The Impacts of Combined Blood Flow Restriction Training and Betaine Supplementation on One-Leg Press Muscular Endurance, Exercise-Associated Lactate Concentrations, Serum Metabolic Biomarkers, and Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1α Gene Expression

Steven B. Machek, Dillon R. Harris, Emilia E. Zawieja, Jeffery L. Heileson, Dylan T. Wilburn, Anna Radziejewska, Agata Chmurzynska, Jason M. Cholewa, Darryn S. Willoughby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this investigation was to compare the impacts of a potential blood flow restriction (BFR)-betaine synergy on one-leg press performance, lactate concentrations, and exercise-associated biomarkers. Eighteen recreationally trained males (25 ± 5 y) were randomized to supplement 6 g/day of either betaine anhydrous (BET) or cellulose placebo (PLA) for 14 days. Subsequently, subjects performed four standardized sets of one-leg press and two additional sets to muscular failure on both legs (BFR [LL-BFR; 20% 1RM at 80% arterial occlusion pressure] and high-load [HL; 70% 1RM]). Toe-tip lactate concentrations were sampled before (PRE), as well as immediately (POST0), 30 min (POST30M), and 3 h (POST3H) post-exercise. Serum homocysteine (HCY), growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 concentrations were additionally assessed at PRE and POST30M. Analysis failed to detect any significant between-supplement differences for total repetitions completed. Baseline lactate changes (∆) were significantly elevated from POST0 to POST30 and from POST30 to POST3H (p < 0.05), whereby HL additionally demonstrated significantly higher ∆Lactate versus LL-BFR (p < 0.001) at POST3H. Although serum ∆GH was not significantly impacted by supplement or condition, serum ∆IGF-1 was significantly (p = 0.042) higher in BET versus PLA and serum ∆HCY was greater in HL relative to LL-BFR (p = 0.044). Although these data fail to support a BFR-betaine synergy, they otherwise support betaine’s anabolic potential.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Kinesiology

Cite this