A few months ago I posted an article about Betaine and weight loss (and muscle gain). The small studies out there suggest betaine, aka trimethylglycine (TMG), can increase weight loss and muscle gain in guys who exercise. I was very curious about this, because in general, I am very skeptical of supplements that claim to aid in weight loss. I usually jokingly point out that if a chemical causes weight loss, there is a name for that: a poison.
I have taken betaine in the hcl form for many years, getting around 500 mg of betaine a day. However, after reading the research above, I tripled my daily betaine intake, going from around 500 mg a day to close to 1500-2000 mg. What follows is only my personal anecdotal evidence, but it is interesting.
Before I started upping my betaine, I weighed 149 pounds and bought size 30 waist pants. These pants were somewhat tight. At 5’7″ inches, my weight was fit. I started upping my betaine and continuing my normal workouts (Insanity Max 30 and running).
A few months later, after Thanksgiving and Christmas (and increased eating during those periods), I noticed I weighed 157. Uh-oh. That is eight pounds gained. I should have been disappointed, right?
Well, I tried on the same pants, and they actually fit a little better than before, and I notice I look more ripped. Again, this isn’t scientific, but I basically ate more, gained eight pounds of muscle, and apparently kept my fat level the same (if my pants are any indication). The only thing I really did differently in terms of my supplements and activity was upping my trimethylglycine levels.
I also noticed have pretty much stayed around 157. No matter if I have a few days of overeating or undereating, I stay at 157. Even with a week of Easter candy and going much higher carb…I was still at 157.
I am not saying betaine is a miracle supplement. I am saying that based on my anecdotal, non-scientific experience, it may have a weight loss and muscle gain benefit.