Pre-workout supplements are often used to increase performance and to maximize pumps and focus during training. The most popular soups are Citrulline , caffeine and arginine. Betaine, on the other hand, is currently still one of the lesser-known sports supplements. The plant substance is known to many because of its health rather than performance-promoting properties. In our blog post you can find out what betaine is and how your training benefits from taking it.
Betaine (chem. Trimethylglycine ) is an amino acid derivative. The name is derived from sugar beet (Latin Beta vulgaris). Spinach, quinoa and beetroot also contain betaine. Some sources also refer to it as a vitamin-like substance, as it has numerous health-promoting properties. Among other things, it has a positive effect on homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is an intermediate product in the metabolism. Excessive concentrations in the blood can damage the blood vessels and lead to calcification – so-called arteriosclerosis. In the worst case, this can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Betaine can convert homocysteine into the amino acid methionine by releasing a methyl group and in this way render it harmless. In addition, betaine is said to have a liver-protecting and digestive effect.
Does betaine increase performance during training?
But betaine not only has a positive effect on our health . It can also improve physical performance. In addition to the typical pre-workout supplements such as caffeine, arginine or citrulline The secondary plant substance is accordingly also often used in training boosters. We therefore also use it in our V-Booster .
A study examined how the use of betaine affected performance in squats, bench presses and jumps. The result showed that the participants had more strength during the exercises than before the supplementation. The study results also indicated that betaine promotes regeneration.
Another study observed the effects of long-term betaine supplementation for six weeks. Here, too, the intake led to more strength, which was expressed, for example, in more repetitions on the bench press. In addition, the body composition changed in the betaine group. The body fat percentage decreased compared to the placebo group, while the lean body mass increased.
In 2012, researchers were also able to show that the average sprint performance of cyclists with betaine intake increased by 3, 3% improved.
How does betaine work?
Which exact mechanisms of action are behind the performance-enhancing effect of betaine is still open. According to the current state of knowledge, it is assumed that the supplement has an effect on the development of muscle fibers by, among other things, influencing the activity of the growth hormone IGF-1 . This is what at least in vitro studies by an Italian research group on muscle cells suggest.
A study by Trepanowski et al. also indicates another mechanism of action: the betaine group had lower lactate levels in the blood after training compared to the control group. This could explain why supplementation has a positive effect on regeneration and symptoms of fatigue.