Betaine Anhydrous as a PreWorkout Ingredient

chemical structure of betaine

What does Betaine help with?

Betaine Anhydrous is a common ingredient in pre-workout supplements and is known for increasing muscle mass, strength and power while decreasing fat.

Which natural foods contain Betaine?

Also known as trimethylglycine, Betaine is naturally found in foods such as quinoa, beets, sweet potatoe, beef, turkey breast, wheat bran (cereal), spinach, & shrimp. However, most people only get a very small amount of Betaine from their diet and it can pay to supplement.  Like many other supplements, betaine anhydrous started getting studied because it was known to increase the muscle mass and decrease total fat mass in pigs, cattle, & chickens (also see this research).

How does Betaine work to help your workout?

Betaine works by a few primary mechanisms:

  • first, by facilitating protein synthesis. it does this by offering a methyl donor (which helps increase growth factor sensitivity and intramuscular anabolic signaling), thus increasing strength and power, and leading to muscle mass gains
  • second by helping the body process fats. It acts as an osmolyte to maintain fluid balance and increase muscular hydration, enhance the body’s synthesis of creatine and carnitine, and promoting fat breakdown.
  • it may also lower muscular fatigue 

While not conclusive, research over the last two decades on betaine supplementation in humans has had good results.  For example, when combined with a resistance training program, betaine anhydrous supplementation has shown to reduce body fat percentage and fat mass while increasing markers of strength and power.

What other functions does Betaine serve in the body?

Betaine is involved in several functions in the human body including: liver detoxification, skin health, digestive aid and fat loss. It is also anti-inflammatory and supports heart health.

How important is Betaine to your PreWorkout Supplement?

While not being absolutely critical like L-Citrulline or caffeine, we consider it an essential ingredient to be considered a high-end, premium pre-workout. We consider Betaine Anhydrous to be a secondary but effective ingredient if you’re looking for that extra edge.

What is the best dosage for Betaine Anhydrous in a pre-workout?

The primary form of Betaine supplementation in the supplement industry is Betaine anhydrous. The ideal dose for Betaine in a pre-workout mix is 2-3g.