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Sugar Beet Extract (Betaine) Shown to Improve Body Composition

People looking to build muscle usually turn to protein as a nutritional aid, but there may be an alternative. Sugar beet extract (betaine) may improve body composition, performance, and power in men who are completing strength training, according to a recent study.

The body is composed of water, protein, minerals and fat. While some fat is essential, too much is a serious health risk. Losing fat and building muscle leads to an improvement in body composition.

Participants in the study included 23 men between the ages of 18 and 35 who were already participating in resistance training. They were instructed to take either betaine or a placebo every day for six weeks while following a strict weight training program.

At the conclusion of the study, the supplement group had improved body composition as shown by an increase in lean muscle mass and decrease in body fat percentage. They also had bigger increases in arm size, bench press work and power compared to the placebo group.

Researchers from the Springfield College Human Performance Laboratory in Massachusetts conducted the study. It was published on August 22, 2013, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

This study adds to a growing body of research showing that sugar beet extract can aid in building muscle. Previous studies have also shown that beetroots may improve brain health and digestive health, as well as boost stamina and combat liver problems.

The benefits seen here could be the result of the high nutrient content of beetroot. Some of the nutrients found in these colorful vegetables include vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, fiber and polyphenols.

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