Betaine (Trimethylglycine)

Betaine is an organic compound found in many different foods. Some of the more common foods include sugar beets, grains and spinach.(22) The amino acid glycine (with three methyl groups attached to it) makes up betaine. Betaine is naturally created from the breakdown of choline in the body. Betaine is considered to be a methyl donor.(24) A Substance that is capable of donating a methyl group (CH3) (a carbon atom attached to three hydrogen atoms) is considered a methyl donor.(23) Betaine donates a methyl group to reduce homocysteine into L-methionine or increases levels of S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) in the body. Betaine can be moved in and out of a cell due to its property of being an osmolyte compound. With this ability betaine can control hydration of the cell and cell size.(24)

An increase in Methionine has several benefits;

  • It helps with synthesis of creatine in the body, increasing the production of creatine.(25)
  • It aids in “translation” a form of protein synthesis. (26)

In a 2010 study by “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition”, it was noted that betaine split into 1.25 grams a day twice a day enhanced bench press and squat Power output, bench throw and increased one's vertical jump.(27) Following the same dose regimen a study of by College of Springfield in Massachusetts showed that betaine was able to increase muscles mass by 4 pounds while decreasing fat mass by 7 and increasing arm size by 10%. Compared to no change in body competition in the placebo group.(28)