Geco Organic Beetroot Betaine Supplement
I'm going to start by saying that I am a perfectly healthy 28 year old woman, with perfect blood pressure readings and a healthy heart, so from a blood pressure point of view I cannot give my opinion.
So, lets get on!
What is betaine?
The company market it as a blood pressure reduction drug, saying this about it:
My interest was in the role of Betaine as a methyl donor, which has an important function in INCREASING muscle mass through the methylation of homocysteine (an amino acid) to form methionine. Methionine itself plays a crucial role in protein synthesis in the body, effectively acting like a creatine dose as methionine synthesises creatine in the body.
This works by having more methionine available, which in turn allows your body to go "gung-ho" on creatine production. This in turn sends your ATP production through the roof, which means you have more cellular energy - which funds additional mass growth/repair. In theory, it should increase muscle mass. There isn't much science to support this yet though.
Basically: it helps you make more creatine in your body, and creatine gives your cells more energy to grow more cells and repair the ones you have = increase in cells = increase in muscle mass.
For more information have a read of this article on bodybuilding.com.
Now on to the review of the product....what did I think?
Taste: they taste like pills. That's it really.
Easiness to swallow: they go down well.
Price: £17.49 (free p&p)
I took some photos to chart the changing of my body over the three week testing period:
I'm not saying that this supplement just put the muscle on for me. I workout 5-6 days a week, at least one of those days I workout twice in the day. I eat. I eat right (sometimes). I protein fuel my body AND I've been working on reducing my bodyfat percentages; but, as a woman it is hard to put muscle on (which is why I'm prone to bite any woman who says "oh, but won't you get bulky lifting weights?" PFFFFT. I wish!)
I have been steadily increasing the weight I lift, and my measurements show that where I've not had much fat to lose (e.g. on my biceps & calves particularly) I've gained mass. I have not been eating in surplus to my requirements as I'm aiming to cut fat off.
My final thoughts?
If you're interested to supplement & have a bit of spare cash give it a go. I'm not going to say it's an "essential" supplement, as you can get betaine from your food - but it's useful in the same way creatine supplementation is, to fine tune your gains.
The company are a friendly, no hassle company and from that point of view I recommend them totally.
You can buy this supplement here.
Atkinson W, et al. Dietary and supplementary betaine: acute effects on plasma betaine and homocysteine concentrations under standard and postmethionine load conditions in healthy male subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):577-85
Barak AJ, Tuma DJ. Betaine, metabolic by-product or vital methylating agent? Life Sci. 1983 Feb 14;32(7):771-4.
Czapla, R., et al. Effect of betaine on cycling sprint power. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Apr;7(Suppl 1):P23.
Iqbal, O. Betaine induced release of tissue factor pathway inhibitor and nitric oxide: Implications in the management of cardiovascular disease. FASEB 2006 Mar; J 20: A655.
Schwab, U., et al. Betaine supplementation decreases plasma homocysteine concentrations but does not affect body weight, body composition, or resting energy expenditure in human subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;76(5):961-7.
Zahn A, et al. Effects of methionine and betaine supplementation on growth performance, carcass composition and metabolism. Poult Sci 2006, 47:576-580.