The Power of Betaine - The Muscle PhD

The Power of Betaine

You’ve probably heard of betaine before. Many professional bodybuilders swear by the efficacy of betaine and how it can help you lose fat and gain muscle, not to mention stay vascular.

Betaine is a really interesting supplement because it stands out when it comes to helping you both lose fat and gain muscle. Studies show that betaine can increase lean muscle mass by as much as 4 pounds over 8-12 weeks. However, betaine has also been shown to give inconsistent results. To explain those inconsistencies, we’ll need to dive deeper into the benefits of betaine and how it works.

What Is Betaine?

Betaine, like some of the best supplements in the market, is an amino acid derivative-based supplement. Other amino acid derivatives include creatine, HMB, HICA, beta alanine, as well as all the BCAAs, which are amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

The amino acid betaine is derived from glycine and has three methyl groups on it, which give it a lot of interesting properties.

Betaine molecule

Betaine Muscle Building Vs. Fat Loss

Betaine does seem to excel in the fat loss aspect more than the muscle building one. This is not to say that it isn’t effective in helping you build muscles, on the contrary. It’s just more robust in its effects on fat loss than muscle gain.

Studies have shown that you can see up to 9 pounds of fat loss over anywhere from 8-12 weeks of supplementation. So if betaine is a supplement that causes you to gain muscle at decent amounts as well as helping you lose so much fat, how does it do it?

How Betaine Helps With Muscle Building and Fat Loss

What you need to understand is that betaine is an osmolyte. Osmolytes are organic compounds that influence the properties of biological fluids. Betaine essentially draws fluid into the muscle.

Basically, betaine hydrates the muscle, and once the muscle is hydrated, it triggers hypertrophy as well as protein synthesis, which is the state where your body starts building stronger muscles. This is the reason you can’t make many gains unless you train until failure.

Flexing muscle on betaine

The methyl process may also help in turning on protein synthesis. Because betaine has methyl groups, it can convert the amino acid histidine to methionine, which is extremely important for the production of creatine. So, betaine can actually increase creatine in the body, which we know is anabolic.

To aid in fat loss, betaine can help the mitochondria in your cells transport more fatty acids. It does this by increasing the carnitine transporter called carnitine palmitoyl transferase (CPT). 

Betaine also “browns” white fat. In other words, betaine seems to increase the mitochondria in white fat, which boosts your metabolism. It also blocks the uptake of fatty acids into normal fat tissue, which may prevent fat gain.

Recommendations for Betaine Supplementation

We recommend taking about 2-4g of betaine per day. This amount seems to increase fat loss by as much as 9 pounds over 24 weeks. In addition to that, this dose also seems to increase lean mass on the order of 2-4 pounds. That’s because of the hydration effect mentioned previously, which will allow you to train harder and more effectively, and might actually trigger muscle growth on its own.

We recommend taking betaine around your workouts so that you can maximize its effectiveness.

We hope this article helped you get the hang of using betaine to optimize your fat loss and your muscle building journey. We’ll see you again in the next article!

Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest