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Trimethylglycine (TMG) Betaine: A Powerful Ally for Muscle Growth and Exercise Support

Trimethylglycine (TMG), also known as betaine, has gained significant attention in the fitness community for its potential to enhance muscle growth and improve exercise performance. This article explores the benefits of TMG betaine supplementation for individuals looking to gain muscle and optimize their workout results.

What is TMG Betaine?

TMG betaine is a naturally occurring compound found in various foods, including beets, spinach, and whole grains. It’s also available as a dietary supplement. TMG betaine plays a crucial role in several metabolic processes in the body, particularly as a methyl donor, which is essential for various biochemical reactions [3].

Benefits of TMG Betaine for Muscle Growth and Exercise Performance

Increased Muscle Mass and Strength

Research has shown that TMG betaine supplementation can lead to significant improvements in muscle mass and strength:

  • A study conducted at the College of Springfield in Massachusetts found that subjects supplementing with 2.5 grams of betaine daily for six weeks increased muscle mass by 4 pounds and arm size by 10 percent, while simultaneously decreasing body fat by 7 pounds [4].
  • Another study at the University of Connecticut reported that weight-trained athletes taking 2.5 grams of betaine daily increased their muscle strength by 25 percent and muscle power by 20 percent [4].

Enhanced Protein Synthesis

TMG betaine may support muscle growth by enhancing protein synthesis:

  • It increases methionine availability, which plays a crucial role in muscle protein synthesis, particularly in the process of translation [4].
  • Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that betaine significantly increased markers for muscle protein synthesis following a workout compared to a placebo [4].

Improved Exercise Performance

TMG betaine has been shown to enhance various aspects of exercise performance:

  • Increased rep completion in bench press workouts [4]
  • Enhanced power output in cycling workouts [4]
  • Extended sprint duration by almost 40 seconds compared to subjects drinking just water [4]
  • Reduced lactate levels, potentially delaying muscular fatigue and allowing for longer, more intense training sessions [4]

Body Composition Improvements

In addition to promoting muscle growth, TMG betaine may also support favorable changes in body composition:

  • A 6-week study found that betaine supplementation led to significant decreases in body fat percentage and fat mass compared to a placebo group [2].
  • The same study observed trends towards increased lean mass in the betaine group, although these did not reach statistical significance [2].

How TMG Betaine Works

TMG betaine supports muscle growth and exercise performance through several mechanisms:

  1. Methyl Donation: As a methyl donor, betaine supports the production of creatine and protein synthesis, both crucial for muscle growth [4].

  2. Cellular Hydration: Betaine acts as an osmolyte, helping to regulate cellular fluid balance. This may contribute to improved muscle pump and overall muscle size [4].

  3. Hormonal Balance: Research suggests that betaine may increase levels of anabolic substances while supporting a healthy balance of the catabolic hormone cortisol[4].

  4. Homocysteine Regulation: Betaine helps convert homocysteine to methionine, potentially improving insulin signaling and supporting muscle growth and fat loss [4].

  5. Nitric Oxide Production: Some studies indicate that betaine may increase nitric oxide levels, potentially enhancing blood flow to muscles during exercise [4].

While there’s no official dosage recommendation for TMG betaine, most studies showing positive effects have used doses between 2 to 6 grams per day[1][4]. llabs. TMG Supplements offer 1000mg of TMG per serving with two daily doses.

For muscle growth and exercise support, a common protocol is:

  • 1 grams (1000mg) of betaine twice daily, for a total of 2 grams per day
  • Taken consistently over several weeks for optimal results

It’s important to note that while doses up to 15 grams per day are generally considered safe, higher doses may cause digestive issues in some individuals [3].


TMG betaine shows promising potential as a supplement for individuals looking to gain muscle and improve their exercise performance. Its ability to enhance muscle growth, strength, and overall body composition, coupled with its performance-boosting effects, makes it an attractive option for fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders alike.

While more research is needed to fully understand all of betaine’s mechanisms and long-term effects, current evidence suggests it can be a valuable addition to a well-rounded fitness and nutrition program. As with any supplement, it’s essential to use TMG betaine responsibly and in conjunction with a balanced diet and consistent exercise routine for optimal results.


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