What is Betaine Anhydrous? Betaine is an amino acid also commonly referred to as TMG (Trimethylglycine). Anhydrous simply means without-water. Therefore Betaine Anhydrous is simply the amino acid Betaine with the water removed. Betaine is a metabolite of the nutrient choline, meaning that choline is a “precursor” to betaine and must be present for betaine to be synthesized in the body. What does Betaine Anhydrous Do? In humans, betaine anhydrous serves a variety of roles as a methyl-group donor and cofactor; of particular importance is the methylation of the amino acid homocysteine, an amino acid which has been linked to vascular and inflammatory issues when not properly regulated in the body. Betaine’s ability to lower homocysteine has been researched extensively. A single dose of betaine reduces homocysteine levels, which remain suppressed as long as supplementation is continues. Betaine has been found to reduce homocysteine by 10% in persons with normal levels or by 20-40% in persons with elevated homocysteine levels. Early studies were conducted to investigate betaine’s potential benefits for boosting muscle mass and strength, aiding in improved endurance, and helping to lower fat. Ongoing betaine supplementation has been shown to reduce fat (adipose) mass and to increase muscle mass in animal studies and selective human studies. A 2010 scientific study reported increased muscle power output and muscle force production after betaine supplementation. Another 2009 study showed that two weeks of betaine supplementation in active college males appeared to improve muscle endurance during squat exercises and increased the quality of repetitions that could be performed. What are the Benefits of Supplementation? It has been gaining a reputation as a pre-workout performance enhancer and also as a possible supplement for fat-loss training as well. Benefits include: Increased power output Increased capacity to perform anaerobic work Increased energy levels Promotes cellular hydration (like creatine) May reduce LDL cholesterol/blood lipids May help reduce body-fat Boosts muscle mass and strength gains How do you take Betaine Anhydrous? How much Betaine Anhydrous you should be taking daily depends on what you want to do with it. Also, it is often mixed in with formulas for pre-workouts as well as other performance enhancing supplements. For athletic and exercise boosting capabilities, typically ranges from 1,500 – 3,000 mg of Betaine per day. What are the side effects of Betaine Anhydrous? Betaine is a supplement that is Generally Regarded as Safe for daily use by healthy adults. With that being said, it’s important to always speak with your doctor if you are starting a new dietary supplement regime. Also, it has the potential to impact the effects of certain medications and to interact with other nutrients. If you take any medications for liver disease, heart disease or have kidney stones, you should talk to your doctor before taking any betaine-containing supplements. There haven’t been many serious cases of betaine overdose or toxicity reported, but some people have reported experiencing mild side effects that include diarrhea, stomach upset and nausea.