Betaine, also known as trimethylglycine, is a substance derived from sugar beets. It has received some hype over the last few years for improving strength and power in athletes. However, a new study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition shows that it can also improve body composition by boosting muscle mass while it simultaneously whittles away body fat. In the experiment, 24 male bodybuilders followed the same intensive training regimen for six weeks. Twelve of them took two and a half grams of betaine every day while the others were given a placebo. At the end of the six weeks the betaine bodybuilders lost about three percentage points from their body-fat measurements. Surprisingly, those who were given betaine also experienced a significant increase in muscle mass, specifically in their arms.