HMB

(Known as Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, HMB)

tickAids recovery
tickMuscle Builder
tickPart of the Amino Acid group
How does it work?
HMB (beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate) is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. HMB is found in the diet in small amounts in some protein-rich foods such as fish and milk. Depending on total protein and leucine intake, HMB production in the body may average about ¼ to 1 gram per day.
Who is it used for?
HMB is suitable for use by all athletes wanting to gain lean muscle size and strength, including bodybuilders, rugby players, sprinters and other strength athletes. HMB is also used widely by endurance athletes, such as runners, cyclists and triathletes, as it reduces muscle breakdown following long periods of exercise, and can speed up recovery between training sessions.
How does it work?
Every muscle in your body is made up of millions of muscle cells. When you exercise, these cells are subject to tremendous amounts of stress. Think of them like a car tyre - when you train, you create several punctures in the tyre. Proteins then leak from these damaged cells until they are repaired several days later. In simple terms, HMB plugs the leaks in muscle cells, leading to greater gains in lean mass, muscle strength and a reduction in muscle breakdown during periods of intense training.

HMB has been the subject of scientific scrutiny since the mid 1990's, and several studies report impressive findings. For example, Dr. Steve Nissen and a team of researchers followed a group of men for three weeks [2]. Gains in lean muscle were almost three times greater in the group using HMB. In addition, muscle strength doubled in the HMB group.

Researchers at Iowa State University tested two groups of runners (one group using HMB, while the others took a 'dummy' supplement). After six weeks of supplementation, both groups took part in a 20-kilometer run. One day after the run, cell damage was 58% higher in the subjects not using HMB. The positive effect of HMB supplementation was still present four days after the run, with HMB users showing 9% less muscle breakdown [1].
How do I use it?
Muscle breakdown tends to be greater when you start a new training programme, or when you plan to increase the intensity and/or volume of your workouts. The research shows that HMB is effective at a dose of at least three grams per day. However, HMB s likely to work best when taken in relation to bodyweight. Those with large amounts of lean muscle will benefit from using 3-6 grams of HMB each day. The opposite is true if you're lighter, and you might need slightly less (between 2-3 grams). Take 1 gram, 2-6 times daily with meals, as the body is unable to deal with large doses of HMB all at once, and most of it ends up wasted.
What results can I expect?
HMB has a significant effect on muscle size and strength within 2-3 weeks. Most users report feeling a difference in strength after 10-12 days.
What can it be combined with?
HMB works well when combined with a high protein diet, so make sure you're consuming at least one gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight.

1. Knitter, A.E., Panton, L., Rathmacher, J.A., Petersen, A., & Sharp, R. (2000). Effects of b-hydroxy-b-methylbutyrate on muscle damage after a prolonged run. Journal of Applied Physiology, 89, 1340-1344
2. Nissen, S., Sharp, R., Ray, M., Rathmacher, J.A., Rice, D., Fuller, J.C., Connelly, A.S., & Abdumrad, N. (1996). Effect of leucine metabolite b-hydroxy-b-methylbutyrate on muscle metabolism during resistance-exercise training. Journal of Applied Physiology, 81, 2095-2104


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