COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — The ingestion of betaine, a nutrient found in spinach and whole grains, had a positive impact on athletic power in a study on cycling performance, according to Danisco, Copenhagen. The company offers BetaPower natural betaine.

“We found that one week of betaine supplementation increased sprint power in untrained males and females,” said Stuart Craig, Ph.D., Danisco director, regulatory and scientific affairs, North America, and one of the study’s authors. “The results showed a statistically significant performance improvement in the subjects given BetaPower.”

Sixteen untrained subjects from Ithaca College in New York participated in the double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover-design study. For a week they were given either an electrolyte drink containing BetaPower or an electrolyte drink with a placebo. Betaine ingestion significantly increased average peak power, maximum peak power, average mean power and maximum peak power for all subjects combined compared to both placebo and baseline.

Two other studies on betaine appeared in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. One study supported the evidence betaine is a cell protectant and may be lost in sweat. In the other study, research subjects performing bench, squat and jump tests significantly increased power and force measures when ingesting betaine.