While beet juice is more known to improve anemia and maintain blood pressure, beets and beet juice contain high levels of fiber, making them an excellent drink to have when experiencing constipation. Aside from fiber, beet juice contains betaine, which increases the stomach’s acidity, resulting in excellent digestive health and regular bowel movements.
Drinking one to two cups of beet juice will grant immediate constipation relief and make you poop within the day. It hydrates the body, bulks your stool while softening it for easier passage, and cleanses your digestive system. You might expect a color change in your stool when drinking beet juice regularly, but you shouldn’t be alarmed. However, in an increased dose, beet juice might cause diarrhea, especially for those who have beet allergies. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
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How Does Beet Juice Make You Poop
Beet Juice is Rich in Fiber
As we grow older, our fiber needs increase. Fiber is an insoluble carbohydrate that bulks up our stool, resulting in regular bowel movements.
According to Mayo Clinic, lack of fiber in one’s diet contributes to occasional constipation and even chronic constipation in some adults. Mayo Clinic also recommends eating food rich in fiber to aid digestion, as men should strive for 30 to 38 grams of fiber per day, while women should aim for 21 to 25 grams.
Luckily, consuming beets provides high levels of fiber. Although beet juice and beetroot juice only contain traces of fiber, fresh beetroot, beet leaves, or beet greens contain almost 4 grams of fiber per, around 15% of the daily required fiber intake.
Cooked beets or boiled beets include roughly 1.8 grams of dietary fiber per ½ cup serving, amounting to 4.7% of a man's recommended daily fiber requirement or 7.2% of a woman's daily requirements.
There are two types of fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. For example, half a cup of cooked beets contains 0.8 grams of soluble fiber, or approximately the same amount as a ½-cup dish of tomato sauce, half a cup of cooked barley, or a piece of rye bread. On the other hand, there is 1 gram of insoluble fiber in half a cup of cooked or boiled beets.
Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and breaks down into a gel-like material in the colon (a portion of the gut). However, as food passes through the gastrointestinal system, insoluble fiber doesn't dissolve in water and remains intact. Therefore, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber must be taken in high amounts daily to maintain healthy digestion and a regular bowel movement.
Making a Fiber-rich Beet Smoothie
Since beet juice and beetroot juice is not exactly the best source of fiber, we recommend blending beetroots to get more fiber. Additionally, you can mix beets with other fiber-rich fruits to add flavor and fiber content. However, beets can be bitter, and some people may not enjoy them as is.
Some of the best fruits you can add are apples, pineapples, mangoes, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, persimmons, and bananas. However, if you opt for a green smoothie, you can mix beet leaves with green peas or broccoli, which have the highest fiber content in foods.
Choose your fruits or vegetables and freeze them before blending to make the smoothie. When you blend the whole fruits or vegetables, you will get as much soluble and insoluble fiber as possible.
Beet Juice Contains Betaine
Although not that popular, betaine is a form of digestive aid found naturally in beets, giving them their vibrant color. Betaine, a nutrient derived from choline, a B-complex vitamin, acts by increasing stomach acid levels and increasing digestion in the stomach. The stomach acid level is around 1.5-3.5, and drinking beet juice or beetroot juice helps maintain that value, as it takes effect within 1-2 hours after ingestion.
Although there are commercially available betaine hydrochloride supplements, beets are among the richest natural sources. It is thought that betaine can fight off yeast infections in the intestines, prevent acid reflux and gallstone formation, and relieve diarrhea. Moreover, beets are known to increase healthy gut bacteria for normal digestion.
Since oral betaine supplements are not FDA approved as they are not proven safe, natural sources such as beets are safer. You can also use beets as a test for constipation. This method is also known as the “beet test.”
How to Perform the Beet Test for Constipation
The beet test is performed using only beets. Since beets produce red pigment, you can expect a red stool after beet ingestion. Therefore, using that simple principle, you can perform the beet test.
This method requires you to ingest half of the raw beet and wait for 12-24 hours for your poop. However, you have to have the stomach to glance at your stool color to see if this method works.
Suppose you excrete red poop within 12-24 hours after ingestion. That means your digestion takes place immediately, while if you only notice the red poop after 24 hours, that can indicate that you are indeed constipated.
Making a Betaine-rich Smoothie
Only a few foods contain betaine in high amounts, and luckily, you can make a smoothie out of them. Some of the richest sources of betaine are wheat bran, quinoa, spinach, and beets. Luckily, these betaine-rich foods contain high fiber, so pooping within a few hours is expected.
For this smoothie, you won’t need to freeze anything, but you do have to take note of your allergies, as wheat contains gluten, which can cause reactions in those with gluten intolerance.
Beet Juice is Rich in Anti-cancer Properties
According to Mayo Clinic, one of the most common causes of chronic constipation is colon cancer and rectal cancer. Other digestive cancers that press the colon also result in constipation. When there’s a tumor in your rectum or colon, your poop can’t pass directly, causing straining during bowel movements.
While there’s no single perfect medication for cancer, you can prevent these from developing by taking in foods rich in antioxidant compounds that have anti-cancer properties like beets.
It doesn't matter whether they are cooked or boiled beets, raw beets, canned beets, pickled beets, or even juiced. Beets contain polyphenols, flavonoids, dietary nitrates, and other minerals. So consuming them is a comprehensive way to prevent cancer and control the side effects of chemotherapy.
How Much Beet Juice Can Make You Poop?
While there is no standard amount of beet juice that can surely make you poop, drinking one to two glasses of beet juice should grant an immediate effect among adults. Two glasses of beetroot juice provide enough fiber, hydration, and betaine to help your digestive organs digest food faster, resulting in poop formation.
Since dehydration is also a common cause of constipation, two glasses of beet juice will aid in hydrating your gut. A hydrated stomach will cause softer stool, preventing straining during excretion.
You can give as much as one glass of beet juice in a day to kids, as too much betaine may cause allergic reactions to some kids. Since kids may not enjoy beet juice a lot, you can mix beet juice with fiber-rich fruits to make a palatable smoothie.
Is Red Poop Normal After Drinking Beet Juice?
As mentioned above, beets—once ingested—produce a red pigment in your stool and urine. This phenomenon, called beeturia, occurs because of betalains—red pigments found in beets. Each cell in beetroots contains these powerful antioxidants.
Since the digestive system breaks down the red pigment in the stomach, there should only be a red tinge or hue in your stool. However, some studies have shown a link between beeturia, high oxalic contents, and anemia.
In addition, you should also note if the red pigment in your poop and urine came from the beets you just ate and not because of a bleeding disorder, severe anemia, or digestive tract bleeding. Also, have your stool checked for blood and other blood products.
As suggested in the studies, high oxalate in the body prevents betalains from being broken down, causing them to be stored in the colon as-is, which results in a much darker red color. As a result, people who have beet allergies or food allergies suffer from the ill effects of ingesting them. Their bodies cannot break down betalains, which results in beeturia.
Beet Juice Benefits
Aside from being a natural laxative, beets also bring many health benefits. Medical News Today report that beets are rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate or folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, copper, and zinc. They are also rich in phytochemicals and nitrates, contributing to their health benefits.
Since beets are rich in nitrates, the body converts these nitrates to nitric oxide, which is known to lower blood pressure. Nitric oxide helps dilate the blood vessels, causing low blood pressure or regulating high blood pressure. Beets are also rich in iron, which is an excellent addition to patients with iron deficiency anemia.
Beets are also great for cleansing the liver. They contain vitamin A, vitamin B6, folic acid, and iron that act as antioxidants in the liver and prevent oxidative stress and cellular damage.
In addition, beets also contain phytochemicals that prevent toxins from building up in the liver. Lastly, beets are known to boost overall athletic performance and stamina and prevent the development of heart disease.
Although there is no published standard for beetroot juice ingestion, it is essential to note that too much beet juice can cause several side effects. Therefore, we recommend drinking up to two glasses of beet juice in a day, just enough to give the benefits.
While beetroot juice has been known to stop symptoms of diarrhea, people who have food allergies, especially beet allergies, might experience diarrhea. In addition, the stool may be red or pink, which is an indication that the body failed to break down betalain.
Beets contain oxalic acid, which can be dangerous to people with kidney failure. Oxalic acid builds up in the kidneys and forms renal calculi that can block the filtering process.
In addition, some people have beet allergies. Raw beets, canned beets, cooked beets, and beet juice can cause itching, rash, hives, chills, and even fever.
Yes. Beets are considered a natural laxative due to their fiber and betaine content. Beet juice and beetroot juice also provide hydration, especially to kids who do not enjoy drinking enough water. Aside from being an excellent laxative, beets and beet juice also prevent the development of colon cancer and rectal cancer, which are common causes of chronic constipation.
One of the health benefits of beet juice is cleansing the colon, which can be achieved by juicing beets with lemon juice, apples, ginger, or cucumbers. A colon cleanse aims to eliminate toxins that accumulate due to undigested meals. Beetroot is an excellent choice for a healthier you because it is renowned for promoting overall health.
As you may guess by the color, beets are great for blood health. Aside from preventing high blood pressure and healthy blood vessels, beets are a great source of iron, folic acid, and vitamin C, contributing to healthy blood flow or blood circulation.
When ingesting beets, red or pink urine and stool are considered normal. That doesn’t mean that bleeding or blood exists in your stool and urine. However, if you haven’t been drinking beet and observe red stool and urine, you must seek a doctor’s advice.