hhmm interesting read.
Creatine + (dietary) nitrate (betaine) = no improvement over creatine
by Anthony Robert
Betaine is derived from beets, a nitrate-rich food that has been shown to improve exercise performance. Creatine is perhaps the world’s most exhaustively studied nutritional supplement, and boasts unparalleled safety and efficacy. Betaine is well known to be a methyl donor to guanidinoacetate (through methionine) that can aid in the synthesis of creatine in muscle. Combining betaine & creatine in a nutritional supplement would appear to be a no-brainer. We often hope for synergy between ingredients (1 + 1 = 3), but often we’ll settle for an additive effect (1 + 1 = 2).
Unfortunately, when we add betaine to creatine, what we get is the same exact results as the creatine alone. That’s right…when you combine creatine plus a nitrate source, you don’t get better results than simply taking the creatine alone. Even more interesting is the fact that this study, one of the few on Betaine supplementation that wasn’t funded by someone selling it, shows that the dietary nitrate doesn’t do anything on it’s own (paradoxically, another study on Betaine, which was previously thought to increase Nitric Oxide levels, actually didn’t).
Here’s the Creatine + Betaine study:
sourceAmino Acids. 2011 Jul 9. [Epub ahead of print]
Creatine but not betaine supplementation increases muscle phosphorylcreatine content and strength performance.
Del Favero S, Roschel H, Artioli G, Ugrinowitsch C, Tricoli V, Costa A, Barroso R, Negrelli AL, Otaduy MC, da Costa Leite C, Lancha-Junior AH, Gualano B.
Source: School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Av Mello de Moraes, 65-Butantã, Sao Paulo, SP, 05508-030, Brazil.
We aimed to investigate the role of betaine supplementation on muscle phosphorylcreatine (PCr) content and strength performance in untrained subjects. Additionally, we compared the ergogenic and physiological responses to betaine versus creatine supplementation. Finally, we also tested the possible additive effects of creatine and betaine supplementation. This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Subjects were assigned to receive betaine (BET; 2 g/day), creatine (CR; 20 g/day), betaine plus creatine (BET + CR; 2 + 20 g/day, respectively) or placebo (PL). At baseline and after 10 days of supplementation, we assessed muscle strength and power, muscle PCr content, and body composition. The CR and BET + CR groups presented greater increase in muscle PCr content than PL (p = 0.004 and p = 0.006, respectively). PCr content was comparable between BET versus PL (p = 0.78) and CR versus BET + CR (p = 0.99). CR and BET + CR presented greater muscle power output than PL in the squat exercise following supplementation (p = 0.003 and p = 0.041, respectively). Similarly, bench press average power was significantly greater for the CR-supplemented groups. CR and BET + CR groups also showed significant pre- to post-test increase in 1-RM squat and bench press (CR: p = 0.027 and p < 0.0001; BET + CR: p = 0.03 and p < 0.0001 for upper- and lower-body assessments, respectively) No significant differences for 1-RM strength and power were observed between BET versus PL and CR versus BET + CR. Body composition did not differ between the groups. In conclusion, we reported that betaine supplementation does not augment muscle PCr content. Furthermore, we showed that betaine supplementation combined or not with creatine supplementation does not affect strength and power performance in untrained subjects.
hhmm interesting read.
Welllll.... I make a kickapoo joy juice concoction PWO that I aim for muscul pump more than energy that has 3gr. betaine, citrulline, CEE, GPLC, GMS, Taurine and D-Aspartic. PWO I take two Python 300mg a blend of Yohimbe, Ginseng and Samento bark, (1g LongJack and .5 Beta Ecydesterone (x2 after dinner). My first shake has about 20 pure form amino's and 50g Soy SPI protein and a hand full of vitamins. I do the shake x4 in the day. There is some other stuff but anyway...since I do not use the Bentaine looking for a CEE result or to replace CEE I wonder if anyone made mention of the Nitrate pump factor...or if they felt any?
choline, folic acid, vitamin B12, and a form of the amino acid methionine known as S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe).1 2 All of these compounds function as ?methyl donors.? They carry and donate methyl molecules to facilitate necessary chemical processes. The donation of methyl groups by betaine is very important to proper liver function, cellular replication, and detoxification reactions. Betaine also plays a role in the manufacture of carnitine and serves to protect the kidneys from damage.3 Betaine is closely related to choline. The difference is that choline (tetramethylglycine) has four methyl groups attached to it. When choline donates one of these groups to another molecule, it becomes betaine (trimethylglycine). If betaine donates one of its methyl groups, then it becomes dimethylglycine.
Where is it found?
Dietary sources of betaine include fish, beets, and legumes. Betaine is most widely available as betaine hydrochloride (betaine-HCl), but that form is used primarily as a source of hydrochloric acid for people with hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid). The forms used specifically to provide betaine are betaine citrate and betaine aspartate. These forms have also been used to improve liver function.
The dosing and duration is the problem. 2g of beta-alanine a day for 10 days is not a high enough dose to see results for that short of a time. The average dose of beta-alanine is 3g so they 66% of the average dose. The creatine was given in 20g doses, which is a high enough dose to see results in just 10 days. The average dose of creatine is 5g, so they used a 400% dose. Why would you underdose the beta-alanine and mega dose creatine and expect accurate results?
Should have read that more carefully, thought it said beta-alanine, not betaine.
if you care about your health then long term use of creatine is not good at all. and when i say long term i mean years.
+ creatine and most of the supplements are mostly bullshit and overrated...you can get all what you want from natural food without fucking up your kidneys and liver.
but then again if you are into gear then you basically don't care about your health much so you can allow yourself to take anything. it all depends on what you want out of bodybuilding
TP it really sucks! I am using 4 gr. of the betaine in my PWO juice. Can't really say anything about the results cuz I use so much other stuff but I do get a great pump and no crash. I am going to try the kre-alkalyn powder at 4 mg (twice what they say to use) a day and hope it works as well as the claims. It sure sounds great!