Female athletes who take a betaine supplement demonstrate improved fitness

Exercise alone does offer many health benefits, but one study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests that workouts coupled with betaine supplementation is an effective way to reduce fat in female athletes.

According to data from a randomized, controlled trial, a group of female collegiate athletes who took a betaine supplement for several days experienced a significant decrease in body fat percentage and fat mass compared to a placebo group.

The study aimed to determine the effect of betaine supplementation paired with resistance training in women, especially since earlier research often focused on the results from male participants.

Based on data from the study, “nine weeks of betaine supplementation improved body composition by reducing fat mass.”

The study involved teams of researchers from the Department of Kinesiology at Coastal Carolina University and DuPont Nutrition & Health’s Experimental Station. The report stated that while DuPont supplied the betaine and placebo capsules, it didn’t provide additional funding for the study.

Resistance training and betaine

For the study, the researchers observed 23 women who had no previous experience with resistance training. The participants had an average body mass index (BMI) of 25. Using an ultrasound, the researchers measured the participants’ muscle thickness. The baseline performance of back squat, bench press, and vertical jump of each participant was also measured.

The women were matched for body composition and squat strength, after which they were randomly assigned to either betaine (2.5 g per day of DuPont’s branded BetaPower derived of sugar beets in capsule form) or placebo (sugar, 0.75 g per capsule).

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After supplementation, the participants were instructed to complete three sets of six to seven exercises daily performed to momentary muscular failure, performed on non-consecutive days for eight weeks.

The effect of betaine supplements on work capacity

Based on the findings, the researchers also determined that the female participants who took betaine supplements were more likely to have a greater volume work capacity (or the total amount of exercises performed until muscle failure in the time provided) following supplementation, unlike the placebo group.

However, the researchers also said that there weren’t any differences in strength or power performance among the two groups. Additionally, the researchers were not able to find support for their original hypothesis, which said that betaine could have ergogenic and hypertrophic effects (e.g., enhanced physical performance or enlarged muscles) by increasing intracellular hydration, “providing a more hospitable environment for excitation contraction coupling and protein synthesis.”

The researchers warned that the analysis of betaine’s potential effect on hydration must be carefully examined. They noted, “We were unable to distinguish between compartments of intracellular water, and therefore cannot make any conclusions directly as to the effects of betaine on intramuscular hydration in particular.”

The study authors believe that further research using more sophisticated equipment and strict dietary controls are necessary to accurately determine the effects of betaine supplementation on compartmental water. (Related: Top 4 ways to get an unfair advantage (naturally) with your workout results.)

The researchers commented that minor changes in diet, such as fiber or sodium intake, may affect the results. This implies that betaine can be used as an efficient fat loss supplement for women on a restricted calorie diet while they are also taking part in a resistance training program.

The scientists noted that continued study can help examine the effects of betaine supplementation on changes in lean mass in participants who follow a eucaloric diet.

A eucaloric diet can help individuals maintain their current weight. If you’re on a eucaloric diet, the number of calories you can consume will vary depending on four factors: activity level, age, gender, and weight. This diet also requires a person to burn and gain calories in balance.

Browse more articles about the benefits of betaine and tips for effective weight management at Slender.news.

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