Betaine supplement makes strength athlete on diet lose more body fat
Strength athletes who lower their intake of energy lose more fat mass when they supplement with 2.5 grams of betaine daily. American researchers from Coastal Carolina University discovered this in a study in which two dozen female students participated as test subjects.
The researchers let two groups of a dozen female students, who had no experience with strength training, work out with weights for 9 weeks. All students followed the same training schedule. Twice a week they trained their lower body, and once a week they trained their upper body. The schedules' emphasis was on basic multi-joint exercises.
One group of students used 2.5 grams of betaine daily. The other group took a placebo.
The study was paid for by DuPont Nutrition and Health, and research leader Stuart Craig was affiliated with DuPont. DuPont produces BetaPower, a betaine application for the supplement industry.
Betaine supplementation had no effect on the increase in strength. The students in the placebo group and in the betaine group gained an equal amount of muscle strength.
Unlike in other studies, in this study betaine had no effect on the increase in lean body mass. Both groups won about the same amount of kilos of lean body mass.
The absence of effect on the lean body mass was perhaps due to the diet of both groups of subjects, the researchers write. "Subjects in the present study consumed approximately 27 kcal/kg/day, which is well below World Health Organization recommendations of 35 kcal/kg/day for physically active young women."
The subjects in the betaine group lost significantly more fat mass than the subjects in the placebo group. Here you find a posting about a possible explanation for this phenomenon.
"In summary, the major findings of the present study are that 9 weeks of betaine supplementation improved body composition by reducing fat mass and tended to improve high-volume work capacity, but not strength or power performance in young, active, resistance training naive females", write the researchers.
"Dietary factors, specifically suboptimal total energy and protein intake, were a limitation in the present study. While we attempted to clarify food journals to ensure accurate dietary analysis, and although under reporting of food intakes are common in the literature, subjects in the present study were likely in a caloric deficit."
"Despite these limitations, we can glean some practical information from the results. In particular, the results of this study suggest that betaine may be an effective fat loss supplement for females on a restricted calorie diet engaged in a resistance training program."
"Additionally, the trend for some enhancements in work capacity may be particularly useful to coaches working with female athletes in the aesthetic sports who commonly consume very little calories and have high training volumes in the weeks leading up to competition."
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Jul 31;15(1):37.
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