SuperBeets is a form of concentrated beet powder and is billed as a “circulation superfood” by its manufacturer. Texas-based HumanN (stylized as “humann” or “Human Power of N”) proudly claims to have sold well over 4 million canisters of their pioneering beet product.
However, savvy consumers should always closely scrutinize bold marketing promises before handing over any money. That’s why we decided to write this science-based SuperBeets review to closely and independently examine the product. Let’s get started.
What is SuperBeets?
If you’re reading this review you may already be familiar with one of the many SuperBeets commercials. These TV and radio spots often lead with questions such as “what if you had more energy?”
SuperBeets is not just promoted as a route to improved vitality, however. The HumanN website touts potential benefits to the cardiovascular system, including support for healthy circulation and blood pressure levels.
To analyze these statements it’s imperative that we start with a thorough analysis of the product itself. This means examining the ingredients label of that SuperBeets canister and exploring whether the contents can really match the claims.
Here are the ingredients:
- Beetroot powder is harvested from dried beets. Like many other fruits and vegetables, raw beets are composed mainly of water and carbohydrates (from sugar and fiber). In fact, water accounts for over 87% of the weight of a raw beet serving. HumanN’s beet powder is therefore similar to other fruit and vegetable juices produced from concentrate. However, in this case, the canister contains just powder, with water added at the time of serving. The company also standardizes the product to ensure a nitrate content equivalent to approximately three whole beets per teaspoon.
- Fermented beetroot powder is obtained (quite obviously) by fermenting and then powdering raw beets. In this process, a solution of salt and water (brine) is used to kill off harmful bacteria. Probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus survive the process and lacto-fermentation takes place as these “good” bacteria convert sugars into lactic acid. Fermented foods are increasingly popular because of their ability to support a healthy gut microbiome.
- Natural black cherry/apple flavor is used to mask a portion of the distinctive, “earthy” flavor commonly associated with beets.
- Malic acid is a common food additive that imparts tartness (or sourness). Again, this may be desirable as a means of masking unpleasant earthy flavors present in beets.
- Magnesium ascorbate is a form of vitamin C that is non-acidic.
- Stevia leaf extract is a hugely popular sweetener that improves the taste-profile of SuperBeets without the need for added sugar.
Putting SuperBeets To The Test: Does It Work?
SuperBeets is an interesting nutritional supplement because of its singular focus on one beet-based ingredient. Marketing material for the product focuses heavily on the nitrate content of beet powder and HumanN state that a serving of one teaspoon of SuperBeets contains the same amount of nitrates as three whole beets.
The 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to a group of three pharmacologists whose work identified nitric oxide’s pivotal role in the vascular system.
HumanN’s website cites this discovery as the genesis for their own research, ultimately leading to the creation of SuperBeets. However, the team behind the product doesn’t appear to have had any role in the prize-winning research itself.
We’ll return to this topic later after looking closely at the nutritional science underpinning beets and beet powder.
Nitrates are compounds present in drinking water and many different foods. In the body, nitrates are converted to nitric oxide, which plays an important role in vascular (blood vessel) function (1).
Although many foods are high in nitrates, beets are considered an especially good source. Other foods with “very high” nitrate content include spinach, celery, and lettuce (2).
A study in which adults consumed approximately 350ml of beetroot juice showed no significant change in blood pressure or heart rate six hours afterward. However, systolic blood pressure was reduced in male (but not female) participants (5).
Other studies have shown that high-nitrate beetroot juice fails to reduce blood pressure in certain populations. Specifically, people who already take medications for high blood pressure and those with type 2 diabetes (3, 4).
Nevertheless, a review of 16 studies published in the Journal of Nutrition concluded that beetroot juice consumption can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure (6).
Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure exerted on blood vessels as the heart beats and pushes blood through the arteries.
Energy and Endurance
Improved performance in exercise and endurance activities is another potential benefit of SuperBeets that appears prominently in marketing material.
A study involving amateur athletes asked to consume 490ml of beetroot juice identified a 4.2% improvement in performance during an intermittent sprinting test (7).
Another study of older adults showed that a high dose of beets taken for 3 days improved exercise capabilities (8).
Meanwhile, a study of physically active men consuming 500ml of beet juice for 6 days showed improvements in exercise endurance. It took approximately 15% longer for these people to reach the point of exhaustion in a high intensity running test (9).
These results have been echoed in numerous clinical trials and this has stirred excitement in athletic communities and media alike. In 2019, the Washington Post covered the growing adoption of beet juice as an athletic aid.
A further study in young adults showed that drinking beet juice prior to a 5km race improved subsequent performance. Those who used the nitrate-rich juice completed the race an average of 41 seconds faster and reported less exhaustion towards the end of the run (10).
Are The SuperBeets Health Claims Accurate?
So far, our SuperBeets review has been focused on the ingredients in each canister. We’ve also looked at the science backing beets (and nitrates in particular) as a promoter of cardiovascular health and improved exercise performance.
However, it’s also worth taking time to analyze the accuracy of specific health claims HumanN make in support of their product. Each claim below is found directly on the manufacturer’s website.
Claim: SuperBeets “Promotes” Nitric Oxide Production
HumanN focuses a lot of their marketing efforts on the purported benefits of nitric oxide inside the human body. Beets are high in dietary nitrates, which the body can process into nitric oxide (2).
A recent study in adults given a 70ml beet juice supplement showed an increase in nitric oxide levels of over 20%. The increase was present after 45, 90, and 180 minutes following consumption (11).
Another study using 100ml of nitrate-rich beet juice also found significant increases in nitric oxide (12).
Claim: SuperBeets Supports Healthy Circulation
In the body, nitric oxide acts as a “vasodilator.” Vasodilators help arteries to relax and this promotes the healthy flow of blood around the body.
Increased levels of nitric oxide following the consumption of nitrate-rich vegetables are believed to be responsible for the potential benefits in blood pressure regulation and improved exercise endurance.
Beets have been dubbed a circulation “superfood” in the media in recent years. Nitric oxide is an effective vasodilator and can increase the efficiency of the circulatory system.
However, it’s important not to rely too heavily on one element of your diet, particularly if you have underlying health issues. Consuming beet juice won’t allow you to ignore other aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
Indeed, if you have high blood pressure or circulatory issues it’s critical to consult your doctor. You should also avoid substituting your regular medication with any supplement without seeking professional advice.
Claim: SuperBeets Supports Healthy Blood Pressure Levels
Studies investigating the effect of beets on blood pressure levels have produced mixed results. For instance, as we saw earlier, beet juice may be ineffective in people who already take medications for high blood pressure and those with type 2 diabetes (3, 7).
Furthermore, a study examining 24 adults with high blood pressure concluded that raw beet juice reduced blood pressure to a greater extent than cooked beets (17).
There are a few reasons to be cautious before rushing to label SuperBeets as the next nutritional miracle. Firstly, most clinical trials have focused on raw beet juice rather than the concentrated beet powder sold by HumanN.
In addition, the blood pressure-lowering action of beets is temporary and so regular, daily consumption is essential if the effect is to be sustained (18).
Nevertheless, the results of these studies have revealed the strong potential of beets as a means of lowering blood pressure. High blood pressure is linked to heart attack and stroke — two of the leading causes of death in developed countries.
Claim: SuperBeets Promotes Energy and Stamina
Beet juice has stirred significant interest, particularly among endurance athletes. The fascination with beets as a natural performance enhancer has only grown as evidence of its benefits has mounted.
A meta-analysis including a total of 76 trials was performed to investigate the effect of dietary nitrates on exercise performance. Researchers concluded that nitrate supplementation (for instance, from beet juice) was likely to positively influence endurance exercise performance (19).
However, it’s worth noting that the same researchers pointed out limitations in the current evidence. For example, we still don’t know the optimal dose, which groups of people are most likely to benefit, and under which circumstances dietary nitrates work best.
Nitrates in beets may reduce the oxygenation cost of exercise. This essentially means that oxygen in the body is used more efficiently during exercise. Several studies have identified this potential benefit (9, 22, 23).
It’s important to remember that beet juice only elevates nitrate levels in the blood for around 12 hours. In addition, levels typically peak within a couple of hours following consumption. Therefore, it may be best to consume nitrate-rich foods such as beets approximately 2 to 3 hours before exercising (24).
Is SuperBeets Worth It?
When you read a review of a nutritional supplement you typically want to know two things. First, does it work? And secondly, if so, is it really good enough to warrant the price tag?
In a nutshell, the key benefit of SuperBeets is convenience. Some consumers also prefer SuperBeets to raw beets because the sweetener stevia in the product masks some of the earthy taste commonly associated with beets.
A canister of SuperBeets weighs 150g and contains enough doses to last 30 days. Each 5g gram scoop is supposedly standardized to contain as many nitrates as three whole beets. The product is priced at $39.95 on HumanN’s website.
However, it’s worth remembering that SuperBeets is unlikely to have any benefits that nitrate-rich vegetables don’t also have. Indeed, much of the research we analyzed earlier was performed using raw beet juice or whole beets, not the beet powder present in this supplement.
Consuming nitrate-rich foods like SuperBeets may prove to be a more convenient yet pricier option for consumers seeking the benefits of dietary nitrates. As we noted earlier, beets are not the only vegetable rich in nitrates. Others include:
- Chervil (a herb similar to parsley)
Fortunately, this means people who find the taste of beets unpleasant can still benefit from consuming these other nitrate-rich vegetables.
Although there is strong evidence that beets and dietary nitrates, in particular, confer some health benefits, the decision on whether or not to use SuperBeets is a personal one.
Taste, convenience, price, and effectiveness are all important factors. On the one hand, some SuperBeets users enjoy the taste and convenience of the supplement. However, using SuperBeets may well end up pricier than simply eating nitrate-rich vegetables. In addition, most of the clinical studies on the benefits of dietary nitrates have relied on whole beets or beet juice, not beet powder.
What Do SuperBeets Customers Say?
When analyzing any product it’s always worth taking time to research what other customers are saying. This can help build up a picture of the pros and cons of a supplement.
On the official HumanN website, SuperBeets holds a rating of 4.7/5.0. In addition, 95% of reviewers would supposedly recommend the product to a friend. Reviews posted on manufacturer’s websites can be unreliable because there is an obvious incentive for the company to seek out and publish positive feedback.
At Amazon.com, the original SuperBeets product currently holds a rating of 3.8/5.0. 54% of the 1,857 reviews are rated 5 stars (the highest possible). Meanwhile, 17% of the customer reviews are rated 1 star (the lowest possible). The majority of these reviews come from “verified purchasers.”
A purchaser named Chris comments that he found SuperBeets while searching for an energy-boosting alternative to coffee. He says that the product worked well for him and that the convenience and taste of the beet powder made it a good choice.
Another buyer states that SuperBeets allowed him to reduce his blood pressure without resorting to medication. However, it’s important to note that this should only be done under the supervision of a doctor.
Conversely, a buyer named Karen states that the supplement did nothing to boost her energy or control her blood pressure. This sentiment is echoed by several other disappointed reviewers.
Other buyers have criticized the taste of the product and some believe it is overpriced in comparison to similar beet powders on the market.
Elsewhere, HumanN (formerly Neogenis Labs) is listed on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) where it has just one complaint. This complaint is marked resolved following a response from the company.
SuperBeets appears frequently in commercials. Persuasive sales videos are one element of the company’s marketing strategy:
This commercial relies heavily on endorsements from “real people.” Like most commercials of this nature, the individuals featured in the video are compensated in return for their “review.”
The supposed energy-enhancing effects of beet powder are typically the focus of these ads.
More On HumanN: The Company Behind SuperBeets
HumanN was founded in Texas in 2009 by husband and wife team Joel and AnnMarie Kocher among others. Originally known as Neogenis Labs, the company has grown into a leading producer of beet-based supplements.
The spark that led to the creation of HumanN was supposedly the 1998 Nobel Prize-winning research investigating the role of nitric oxide in the cardiovascular system. This prompted an eventual partnership with a professor from the University of Texas (Dr. Nathan S. Bryan) and the creation of several products including Neo40, BeetElite, and SuperBeets.
Rival company ThermoLife International sued HumanN in 2018 after a wrangle regarding patented technology. The case was dismissed in April 2019 but it appears that the two companies are still sparring over their respective rights in this lucrative market.
The dispute between the companies centers on the rights to intellectual property regarding nitrate supplements.
Dr. Nathan S. Bryan is a co-founder of HumanN and appears to be the leading medical professional behind the company. His eventual involvement with HumanN can be traced back to his research into nitric oxide while a professor at the University of Texas at Houston.
Co-founder Joel Kocher’s background appears to be primarily in business and technology.
Up to this point, we’ve studied the ingredients of SuperBeets, debated whether it offers good value for many, and analyzed feedback from customers. Before we reach our verdict and final rating score for the product we’ll cover some important information for those readers who are already using it or still wish to buy it.
Where to buy it
SuperBeets is primarily distributed online via the HumanN website and on Amazon.com. The prices below for the original SuperBeets product are accurate at the time of publishing.
- Official website ($39.95/canister)
- Amazon.com ($37.95/canister)
- Walmart.com ($34.99/canister)
- GNC ($34.99/canister)
When buying supplements like this one it is worthwhile shopping around to get the best possible price. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any active coupons for SuperBeets. However, the company is known to run promotions including a “buy two, get one free” deal and free shipping.
HumanN does offer a generous money back guarantee. The policy states that a SuperBeets canister can be returned used or unused for a full refund (minus shipping charges) within 90 days of purchase.
SuperBeets branded beet powder does not appear to be available from either Walgreens or CVS. However, these companies do sell beet powder under different brands. The same is true of Costco.
How do I use it?
Preparation of SuperBeets is simple: mix one teaspoon of the product with approximately 4oz (120ml) of water. Remember to store the canister in a cool, dry place and consume within 45 days.
Although beets are notorious for their “earthy” taste, SuperBeets contains natural flavorings and sweetener stevia. This gives the product a distinctly different taste to raw beet juice.
Does it cause side effects?
SuperBeets is unlikely to cause side effects in healthy people when dosed at the recommended level. However, it is vital to consult your doctor before beginning a new supplement, particularly if you intend to stop taking one or more medications.
The consumption of beets may exacerbate the formation of kidney stones in susceptible people.
Beets can also cause beeturia in which urine and other waste are passed with a distinctive red or pink color. However, this condition is harmless in itself.
Finally, people who suffer from gout may suffer from a flare-up if they consume beets. This is due to the oxalate content of the vegetable.
What other products does HumanN offer?
The original SuperBeets beet powder is just one product in a wide line of supplements offered by HumanN. Although it would be beyond the scope of this review to analyze each one, we have summarized the products below:
- SuperBeets Energy Plus (contains added caffeine — $39.95)
- SuperBeets Collagen (contains collagen peptides — $39.95)
- SuperBeets Immune (contains yeast beta-glucan — $39.95)
- SuperBeets Soft Chews ($39.95/packet of 30)
- Neo40 ($39.95/box of 30 tabs)
- Advanced Immune Support ($29.95/bottle of 60 tablets)
- HeartGreens ($29.95/canister of 30 servings)
- BeetElite ($39.95/canister of 20 servings)
HumanN’s primary focus appears to be on beets and the role of nitrates and nitric oxide in maintaining good health. However, they also formulate products targeted at immune support and skin health.
These products come in many different forms including tablets, powder, and chews.
Do beets have other health benefits?
We have focused primarily on exercise, endurance, and blood pressure throughout this review. However, beets are packed with nutrients that can offer wider health benefits.
Beets are a rich source of fiber. They also contain numerous vitamins and minerals, including folate and manganese (25).
Betalin pigments in beets appear to possess anti-inflammatory properties (17).
Beets have also been linked with improved cognition and as a potential preventative measure against dementia. However, more research is needed in this area before firm conclusions can be drawn.
Dietary nitrates have been a source of some confusion among consumers. Sodium nitrates are frequently used in processed meat products like bacon and have been linked with bowel cancer. Some retailers have even taken to selling nitrate-free bacon.
However, it’s important to understand the context of nitrates within the body. Nitrate-containing vegetables are packed with antioxidants which stifle the formation of harmful compounds (26).
The same is not true for processed meats and there is a gathering body of evidence to demonstrate the potential risks of consuming bacon and other processed products regularly.
What other ways can I boost my nitric oxide levels?
- Consume antioxidant-rich foods to reduce the speed at which nitric oxide is broken down in the body
- Avoid the overuse of mouthwash as it serves to kill important mouth bacteria that play a role in the formation of nitric oxide
- Exercise regularly
Our Verdict & Alternatives
We pointed out earlier in this review that the benefits of beets can be enjoyed through the consumption of vegetables or raw beet juice. Nevertheless, some consumers prefer the taste and convenience offered by SuperBeets.
It’s worth noting, however, that SuperBeets is not the only beet powder supplement on the market. Other leading retailers stock different brands, including:
- CVS sells Feel Good Super Beet Powder ($29.99)
- Amazon and others sell Country Farms Bountiful Beets Powder ($37.51/2-pack)
- The Vitamin Shoppe sell Raw Organic Red Beet Powder and Organic Beet Essence Juice Powder (both $16.99)
A multitude of other beet powders are sold on Amazon at various price points. Leading brands include Chérie Sweet Heart, Naturevibe Botanicals, BulkSupplements, Super Organics, and Micro Ingredients.
Beets pack an incredibly powerful punch with their health-promoting properties. However, SuperBeets has some notable drawbacks.
- Convenient method of consumption
- Natural flavors mask the beet taste that many people dislike
- Beets appear to have many health benefits
- Generous return policy
- Most research on the health benefits of beets has been done using raw beets, not dehydrated powder as found in SuperBeets
- SuperBeets is a relatively expensive product
- There are many rival companies now retailing comparable beet powders for less money