By Roger Kendall, PhD
Do you wake up feeling fresh and ready to get your day started, or do you feel exhausted and lacking energy? Fatigue is the number one health concern for many people, as it prevents them from functioning at their best—both physically and mentally.
Fatigue is long-lasting exhaustion that’s not relieved by resting.6 It can impact a person’s energy levels and ability to perform, and it can affect everyone equally. In the past, experts recommended getting eight hours of sleep each night, though it’s been determined that seven hours is often enough. However, a lack of energy is not always related to sleeping patterns.
One Way to Overcome Natural Fatigue
Whether you’re looking for a temporary energy boost or feeling the effects of a hectic modern life or the normal effects of aging, it’s common to look for different foods, drinks, and supplements to overcome fatigue.
An ingredient known as DMG (or N,N-Dimethylglycine) is more than a conventional energy booster. For years, DMG has been recommended by health practitioners to professional athletes and sports competitors because of its ability to help with lactic acid buildup and improve stamina, oxygen utilization, and athletic performance. It is also consumed to help overcome the adverse effects caused by muscle fatigue. Studies have tested DMG’s effect on oxygen utilization in animals and have determined that DMG could act as a metabolic enhancer and adaptogen. It can also help improve physical endurance and recovery rates. DMG significantly improved performance in a group of track and field athletes, showing an increase of 27.5% in VO2 Max and of 23.6% in time to exhaustion when compared to a placebo group. 1
DMG’s ergogenic (energy-enhancing) effects could be due to several factors, including better oxygen utilization and cellular respiration, limited lactic acid build-up, and enhanced carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
What Is N,N-Dimethylglycine (DMG)?
DMG is an amino acid that supports bodily function at optimal mental and physical levels.7 It’s also an important immune enhancer and supports the production of essential substances related to metabolism, brain health, joint health, liver health, and more. DMG supports cellular energy production, especially during times of stress and high energy demands. For these reasons, it has been used as a nutritional supplement for over 25 years.
Overcoming Lactic Acid Buildup
The energy needed to support vigorous exercise comes from the breakdown of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. Since the body has a limited amount of ATP—about 85 grams—the body needs to find ways to produce more. Lactic acid helps by supporting a process known as anaerobic glycolysis, which is the breakdown of carbohydrates without using oxygen.
This process of glycolysis forms pyruvic acid and hydronium molecules, which then become lactate. When the body does not have enough oxygen, the buildup of these hydronium molecules causes the pH of muscle cells to drop. Physiological normal pH levels are commonly between 7.0 and 7.4. When the pH is below normal levels, it causes acidity. When the pH drops to approximately 6.5, muscle contraction occurs, and the nerve endings in the muscle are stimulated, which causes pain and a burning sensation.
The increase in lactic acid is often associated with hypoxia or low oxygen availability to the cells, resulting in fatigue and muscle contractions. DMG has the ability to help with lactic acid buildup due to its ability to use available oxygen more effectively. This shows how DMG can improve endurance and stamina and support the muscles to recover faster after heavy exercise.
In addition to DMG’s ability to limit lactic acid buildup, DMG also supports the mitochondria, which highly relies on oxygen. When the mitochondria have utilized all the available ATP, they seek alternatives like the compound phosphocreatine, which can regenerate ATP directly without the availability of additional oxygen. Phosphocreatine serves as a reserve of high-energy phosphates in the skeletal muscle. It donates one of its phosphate groups to ADP to form ATP.
Phosphocreatine can speed up the replenishment of ATP and the duration for heavy exercise. If greater availability of phosphocreatine can improve ATP levels, can DMG support phosphocreatine production? Yes, it can!
Phosphocreatine requires both glycine and methyl groups to complete its synthesis, and DMG can help provide both intermediates. This biochemical pathway is critical to the mitochondria in order to produce energy when there is a shortage of available ATP and oxygen. This is particularly important for both physical and mental health.
Through a better understanding of how DMG works, we can relate the different health benefits and the mechanisms that DMG provides. Benefits such as improved physical and mental performance by supporting optimal mitochondrial function.
Related Content | Mind Diet: How DMG Supports Brain Health
The Importance of DMG in Sports and Exercise
As mentioned above, muscles produce lactic acid during intense exercise, and it is a metabolic byproduct that has no contribution to exercise and performance. It negatively impacts the muscle by causing fatigue and post-exercise muscle soreness. In a study, DMG proved its ability to benefit exercise performance in athletes. The supplementation of DMG is needed because it can act as a pro-oxygenator.
DMG as a supplement can also boost energy levels and endurance by supporting the way the body uses oxygen. After Dr. Hammer, a marathon runner, tried DMG, he improved his marathon racing times, boosted his mental focus, and his muscles recovered faster after exercise.3
Dr. Hammer also found that DMG’s oxygen enhancing attributes showed benefits for many of his patients who had issues with poor oxygen availability. He noticed that his patients with insulin issues and circulation challenges, may benefit greatly from taking DMG.
DMG plays a vital role in enhancing physical and mental performance. It can help to optimize energy production and is linked to helping with oxygen utilization and cellular respiration efficiency, as well as limiting lactic acid buildup. DMG, can help youwake up feeling fresh every day of the week and ready to exercise. You may also get additional health benefits to support your immune system, liver, heart, joints, and much more!
- Levine, S. et. al. “Effects of a Nutritional Supplement containing N,N-Dimethylglycine on the Racing Standardbred.” Equine Practice, 4, March (1982).
- Meduski, J. et. al., “Decrease of lactic acid concentration in blood of animals given N,N-dimethylglycine, Pacific slope Biochemical Conference Abstract,” July 1980, University of California, San Diego.
- Hammer, D. and Burr, B, “Peak Energy: The High Energy Program for More Energy Now,” New York: G. P. Putnam, 1988.
- Kendall, R. and Therrien, A., “Building Wellness with DMG,” Topanga, CA, Freedom Press, 2003.
- Stryer, L., “Biochemistry,” New York, W. H. Freeman, 1995.