Beetroot juice also has an additional, instantly recognizable effect that could have a significant psychological impact. The vegetable's natural color can add unfamiliar hues to athletes' waste products.2. Isaac Chotiner:
"You're going to pee purple, you're going to poo purple," said Baar. "There's nothing quite as good for a placebo as seeing, 'Oh yeah, I'm taking the beetroot, there it is, everything is working really well.'"
Like Malcolm Gladwell and David Brooks, Lehrer writes self-help for people who would be embarrassed to be seen reading it. For this reason, their chestnuts must be roasted in “studies” and given a scientific gloss. The surrender to brain science is particularly zeitgeisty. Their sponging off science is what gives these writers the authority that their readers impute to them, and makes their simplicities seem very weighty.