#Weekly experiments / Healthy / Results

Beets vs. Balls 1:0 (Week 5 experiment results)

This week’s tricks recommended by the obstacle course racing queen Amelia Boone were focused on better joint health, energy and hamstring flexibility. I was ingesting beetroot powder with gelatin in a few different forms, and rolling my feet on golf balls.

The experiment started with a failure (again?). I knew I will travel to Myanmar for 3 days, so I wanted to make beetroot gummy bears (robots) to take with me.

I halved the recipe that I used before (gelatin, beetroot powder, water, citric acid; later adding vitamin C as the liquid cools down), and carefully controlled temperature. You’re supposed to put a drop of the warm liquid on cold plate to see when it nicely solidifies. Mine would not, even after adding 2 more spoons of gelatin. As I was adding the third one, I noticed the text “it will not congeal because it was hydrolyzed for quick assimilation”. Hm that would explain things…

In the end the failure turned into win. I poured some of it into my cute chocolate robot molds and put it into freezer. The rest went into bottle to be used as overly healthy tart salad dressing. Some of the dressing is still there, but little robot beetroot ice cubes were pretty good on sour cream dessert, or just alone.

Since the robots would melt and dressing would end up confiscated by TSA agents, I was traveling with powders. But to be frank on Thursday I was fed up with the taste. I could not even force myself to finish the drink. I like beetroot, but can’t drink it every day, so I’d have to look for other liquids to mix the gelatin to.

On the other hand, I absolutely enjoyed it on the plane. It probably works the same way as tomato juice. There are many theories why so many people order it – mostly claiming that something (noise, low humidity, low pressure) blunts all tastes except for umami. Whatever the reason was, it tasted amazing.

Rolling the golf ball with my feet was easy. And pleasant, in a slightly masochistic way. If you’ve ever had foot massage you know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately I haven’t noticed any improvements in hamstrings – maybe the time was too short, or maybe it’s just something an athlete would notice. And I don’t know what my colleagues think about me after I was doing that in the office. Nobody commented, so I don’t know whether they haven’t noticed or just got used to me doing weird things.

Plus points

  • It’s easy to travel with all 3 items.
  • Beetroot powder tastes amazing on a plane.
  • Tart beetroot frozen “gummies” are tasty way to ingest gelatin and vitamin C
  • Effort for the golf foot massage is very small, and it’s quite pleasant.


  • Hydrolyzed gelatin is not good for making gummies. On the other hand it nicely dissolves in liquids
  • My colleagues probably think (again?) that I’m crazy.

Negative points

  • After a few days I couldn’t stand the beetroot powder taste (except for the plane)
  • Beetroot color is difficult to remove from clothes.
  • Ball had no effect on hamstrings (for me)


Judgement: Golf ball = Meh ; Beetroot & gelatin = Sometimes

Small packet of beetroot powder will be added to the list of things I pack for travel, but otherwise I’ll find something else to drink my gelatin with.

Golf ball will probably go back into the golf bag and stay there for 5 more years.

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