroot juice, six ounces of cubed fresh pineapple, four ounces of fresh-squeezed orange juice, one teaspoon of grated ginger, and two cups of crushed ice into a blender and mix for one to two minutes. Makes two eight-ounce servings.