The Benefits of Betaine

Betaine? What The Hell Is That?

You may be quite accustomed to this ingredient in many supplement formulas, both proprietary and full disclosure labels. You may have never heard of betaine, commonly labeled as trimethylglycine on most products available today. You may not even care to know what betaine is or what it is capable of but I am here to help you hopefully grasp a better understanding on what this ingredient in particular does and how it can help your workouts and body composition in the future. Don’t just know what you are taking… understand WHY you are taking it!

Betaine originated from sugar beets but is also naturally occuring in most living plants and animals and is an oxidation product of choline metabolism. Now it’s time to get all SCIENCY up in here! Betaine’s primary function is as a methyl donor and as an osmolyte. Methyl donors such as betaine are of major importance as anticarcinogenic nutrients. In fact, a lack of sufficient methyl donor nutrients such as choline, betaine, methionine, and folate is the only nutrient deficiency known to be carcinogenic in and of itself. As an osmolyte, it plays a role similar to taurine by protecting cells from dehydration by drawing water into the cell.

betaine

So It Helps Me Get Swole, Thats Great?

Well hold on just a second. It does help your cells hold onto water much like taurine (and somewhat creatine monohydrate). But someone decided to do a study and see what other implications there were with betaine supplementation. The results speak for themselves.

In 2011 a study was led by Jenna Apicella from the University of Connecticut titled “The Effects of Betaine Supplementation on Performance and Muscle Mechanisms.” In this study 12 men underwent two weeks of supplementation with either 1) 1.25mg of Betaine twice a day or 2) a placebo. These first two weeks were followed by a two week “washout” period in which neither group took betaine or a placebo. Following this washout period the subjects switched groups, and those taking placebo before now received betaine and vice versa. Before and after each two-week period subjects completed a workout. Circulating Growth Hormone (GH), Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1), Cortisol and Insulin were measured. Muscle biopsies were also taken from the quads of the subjects to evaluate protein signaling (specifically Akt, p70S6k, AMPK).

Betaine supplementation produced a near significant increase in GH (+4%) and significantly increased IGF-1 (+12.4%) levels. Not only that, betaine also significantly decreased cortisol (-4%) levels. There was no difference in insulin levels. There was a measurable increase in total muscle Akt (+1% total Akt), a serine/threonine protein kinase that plays a key role in multiple cellular processes, as well as the compensation of training induced decreases in the phosphorylation of of Akt at S473 and p70 S6k at T389, both enzymes that are intricately involved in cell- and in this case muscle growth, it can be expected that long(er) term supplementation with betaine would also improve the hypertrophy response to resistance training.

You Lost Me In All That Sciencing

So lets piece all of this together. Cortisol is something we don’t want too much of because it can inhibit GH release. Supplementing with betaine in the trial showed a decrease in cortisol. A decrease in cortisol means a decrease in somatostation which allows our pituitary gland to churn out more GH! Phew! Ok so what does all of this mean? Based on this study we can conclude that:

Betaine supplementation at about 2.5 grams per day enhanced both the anabolic hormonal profile and the corresponding anabolic signaling in muscle tissue.

But don’t just take my word for it… if you’d like you can READ THE ENTIRE STUDY

I Want Some!!!

Thankfully at least one company has put this 2.5g daily dose of Betaine in a rather robust mix of other staple supplements!

EndurateENDURATE combines Betaine (2.5g) with a full dosing of Creatine Monohydrate (5g), Beta Alanine (3.2g), HICA, Sodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride. However if thats not for you Genomyx offers Betaine Anhydrous by itself as part of the BASYX line. Look for it at your preferred online retailer!

@DJBEANPOLE

Lecheek LOG Day 34: Shoulders

Today marked the last dose of SpeedX3 and it was a sad day indeed. BUT… I didn’t let that bring me down. Instead I told myself I need to go and FREAKING KILL IT in the gym today and thats exactly what I did. Took the FINAL 3 scoops 20 minutes before my workout and it must have been quite the shock to my system because all the good ol’ usual indicators returned! Sped up heart rate, beta alanine tingles, flushing, flaming hot thermogenesis, and just freaking awesome focus and drive. I could have torn down the ****ing Great Wall of China with my bare hands I was so fired up!

SEATED DB SHOULDER PRESS: 35×10 50×10 60×10,10,8,8 DROPSET in rapid succession 40×8 30×10 25×6 15×5

OVERHEAD SHRUG: 45×10 65×25,25,25,25 DROPSET to DB (weight ea. hand) shrugs done in rapid succession 100×10 75×10 50×10 25×20->fast reps

SCAPTIONweight ea. hand 15×10 25×8,8,8,8

REAR DELT FLYS: 5×10 10×10 12×10 15×10 saved the energy for something…

FACE PULLS: 40×10 80×10,10,10,10 DROPSET 50×8 30×5

PULLEY DELT RAISES: 20×8,8

REAR DELT FLY MACHINE: 100×10 130×10 160×8 190×6 NEGATIVES 115×8,8

That SpeedX3 **** WORKS DAMMIT!

@DJBeanPole
Lecheek Nutrition 

Lecheek LOG Day 33: Legs

2.5 scoops SpeedX3 20 minutes prior. One more dose remains!

BARBELL BACK SQUATS: 45×10 135×8 185×8 225×6 255×1 265×1

LEG PRESS: 95×10 215×10 305×10 395×10 485×6 No PR here… 485 was super heavy. I’ve PR‘d 535×6 before after doing a set of 485×8 but my legs were not having it today. Knees starting popping with each set and that freaked me out so I decided I had had enough!

GLUTE HAM RAISE: BWx10 +25×10 +35×10,10

SEATED CALF RAISE: 70×10 100×20,20,20,18

LEG EXTENSION: 4XMM 70x10warmup 100×10,10,10 felt too light so I switched to 115×12 for the last set

HAMSTRING CURLS: 80×10 125×8 140×8 95×12

@DJBeanPole
Lecheek Nutrition

Lecheek LOG Day 32: Chest/Tris

DAY 32: CHEST/TRIS

Bumped SpeedX3 up to 2.5 scoops preworkout today. Body has completely adjusted to the beta alanine now. No tingles and no flushing. As usual the pumps are great and the focus is fantastic. I think I should have waited just a few more minutes before going to the gym because I didn’t feel quite “on” during my first exercise but then the energy started flowing and it was PR central from there 

BARBELL BENCHPRESS: 135×10 185×5 205×5 225×3+2assist 205×3 185×6 was super disappointed that I didn’t reach my goal of 225×5. First two reps felt fine, stalled at the bottom of the third rep but pushed it out, and needed some light touch with the last two reps. Felt incredibly heavy. I’m sure I had 240 or even 250×1 but I really wanted to see where I was with 225. It has always been a long-term goal of mine to reach 225×10. I blame myself for training more with dumbbells for this exercise and losing focus of the compound benefits from the traditional barbell benchpress. I will begin making the barbell benchpress my dominating opening chest exercise and rotate the DBs in occasionally.

DB BENCHPRESSweight each hand 50×10 75×10 threw these up for fun after the benchpress just to see how it felt. Had I come in with just the DB benchpress as my primary lift I think I could have smashed 85s or 90s for reps. 75s felt light even after doing the barbell press.

DB INCLINE PRESSweight each hand 40×15 60×8,8,8,8

DB INCLINE FLYSweight each hand 15×15 25×10,10,10,10

MACHINE/BITCH FLYS: 75×15 120×10 150×10,10,10

TRICEP DIPS: BWx10 BW+25×8,8,8,8

SKULLCRUSHERS: 40×15 60×10,10,10,10

TRICEP PUSHDOWNS: 80×15 130×7 had to give up after this set my triceps were about to explode… if I had not done the skullcrushers I’m sure I could extend that PR to multiple sets

NO-ATTACHMENT PULLEY PULLDOWN: 30×8 20×8,10,10

I meant to weigh myself and forgot to. I’ll do that tomorrow before my most dreaded (yet potentially highest PR yielding) day: LEGS.

Stay tuned,

@DJBeanPole
Lecheek Nutrition

Lecheek LOG: Status Update

So I thought now would probably be a good time to ahead and give some thoughts as to how this stack has been going so far. I’ve just reached and surpassed the 30 day point of the Lecheek log and things have been going well. For those of you interested, the supplements I am currently on are as follows:

 Preworkout: Lecheek’s SpeedX3
Protein: Trutein (various flavors)
Multi: Controlled Labs Orange Triad
Fish Oil: whatever the Walmart brand is
Prebed: Lecheek’s MassHGH
Creatine: NOW Foods Creatine

Occasionally I’ll throw in some NOW Foods dextrose and a pinch of salt into my post workout protein shake but besides that my supplement intake is actually very basic.

SpeedX3 has been an extremely potent preworkout for me and one that has definitely taken me by surprise. If you are looking for extreme focus, pumps, thermogenesis, fat burners, test boosters, caffeine, beta alanine, and lactic acid buffers that aid in quick recovery then look no further. The taste is outstanding. If I had a rating system for all the previous preworkouts I’ve ever taken this one is definitely king of the hill and gets a 10/10. When I first dosed SpeedX3 I considered myself very stim tolerant and decided to go with 2 scoops right off the bat. That was definitely a mistake! I was on a stim overload that first visit into the gym with SpeedX3 coursing through my veins! I have since now become accustom to 2 scoops and I’m actually thinking about pushing the envelope here and going for 2.5 or even 3 scoops preworkout as my tub finishes up. I don’t want to spoil my final review by overloading this entry too much with my thoughts overall, but take my word for it this is definitely the preworkout I want to be using later on down the road and I will continue to use it as my staple go-to preworkout supplement!

MassHGH has been a fun ride so far. Huge shoutout for Marms (a rep) and Lecheek Nutrition for throwing a second bottle my way during my 2-week off period due to a back injury. This company wanted me to give them a straight 30 day lifting period while taking MassHGH and my injury messed the schedule up but Lecheek was quick to solve that problem by offering me a second bottle! Amazing company here! Things I noticed right away: quick to fall asleep, sleep was much deeper than usual, waking up much more refreshed and full of energy (regardless of how long I slept… 2hrs v. 8hrs… made no difference). What I’ve noticed towards the end of this run: while the sleep factors all remain the same (and perhaps even further improved) I have seen some faster recovery time/less DOMS (I partially attribute this to SpeedX3), increased vascularity, and increased hunger. I have put on 7lbs so far during this bulk and have constantly hit PRs in EVERY gym session since starting this log with Lecheek.

So I’d say things are looking pretty good and the PR train will continue to roll on while I continue to take SpeedX3 and MassHGH from Lecheek Nutrition! I anticipate this log ending near day 45 so stay tuned! A final thoughts review/video will be posted following conclusion of this log!

@DJBeanPole
Lecheek Nutrition

Lecheek LOG Day 29: Back/Bis

DAY 29: BACK/BIS

How about a few more PRs?

DEADLIFT: 135×10 185×6 225×5 275×5 300×4 315×3 185×5 135×5 no PR, but the first time I’ve gone into the 300s on deads since I hurt my back. I was actually only expecting to hit 315 for 1 but I guess I had more gas in the gastank

LAT PULLDOWN: 70×15 120×10,10,10,10 up 20lbs from last time

ONE ARM DB ROW: 30×12 50×8,8,8,10

BENT OVER ROW: 45×15 95×10,10,10,6 with the last set being rest/pause for the stretch/squeeze

SEATED ROW WIDE: 70×15,10 85×10,10 probably could have done without these… I prefer close grip more

STERNUM UPS: BWx3,2,2,2

LAT SHRUGS – DIP STATION: BWx15,15,10

STRAIGHT BAR BICEP CURL: 65×8,8,8,8

PREACHER CURL: 45×10,10,10,12 record previously unset

Something to note: I took 2 scoops of SpeedX3 and I fear that I’m nearing the end of this tub. What I have noticed is that my body has already adjusted to two scoops and today was the first time I noticed that I did not feel any beta-alanine tingles or flushing. Not sure if thats because I went immediately into heavy deadlifting or what, but I did not feel those usual indicators that the preworkout was moving through my veins. The focus was definitely there though, laser sharp as ever. And the pumps were still just as ridiculous. I’ve noticed taking other beta alanine products that my senstivity to it eventually lessens to the point that I don’t feel the tingles so I’m not worried about it I just miss those sweet tingles!

About another 2.5weeks to go and this log will wrap up! Got a little bit more MassHGH to go through thanks to Marms and Lecheek!

Stay tuned,

@DJBeanPole
Lecheek Nutrition

Lecheek LOG Day 28: Shoulders

DAY 28: SHOULDERS

PR central baby! BOLDED items represent a PR (personal record/best)

SEATED DB SHOULDER PRESSweight each hand 35×15 50×12 60×8,7 55×8,8

OVERHEAD SHRUG: 45×10 65×25,20,20,20 which immediately led to dropsets of…

DB SHRUGweight each hand 80×10 60×10 40x15fast

SCAPTION: 10×10 25×8,8,8 20×10

REAR DELT FLYS: 5×10 12×10,10,10,12 5×10

FACE PULLS70×10,10,10,10

I ended up doing one set of rear delt fly machine negatives but the gym was a little more crowded than usual and the guy using the bitch fly machine kept hitting me with his hand so I said “****, my pumps are massive and I’m sore as ****. I’m outta dis bitch.

@DJBeanPole
Lecheek Nutrition

Lecheek LOG Day 26: Legs

BARBELL BACK SQUAT: 45×15 135×10 185×8 205×7 225×3 245×1 135×10 I would have attempted a PR at 255×1 but I didn’t have a squat and I didn’t see any “quality” spotters in my gym at the time

SEATED CALF RAISE4XMM 90×20,20,20,20

BARBELL FRONT SQUAT: 45×10 95×10 105×8 135×6 150×6 95×10 leg press machine was broken so I did these instead and was glad I did 

HAMSTRING CURLS: 75×15 4XMM 125×10,10,10,10

LEG EXTENSION: 55×15 4XMM 90×10,10,10,16

Ended the day with a 15 minute walk on the treadmill 3.2mph, 7.5% incline. Burned close to 200 cals. Sweat like made. Felt awesome.

@DJBeanPole
Lecheek Nutrition

Lecheek LOG Day 18: Shoulders

DAY 18: SHOULDERS

So I changed things up in the routine a bit today to keep my muscles guessing. I’ll go back to the usual stuff next time. As you guys saw from the video today, I took TWO scoops before heading to the gym. Literally as soon as the video was done I was out the door!

What I used to notice: beta alanine tingles, flushing, tachycardia, increased focus, increased drive, energy spike without crash, and ridiculous pumps.

What I notice now that I’m more than 2 weeks in: BA tingles are still present as is the flushing about 5-10 minutes after dosing. Tachycardia is present only with the first two or three sets of my first exercise and then it subsides. Intense focus. Intense drive. Smooth long lasting energy from beginning to end and beyond of workout. And the pumps… my god the glorious pumps. You’ll see! So I’ve definitely adjusted now to two scoops!

STANDING OVERHEAD BARBELL PRESS: 45×15 95×10,8 85×10,9

SEATED DB OVERHEAD PRESS: 25×15 40×10,10,8+2@35 35×10 25×12

BARBELL SHRUG: 135×10 225×5+5@185 185×10,10,10 which led to an immediate dropset of…

DB SHRUG: 70×10 50×12

FRONT RAISES: 20×10,10

SCAPTION: 20×10,10

LATERAL RAISES: 20×8+2@15 15×10

REAR DELT FLYS: 5x10warmup 15×10 too heavy to maintain squeeze 10×10,10,20

STRAIGHT BAR UPRIGHT ROW: 60×10,10,10,10

Needless to say my shoulders were cooked. Didn’t really set any PRs today… or maybe I did. I’ve always done DB overhead press and never really kept track of the barbell press so who knows. Either way I felt fantastic walking out of the gym! Those rear delt fly DOMS really crept in when I was grocery shopping afterwards. Hurt just to reach for things off the shelves! The pumps were ridiculous! And during the raises I noticed some new vascularity showing through in my front delt!

@DJBeanPole
Lecheek Nutrition