Which are the best betaine supplements?
Betaine anhydrous, trimethylglycine, betaine HCL – what’s the difference?
Maybe you’re wondering what betaine is at all.
You can’t very well determine the best betaine supplement for your training goals if you don’t know what the stuff is meant to do.
We’re here to help.
Betaine anhydrous, also known as trimethylglycine (TMG), is an amino acid product that aids in producing carnitine, creatine, ATP, and the methylation of homocysteine into methionine.
That last part got a bit complex, but don’t worry – we’ll break it down deeper into the article.
For now, think: muscular size, cardiovascular performance, cellular hydration, and fat mobilization.
We’ve researched and prepared a top 10 list of the best betaine anhydrous and HCL (extra note: they’re not the same!) products available online right now.
Here’s a list of the 10 best betaine supplements:
Top 10 Betaine Supplements Compared
Our supplement lists are created by researching the best-reviewed products from the most reputable companies and web sources.
In A Rush? Here’s Our Top Pick:
Our top overall pick for best betaine anhydrous product is Transparent Labs RawSeries’ Betaine Anhydrous.
Transparent Labs is a leading name in the modern supplement industry, endorsed by literal athletic giants like Halfthor Bjornsson and media influencers like Jesse James West.
Keeping to their company’s namesake, all product formulas are given complete, public transparency.
These are no-nonsense, non-GMO, non-preservative supplements used by some of the most prolific athletes and career fitness enthusiasts on the planet.
At 200 servings of 2.5g pure, clinically-dosed trimethylglycine per container, Transparent Labs’ betaine anhydrous supplement can have you set for months. You can’t go wrong here.
10. Solaray – High Potency Betaine HCL with Pepsin
Betaine HCL was originally developed to support individuals experiencing digestive issues related to low stomach acid levels.
Solaray’s High Potency Betaine HCL with Pepsin formula unifies that legacy approach with pepsin, the stomach’s primary digestive enzyme.
It’s mostly accepted that betaine HCL does not have a dramatic impact on naturally occurring stomach acid levels in the human body, but research has demonstrated several modest health benefits.
The inclusion of pepsin is an interesting and valuable component of Solaray’s formula – as increasing enzyme volume within the stomach certainly can impact digestive health.
All of Solaray’s products are lab-verified and manufactured in-house.
- 275 capsules per bottle – easily a year’s supply or much longer with modest use
- Inclusion of pepsin acts as an assurance for digestive aide
- Lab verified and manufactured in-house according to high-quality standards
- Products contain manufacturing fillers such as stearates
9. Source Naturals – Betaine HCL
In the stomach, hydrochloric acid breaks pepsinogen down into pepsin – a crucial enzyme in protein metabolism.
If there is an HCl deficiency in the stomach, the rate of pepsinogen consumption can become outpaced by nutrient intake and ongoing protein synthesis.
In other words, you can’t digest things as well.
Source Naturals’ Betaine HCl product provides a single tablet – advised for use up to 4 times a day – that is meant to introduce supplementary hydrochloric acid into the stomach, thereby increasing pepsinogen breakdown and spiking pepsin.
Additionally, pepsin itself is added to the product formula.
- 180 tablets per bottle
- Betaine HCl and pepsin joint formula
- Inclusion of manufacturing fillers such as stearates and silica
8. Doctor’s Best – Betaine HCL
Like the previous two betaine HCl formulas, Doctor’s Best joins betaine HCl and pepsin.
However, this blend also includes a pinch of gentian root.
Gentian root is a herb often used in more traditional settings to treat symptoms of indigestion, inflammation, bloating, diarrhea, and heartburn.
It is thought to do this by working partially as a vasodilator (expanding of the blood vessels).
The anti-inflammatory and enzyme-stimulating properties of the gentian bitters work in complement with betaine HCl and pepsin to neutralize imbalances in the stomach acid.
- Unique blend of betaine HCl, pepsin, and gentian root – a natural component derived from a flowering plant with anti-inflammatory properties
- 120 capsules at 1 capsule per serving – impressive value
- Some manufacturing fillers, including stearates and silicates
7. Life Extension – TMG Powder
Life Extension’s TMG formula offers 97 500mg servings of betaine anhydrous powder.
It’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegetarian. Manufacturing is conducted within the USA, verifiable by certificate.
One of Life Extension’s biggest draws is the company’s 40 years of experience developing products in accordance with cutting-edge research.
Every ingredient is closely associated with a study establishing its scientific basis. You can be sure their betaine powder is monitored with the same care and commitment.
- Non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegetarian
- Manufacturing conducted within the USA (certificate verified)
- The company has been in the business of research and product development for over 40 years
- All ingredients and formulae based on studies
- Relatively low serving count and dose – 97 servings at 500mg is just barely over 30 servings at a standard recommended dose of 1.5g TMG
- The powder can be somewhat fishy-smelling
6. Muscle Feast – Pure Betaine Anhydrous Trimethylglycine (TMG) Powder
Muscle Feast is a smaller operation in the bigger picture of the supplement industry.
Family-owned and operated, the company emphasizes family values and quality first practices.
They submit all products for 3rd party testing through two different facilities – MTVL and Eurofins.
Their formulas are non-GMO, vegetarian, kosher, and gluten-free. Further testing is performed at their own lab – the Muscle Feast Research Institute.
- Small, family-owned and operated company concerned with quality first and foremost
- Absolute product transparency
- 3rd party testing through MTVL and Eurofins
- Non-GMO, vegetarian, kosher, and gluten-free
- In-house testing conducted at Muscle Feast Research Institute
- 134 servings at 2200mg per scoop
- Distributed in-house directly from Muscle Feast’s factory
- Customer reviews often note a fishy, sea-like scent to the powder
- Powder consistency can be chalky difficult to mix
5. NOW Foods – TMG
It’s rare to review supplement options without Now Foods appearing somewhere along the line.
The regularity with which they’re considered speaks volumes of their products’ consistency and quality.
Unlike most of the products on this list, Now Food’s TMG product comes in tablet form – not powder.
This might make the betaine more palatable to its consumers, but it impacts the value in a less than savory way.
Each bottle contains only 33 3g servings or 66 1.5g (standard dose) servings.
If you need a more accessible option than powders, Now Foods’ TMG tablets will have you covered.
- NPA A-Rated, GMP certified production facilities
- Non-GMO and vegan
- Family-owned business
- Presence of some manufacturing fillers
4. BulkSupplements – Betaine Anhydrous Trimethylglycine (TMG) Powder
2.2lbs. 667 servings. Bulk Supplements is not playing around with its name.
There are few distributors on the market offering value of this magnitude.
Further, this formula is extracted directly from sugar beets and chard – meaning it’s entirely natural (many betaine products tend to be synthesized).
In terms of sheer volume, there are no competitors for Bulk Supplement’s betaine anhydrous product.
- 2.2lbs, 667 servings at 1.5g TMG each
- All-natural betaine – not synthesized
- Extremely high value based on volume
- Sugar-free, gluten-free, soy-free
- Third-party tested, lab-verified, and cGMP compliant
- Certain customer reviews indicate rare occasions where private testing has yielded non-pure products
3. Nutricost – Betaine Anhydrous Trimethylglycine (TMG) Powder
Nutricost is a massive distributor of supplements of all kinds.
Each product is independently tested through a 3rd party, ISO-accredited laboratory.
Their betaine anhydrous formula contains 500g of TMG per bottle – over 200 servings at a 1.5g standard scoop.
Their product is non-GMO and gluten-free, produced in a cGMP compliant, FDA-registered facility.
- 500g TMG per container – a significant volume relative to competitors (330 servings)
- Non-GMO, gluten-free
- cGMP compliant and FDA-registered facility
- 3rd party tested at an ISO-accredited laboratory
- Contains some manufacturing fillers, including silicate
- Flavorless, but rather bitter according to reviews
2. Axe & Sledge – Betaine
Axe & Sledge Supplements is the official brand for IFBB pro Seth Feroce. For those in the know, that alone says quite a bit.
For those less acquainted, Axe & Sledge’s products are guaranteed battle-tested at the hands of extremely discerning, highly competitive individuals.
There’s no room for inefficiency or fluff here – the products need to work, and they need to maximize whatever avenue it is they’re working in.
Axe & Sledge’s 2.5g dose betaine formula serves that demand. There’s no run-around: one ingredient, no fillers, and no artificial add-ins.
- Single-ingredient, no fillers, or artificial components
- IFBB Pro Seth Feroce endorsed
- Only 40 servings per container at 2.5g TMG per scoop – well beneath the volume of competing products
1. Transparent Labs – Betaine Anhydrous
Transparent Labs Betaine Anhydrous represents the peak of betaine supplementation on this list.
A company foundation built around quality partnerships, endorsements, and research – that’s an equation for premier products.
Joined with the value of 200 2.5g servings per container (a year’s supply with moderate use), Transparent Labs offers a truly stand-out option for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and wellness pursuers to begin or continue their betaine supplementation.
- A well-regarded company, holding several high profile endorsements for athletes like Halfthor Bjornsson
- Clinically established dosages and formulae
- 200 servings at 2.5g each per container – 2.5g is nearly 2 a conventionally recommended dose of 1.5g
- Manufacturing fillers including silicon dioxide and silicate
FAQs About Betaine Supplements
Q: What Is Betaine?
Betaine is referred to by a number of aliases. Betaine anhydrous, betaine HCL and trimethylglycine (TMG) are the most commonly referenced forms of betaine.
It is derived from the amino acid glycine as part of choline metabolism.
Crucially, TMG is involved with methylation processes within cells that result in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, melatonin, and CoQ10.
This methylation – a process wherein chemical structures known as methyl groups break away from certain compounds and move to others – refines homocysteine through a betaine anhydrous regulated pathway.
Unregulated homocysteine has been associated with depression, inflammation, and a handful of vascular diseases.
That homocysteine is converted to methionine, which is a catalyst for creatine.
Betaine is also an osmolyte. Osmolytes are organic compounds capable of manipulating or otherwise affecting biological fluids.
In betaine’s case, it draws water into local tissues (muscle cells) and induces hydration-related performance increases.
This water retention also grants muscles a heightened sensation and appearance of fullness.
Q: What Is Betaine Anhydrous Good For?
Betaine contributes to cellular hydration, muscle cell fluid balance, vascular health and helps detoxify homocysteine by converting it to methionine in the body.
Methionine is an important cofactor for many forms of protein synthesis.
Unifying the different effects, a quality betaine anhydrous supplement will contribute to increased muscular hydration, performance, and accelerated recovery.
Several studies have demonstrated improvements in body composition and athletic performance (training volume, vertical jump, etc) after incorporating betaine anhydrous powder into participant’s supplement regimens.
Q: What Is Betaine HCL?
Betaine HCL is an acidic variant of betaine intended as a dietary aide for individuals experiencing a stomach acid deficiency.
Impaired stomach acid levels are regularly associated with allergies, poor gut biome health, forms of acne, indigestion, gastric reflux, and more.
As the name suggests, betaine HCL physically introduces hydrochloric acid into the stomach when ingested.
There is some debate regarding the efficacy of this method for re-balancing stomach acid levels.
However, it has been used in treatments for anemia, low potassium levels, atherosclerosis, and a spectrum of allergies.
Important to note: betaine HCL does not accomplish the same effects as betaine anhydrous.
Betaine HCL supplements will not facilitate the conversion of homocysteine into methionine.
Q: Is Trimethylglycine The Same As Betaine HCL?
No. Betaine anhydrous and betaine HCL behave differently when ingested.
Again: Betaine HCL will not induce the detoxification of homocysteine into methionine.
The HCL variant is intended to address stomach acidity levels – although more research is necessary to establish causal relationships resulting from such treatments.
Betaine anhydrous is approved for use in specific treatments involving homocysteine deficiencies and has been marked by research within the fitness and sports industries as a potent supplement.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Betaine?
Betaine anhydrous is a cofactor in the generation of carnitine, a transport molecule for fatty acids into the mitochondria of cells.
In other words, TMG is a critical component to the maintenance of the body’s energy metabolism and in the generation of ATP.
Further, betaine encourages cellular hydration – improving contractile function and muscular surface area.
The effects of betaine are linked to increased capacities for training volume and athletic performance.
Q: Does Betaine Have Side Effects?
When taken according to the appropriate intake recommendations, betaine does not typically incur any side effects.
Minor side effects are known to occur with excessive use, including:
- Upset Stomach
- Body Odor
Q: When Is The Best Time To Take Betaine?
The hydrating effects of betaine anhydrous suggest it would make a viable pre-workout inclusion.
Betaine actually contributes to the pathway responsible for creating creatine in the body – meaning pre-emptive supplementation with a betaine anhydrous supplement could substantiate the same effects (increased ATP supply, training volume tolerance, and muscle hydration).
TMG is known to be excreted in considerable volumes through sweat. To negate this, supplementing betaine post-workout could prove effective.
There are credible reasons to believe taking a betaine anhydrous supplement pre-, or post-workout would be optimal.
Q: How Much Betaine Should I Take A Day?
Most recommendations advise taking between 1.0 and 1.5g of betaine anhydrous a day, whether through natural or supplemental sources.
Studies have demonstrated success with higher doses – in the 3g to 6g range – and if you are at extremely high activity levels, this could be appropriate.
Q: What Foods Are High In Betaine?
Betaine is most commonly found in grain-based foods. Below are 8 of the highest betaine-containing foods:
- Breakfast Cereal (Kellog, Kraft, General Mills)
- Rye Flour
- Spaghetti Noodles
- Wheat Flour
Q: How To Choose The Right Betaine Supplement?
Picking the best betaine supplement for you depends on your lifestyle, intended applications, and training style.
If you are an endurance athlete or perform high volume, high-frequency workouts as a bodybuilder, you might consider increasing your betaine supplementation beyond natural foods alone.
Beyond personal details, consider the company profile – what research have they conducted or been involved in?
What does the sentiment in their product reviews look like? What has worked for you in the past? Which one can you stick with?
But don’t forget, we’ve done the groundwork for you. Both the best betaine anhydrous and best betaine HCL products are listed just a few scrolls up above – for your convenience.
Q: Does Betaine Anhydrous Powder Break A Fast?
A handful of non-proteinogenic amino acids – meaning amino acids that are not incorporated into proteins during translation – can be consumed while fasting, with minimal impact on the overall metabolic state of the body.
Betaine is included among these non-proteinogenic amino acids.
Therefore, modest consumption of a betaine anhydrous powder supplement should be completely fine while engaging with a fast.
Q: When Is The Best Time To Take Betaine HCl?
Since betaine HCl briefly increases the volume of acid in your digestive tract, you might experience a fairly significant amount of discomfort or nausea if taken on an empty stomach.
To circumvent this, consume your betaine HCl supplement during a meal or directly after it.
Taking HCl too early might deter the body from continuing natural production of stomach acid or pepsinogen breakdown.
This could potentially make digestion more difficult or painful (e.g., heartburn).
Taking it during a meal ensures the resulting cascades will align with the digestion of nutrients.
Q: So What’s The Deal With Betaine HCl, Anyway? Does It Work?
In 1993, regulations were enacted that restricted betaine HCl from inclusion in OTC treatments.
Put simply; there was a lack of evidence for the compound’s medical efficacy.
Since then, it has been re-adopted by the supplement industry as purely a dietary supplement (meaning all claims now made for the product are un-verified by the FDA).
Believers have sworn by betaine HCl for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, asthma, yeast infections, anemia, atherosclerosis, hypokalemia, and dozens more.
However, there isn’t much hard research backing these claims.
For one thing, it’s thoroughly understood that simply consuming hydrochloric acid will not dramatically change the homeostasis of the stomach’s pH levels (Though there are instances of betaine HCl temporarily lowering the stomach’s pH).
Any spike in acidity will quickly regulate back to a normal condition.
It seems the primary use-case for betaine HCl’s acute pH impacts is to aid in the delivery of other acid-soluble drugs/medications.
Incidentally, this makes the inclusion of pepsin in the formulas listed above all the more sensible.
Pepsin can be dissolved by small amounts of HCl, potentially aiding in its delivery shortly after ingestion.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 10 best betaine supplements.
As a performance-oriented supplement, betaine anhydrous has taken on a similar reverence as creatine itself – among consumers and researchers alike.
We grouped our selections according to criteria valued by the fitness and supplement industry – elements such as the impact on performance, dose, value, and company history.
Do remember that supplements are not a one-stop-shop for wellness.
The best supplement is the one that you stick with and which complements your existing dietary and training habits.
The betaine supplements listed here should get you started on the right foot.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best betaine supplements:
- Transparent Labs – Betaine Anhydrous
- Nutricost – Betaine Anhydrous
- BulkSupplements – Betaine Anhydrous Trimethylglycine (TMG) Powder
- NOW Foods – TMG
- NOW Foods – TMG – Best Betaine Tablets
- Muscle Feast – Pure Betaine Anhydrous Trimethylglycine (TMG) Powder
- Life Extension – TMG Powder
- Doctor’s Best – Betaine HCl – Best Betaine HCl Supplement
- Source Naturals – Betaine HCl
- Solaray – High Potency Betaine HCL with Pepsin