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Beetroot Benefits for Men: Erectile Dysfunction and More

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown, MD

Written by Geoffrey Whittaker

Published 10/03/2020

Updated 03/12/2024

Depending on what day of the week you read this, there’s probably a new “all-star” in the superfood world claiming to be a natural remedy for ED (erectile dysfunction).

We’ve seen a number of fruits, vegetables, herbs, extracts, powders and oils discussed and evaluated over the years, and we’re here to tell you beetroot might just be another blip on the radar. We've even compiled a list of possible foods that may kill ED. But while some research has linked beetroot to potential benefits for ED, potential benefits and real benefits are very different things.

We’re not saying beetroot isn’t one of the best drinks for ED or a compelling food that helps ED. But honestly, making one of these lists isn’t that impressive of an achievement.

The Massachusetts Male Aging Study found that, by age 40, roughly 40 percent of men experience some kind of erectile dysfunction — and by age 70, that number jumps to 70 percent).

Curiously few men, however, have overcome ED by buying a juicer.

Of course, it’s easier to buy a juicer or scour the internet looking for home remedies and over-the-counter supplements to “fix” sexual problems — much easier than going to a healthcare professional and having to explain that you’re having trouble getting it up.

Below, we’ll explore the (limited) science behind beetroot for ED. We’ll also touch on the benefits of getting more beets in your diet (there are a lot) and suggest a few ED treatment options that may go down a little easier than pulpy red juice when you’re trying to get intimate.

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When it comes to erectile dysfunction, there aren’t many compelling studies suggesting that beets are the key to stiffer, longer-lasting erections. The problem is that while the internet may give you a ton of search results for beetroot and ED, there’s not much substance once you look at the scientific studies — or lack thereof.

Most research has focused on the fact that beetroot supplementation can increase nitric oxide in the body, which could be beneficial for erections.

See, nitric oxide plays a very important role in your ability to achieve an erection (to the point that many people supplement nitric oxide too). It helps in the relaxation of smooth muscle that leads to your penis being filled with blood — and generally, it’s also known for promoting better vascular function.

And just like nitric oxide impairment is thought to play a role in your increased risk of heart disease, it’s believed to play a role in your increased risk of erectile dysfunction.

But how do you defeat ED with beets? That’s a harder question to answer.

Beetroot can be juiced or powdered — or simply eaten as it has been for thousands of years. Beets are rich in fiber, antioxidants, saponins, nitrate (more on that later) and phenolic compounds. They also contain vitamins such as retinol (vitamin A), B-complex, and vitamin C, plus minerals such as sodium, iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus and potassium.

Unfortunately, there are currently no official dietary guidelines for how to consume beetroot (as a juice or as a powder) for erectile health benefits — or any health benefits, for that matter.

So, while studies have shown that beets may offer these benefits, getting the “right amount” into your diet isn’t something we (or anyone else) can tell you how to do the right way — at least not yet.

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You may find beetroot mentioned alongside digestive system health, cancer cells, cholesterol and other important men’s health topics. But while many blogs talk up the potential of beets, we’re here to focus on the science.

We don’t want to mince (or juice or powderize) words here: Beetroot juice is good for you for many reasons.

While a post-workout shot of it at the juice bar may not have you filling out those gray sweatpants in impressive ways, it can do a number of things for the total body health you’re trying to improve and protect — and many of these things may trickle down to better erections.

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There’s evidence for some of the reported health benefits. The benefits of beetroot powder for men include:

  • Antioxidant intake. Beetroot is rich in numerous antioxidant compounds, including betalain, a pigment containing nitrogen. In lab studies, beetroot juice has been shown to protect against oxidative stress on numerous cell types, including fats, proteins and DNA. Further, when scientists tested to see if human digestion degrades these beneficial compounds, they found the exact opposite: Simulated digestion increases antioxidant power.

  • Inflammation reduction. There’s some evidence that beetroot may provide anti-inflammatory benefits. In one human study, supplementing with beetroot for just 10 days resulted in a reduction of inflammatory markers and pain in patients with arthritis. A few studies in rats had similarly positive findings.

  • Nitric oxide production. Much of the research on beetroot benefits is related to vascular health. This is because beets, and therefore beet juice, are rich in dietary nitrate, which becomes nitric oxide during digestion. Nitric oxide is responsible for mediating the cells that make up the lining of our blood vessels (known as endothelium), but as we age, the amount of nitric oxide available within our bodies depletes.

  • Lowered blood pressure. Less available nitric oxide has been implicated as a cause of endothelial dysfunction, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or hypertension and hardening of the arteries. Multiple studies have shown cardiovascular benefits associated with beets or beetroot juice, including reduced blood pressure, improved muscle oxygenation and less stiff blood vessels.

  • Cognition boost. Mental wellness may also get a boost from this root vegetable. Similar to how beet juice may provide cardiovascular benefits, it might assist in protecting against neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. This is because a decline in available nitric acid associated with age can affect brain health. A few studies in humans have found that beetroot supplementation increases blood flow in the brain and improves reaction time.

Generally speaking, beetroot is also part of a well-balanced diet. Eating beets may prevent or improve any number of health conditions, including boosting your heart health, and it may be part of a weight loss plan in certain diets.

Just because it doesn’t directly improve the athletic performance of your penis doesn’t mean it’s not worth drinking beet juice or consuming these root veggies in another way to reap the health benefits of beets.

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We know beet juice may increase nitric oxide in the body, but like other superfoods, we don’t know if this has any impact on your sexual health. There simply isn’t a body of scientific research supporting any such claims.

We do know that beet juice is good for you, though, so feel free to drink up. While you’re sipping, here are some big-picture takeaways:

  • Beets are loaded with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In other words, they’re good for you.

  • Beetroot contains inorganic nitrate, which your body converts to nitric oxide.

  • As you get older, your body contains less nitric oxide, which is believed to increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and even Alzheimer’s.

  • Nitric oxide may play a role in erection health. This theory is behind the claims that beet juice is an effective ED treatment in the absence of scientific studies proving the link.

  • There’s currently no concrete evidence proving beet juice can help with erectile dysfunction.

But if you’re in search of proven erectile dysfunction treatments, you’re likely better off going another route with medication like Viagra, Sildenafil (generic for Viagra), Cialis and Stendra.

And if you really just want to taste your ED treatment, consider our chewable ED meds hard mints for a convenient, edible delivery of a proven, FDA-approved treatment for ED.

You can’t beet ED, but you can beat ED with the right tools. Get help today.

13 Sources

  1. Clements, W. T., Lee, S. R., & Bloomer, R. J. (2014). Nitrate ingestion: a review of the health and physical performance effects. Nutrients, 6(11), 5224–5264. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245587/.
  2. Pietrzkowski, Z. (n.d.). INFLUENCE OF BETALAIN-RICH EXTRACT ON REDUCTION OF DISCOMFORT ASSOCIATED WITH OSTEOARTHRITIS. https://publisherspanel.com/api/files/view/9422.pdf.
  3. Burnett A. L. (2006). The role of nitric oxide in erectile dysfunction: implications for medical therapy. Journal of clinical hypertension (Greenwich, Conn.), 8(12 Suppl 4), 53–62. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8109295/.
  4. Mirmiran, P., Houshialsadat, Z., Gaeini, Z., Bahadoran, Z., & Azizi, F. (2020). Functional properties of beetroot (Beta vulgaris) in management of cardio-metabolic diseases. Nutrition & metabolism, 17, 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6947971/.
  5. Clifford, T., Howatson, G., West, D. J., & Stevenson, E. J. (2015). The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. Nutrients, 7(4), 2801–2822. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425174/.
  6. Erectile dysfunction. (n.d.). https://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/endocrinology/erectile-dysfunction/.
  7. Velmurugan, S., Kapil, V., Ghosh, S. M., Davies, S., McKnight, A., Aboud, Z., Khambata, R. S., Webb, A. J., Poole, A., & Ahluwalia, A. (2013). Antiplatelet effects of dietary nitrate in healthy volunteers: Involvement of cGMP and influence of sex. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 65, 1521-1532. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3878381/.
  8. Davies K. P. (2015). Development and therapeutic applications of nitric oxide releasing materials to treat erectile dysfunction. Future science OA, 1(1), FSO53. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4806684/.
  9. Arazi, H., & Eghbali, E. (2021). Possible Effects of Beetroot Supplementation on Physical Performance Through Metabolic, Neuroendocrine, and Antioxidant Mechanisms: A Narrative Review of the Literature. Frontiers in nutrition, 8, 660150. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8155490/.
  10. Penn State. "To beet or not to beet? Researchers test theories of beet juice benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2015. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150119083300.htm.
  11. Widmer, R. J., & Lerman, A. (2014). Endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. Global cardiology science & practice, 2014(3), 291–308. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150119083300.htm.
  12. Shepherd, A. I., Costello, J. T., Bailey, S. J., Bishop, N., Wadley, A. J., Young-Min, S., Gilchrist, M., Mayes, H., White, D., Gorczynski, P., Saynor, Z. L., Massey, H., & Eglin, C. M. (2019). "Beet" the cold: beetroot juice supplementation improves peripheral blood flow, endothelial function, and anti-inflammatory status in individuals with Raynaud's phenomenon. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 127(5), 1478–1490. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6879832/.
  13. Félétou M. The Endothelium: Part 1: Multiple Functions of the Endothelial Cells—Focus on Endothelium-Derived Vasoactive Mediators. San Rafael (CA): Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences; 2011. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK57149/.
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Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown, MD

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown is a founding member of Posterity Health where she is Medical Director and leads strategy and design of their Digital Health Platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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