Betaine is found in Beetroot and is also known as Trimethylglycine, similar in structure to Glycine, and it works in a similar way to Creatine Monohydrate.
One of the main functions of Betaine is to lower the levels of Homocysteine (an amino acid that occurs when protein breaks down).
High Levels of Homocysteine
Having high levels of Homocysteine can cause blood clots so the effect that Betaine has on reducing these levels is very useful.
But while the benefits of reducing Homocysteine are numerous, they aren’t the reason behind Betaine’s meteoric rise in popularity in the fitness world. There are a number of benefits that can upgrade your gym session from average to legendary, in this article we will take a look at some of the most impressive.
The main benefits of supplementing with Betaine Anhydrous revolve around resistance training.
A study in 2010 by Lee et al looked into the effects of Betaine ingestion on 12 men during a 3 month resistance training program .
The exercises used were the bench press, the barbell squat, and jump tests. The study found that those who took the Betaine Anhydrous supplement benefited from increased power, increased force, and a more developed upper body.
There is also evidence that Betaine Anhydrous can improve:
- Lower Fatigue
A study by Hoffman et al (2009) on Betaine supplementation in College-Aged males found that it improved muscular endurance (high rep barbell squat performance) .
It also seemed to improve the quality of the squats – which is interesting because the quality of an exercise is rarely considered in studies, but is vitally important.
It seems that like Creatine Monohydrate, Betaine can increase the available energy to the muscles allowing you to train longer than you would be able to without it.
In fact a lot of pre workout supplements tend to combine the two ingredients together, alongside Beta Alanine helping to banish fatigue and increase endurance and power. A fantastic combination.
What is the right dose?
The reasons why you want to take Betaine Anhydrous can influence what dosage is right for you.
According to examine.com those who are looking to reduce Homocysteine can take a dose between 500mg and 1,000mg.
But if you are looking for exercise and body composition benefits then a dosage around 2,500-6,000mg would be required .
Using a combination of the right pre-workout, intra-workout, and post-workout, will give you the daily required dosages to reap all of the benefits betaine has to offer.
Any Side Effects?
Think of Betaine like Caffeine in that some people can be negatively affected by it and some can’t, and that different people can handle different doses. Some may notice some gastrointestinal distress, or headaches if they take too much.
Others may notice that they get bad breath and body odour, but not to a serious degree. But for the majority of people, there are no side effects to worry about.
The Bottom Line
Betaine is only just starting to get some recognition in the fitness world, but give it a couple years and it could be as popular as Creatine!
The benefits to performance seem to be backed by science, and could really help to make a difference to your workouts. Definitely worth a try.
 Lee, E., Maresh, C., Kraemer, W., Yamamoto, L., Hatfield, D., Bailey, B., Armstrong, L., Volek, J., McDermott, B., Craig, S. 2010. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 7:27
 Hoffman, J., Ratamess, N., Kang, J., Rashti, S., Faigenbaum, A. 2009. Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 27(6):7
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