In my personal experience, it works as well as its cousin, Dimethylglycine, or “DMG.”
So it was no surprise to me to read in the article below that Trimethylglycine has now been demonstrated in a study to have positive effects on athletic performance.
Here’s what the new study revealed:
“New research presented earlier this year at the annual conference of the International Society of Sports Nutrition demonstrated that betaine supplementation has a positive impact on athletic performance.
The research examined the effect of betaine, a nutrient found at high levels in spinach, whole grain and beets, on cycling sprint performance.
It revealed that subjects given an electrolyte drink containing natural betaine, performed better when cycling than those given a placebo.
‘We found that one week of betaine supplementation increased sprint power in untrained males and females,’ explains Stuart Craig, Ph.D., Danisco Director, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, North America and one of the study’s authors.
‘The results showed a statistically significant performance improvement in the subjects given betaine.’
Sixteen untrained subjects were recruited at Ithaca College in New York to participate in the double blind, placebo controlled, cross-over design study.
Their cycling performance was measured against a benchmark performance that was recorded prior to a one-week betaine supplementation period and against an electrolyte drink placebo.
Betaine ingestion significantly increased average peak power, maximum peak power, average mean power and maximum mean power for all subjects combined compared to both placebo and baseline.
‘The results of this study add to the growing body of science supporting the benefits of betaine for athletic performance and as an important nutrient,’ adds Craig.
It is anticipated that the manuscript detailing this research will be published in early 2011.
Growing Body of Betaine Science
Two other studies published earlier this year in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition also investigated the role of betaine in exercise.
The first one explored the betaine content of sweat in adolescent females. The results of this study support evidence that betaine is a cell protectant and may be lost in sweat.
The second study delved into the effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. Research subjects performing bench, squat and jump tests showed significantly increased power and force measures.
Natural betaine in is also known as trimethylglycine. It is inherent in most living things, is found in particularly high levels in beets, wheat, spinach and shellfish.
On a cellular level, betaine is an organic osmolyte that supports cell metabolism. As an osmolyte, betaine plays a key role in protecting cells against dehydration and stress-related water loss, working synergistically with electrolytes for complete hydration.
It is highly compatible with enzyme function and stabilizes cellular metabolic function under various kinds of stress such as those related to exercise.”