Betaine supplements improve physical performance of young professional footballers
Betaine, a methyl derivative of the amino acid glycine found in food sources such as shellfish, wheat, beetroot and spinach, has been shown to accentuate the improvement in strength, potency and endurance combined with 14 weeks of football competition and training.
“These results imply that betaine supplementation could be a beneficial nutritional strategy to improve muscle performance and, with the increases in testosterone / cortisol ratio reported in this same sample, suggest that betaine supplementation can be used as part of the treatment. a nutritional plan to improve football-specific physical condition metrics during a competitive season among young athletes â, have reported scientists in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
The new study was conducted by scientists affiliated with the University of Isfahan (Iran), the University of Lynchburg (United States), the University of Granada (Spain) and the University of Extremadura. (Spain). The researchers recruited young male professional footballers with an average age of 15.5 years to participate in their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Players were randomly assigned to receive two grams per day of betaine or placebo for 14 weeks of competition and training.
The data indicated that all players had significant improvements in their VO2max, peak anaerobic power, and muscle strength over 14 weeks, but these improvements were greatest in gamers supplemented with betaine.
Specifically, the researchers found that betaine resulted in better results for vertical jump, upper and lower body strength, 30m sprint, peak power during the run-based anaerobic sprint test (RAST ) and aerobic performance.
“Regarding muscle function, it has been reported that the hamstrings are the most affected by a football game, requiring more than 72 hours after the game for full recovery” wrote the researchers. “We found the biggest differences in effect size between groups in tests with high hamstring involvement, such as CMY [countermovement jump], 30m sprint and peak power during the RAST, which strengthens our hypothesis that betaine may have affected performance by alleviating fatigue and accelerating recovery from muscle damage.
The researchers also noted that this was the first study to assess the potential benefits of betaine supplements for a period longer than 10 weeks, and the mid-season measurements allowed scientists to explore the effects of the betaine. betaine during the study.
“Although speculating on the mechanisms that could explain these differences is beyond the scope of this study, it highlights the need for more research on the evolution over time of adaptations associated with betaine supplementation” they wrote.
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Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
2021, 18, 67. doi: 10.1186 / s12970-021-00464-y
“Effects of chronic betaine supplementation on the performance of young professional footballers during a competitive season: a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial”
Authors: H. Nobari, et al.