Thinking back on it, the hotel staff's reaction wasn't unreasonable. Nonetheless, I was shocked and ready to check out on the spot when they swiped into my room at 3AM unannounced just to peek through the sliver of the door and spy on us. To their credit, juicing beets well before the crack of dawn in a hotel bathtub the previous night could have seemed like any number of unsavory things if you were on the other side of the bathroom wall.
Juicing your own beets is a messy, time-consuming process, that in my opinion renders a product that tastes exactly what you would expect spicy radishes covered in dirt to taste like. The quick and dirty explanation for their popularity for athletes is that the high concentration of nitrates found in beets increases blood flow and oxygen intake in the muscles, making endurance athletes faster for longer. Also, I imagine technicolor pees contribute to the appeal.
Pure Clean Powder has given me my fix, making me faster — or rather less slow — than I would otherwise be, without the fuss or nasty taste. One scoop a few hours before a race and I'm set.
It does solidify if not properly cared for, and my first batch went hard when it was on my kitchen shelves, so now I keep it in the refrigerator with a paper towel inside to soak up excess moisture and make sure never to get the scoop wet, and always let all of the air out of the bag before sealing completely, which has worked perfectly. In addition to the large bag, it is available in single-use packets, which is great for traveling racers whose stuff sits in a hot car. If one packet solidifies, it's not a big hassle to use it anyway.
A bulk bag with 40 beets worth costs $46.75, clearly much more than fresh beets, but to me very worth the convenience, and a single pack costs $1.65.
Emily Zinn — Boulder, CO