Betaine HCL – properties and anabolic effect

Betaine supplementation in sports is widely used to support the digestive system. Its action increases the amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is responsible for the digestion, and this, in turn, determines the absorption of nutrients. However, it appears that betaine also has anabolic effects.

Athletes receiving 2.5 g of betaine per day, who train intensively, increase the anabolic response to training. Researchers at the University of Connecticut describe this type of phenomenon in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

Trainees’ diet should provide about 100-300 mg of betaine per day, however, as the researchers, can safely raise this amount of up to 9-15 g per day without health consequences.

Betaine chemical structure
Betaine chemical structure


The study used trainees, which declared a 4-year apprenticeship training, and their average age was 19 years. For a period of two weeks the subjects received two doses of betaine per day, 1.25 g each. The researchers checked the blood of people practising the legs before training and 15 minutes. after exercise. Before training, as well as 10 minutes. after exercise was also charged cell sample leg muscles. After a two-week period of supplementation, the researchers repeated the study this time not using betaine.


15 minutes after training cortisol concentration in the blood was slightly lower than for placebo group. After training was also recorded an increased amount of signalling proteins p70-S6K, which provide inter alia to increase levels of anabolism. Moreover, there was also an increase in serum growth hormone and IGF-1 levels.

Is betaine in working anabolic?

Use of betaine supplementation leads to reductions in cortisol levels with simultaneously increased activity of anabolic hormones. This means that supplementation of betaine effective in inhibiting the activity of free radicals, which effectively will also assist in preventing the action of catabolism. Betaine may, therefore, prove to be not only an effective supplement that supports the digestive system, but it will also help your body for stress.