Betaine Increases Squat Endurance
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition examined the short-term effects of betaine supplementation in college-aged males. The researchers aimed to determine the effects of betaine supplementation on endurance, power, and fatigue rate during narious types of anaerobic exercise.
There were 24 male college-aged subjects participating in the study. Half of the participants took a betaine supplement for 15 days, and the other half took a placebo for 15 days. The participants were put through a 2-day testing protocol before supplementation, at the halfway point, and during the last 2 days of supplementation. The testing protocol involved a variety of anaerobic exercises. Subjects performed a vertical jump test, a bench press “throw” power test, a set to failure of both squats and bench press using 75% of one rep maximum, and the Wingate power test.
The group consuming the betaine supplement showed a significantly greater improvement in reps to failure with 75% of one rep maximum weight of the squat at the halfway point. At both the halfway point and the end point the group consuming betaine was able to perform more reps of the squat at at least 90% of peak power. The researchers conclude from their findings:
“Two-weeks of betaine supplementation in active, college males appeared to improve muscle endurance of the squat exercise, and increase the quality of repetitions performed.”
It is odd how the subjects consuming betaine showed greater improvements in the squat but not the bench press. If this study had lasted longer, perhaps the betaine group would have shown an advantage on the bench press as well, and maybe even on the other tests. The fact that any difference at all was seen during this short 15-day study definitely shows promise for betaine as an ergogenic aid.
Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, Kang J, Rashti SL, & Faigenbaum AD. (2009). Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 6, 7.
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