By: Mia Sims
Bodybuilders and athletes have used HMB supplements for years in an attempt to build muscle and increase strength and endurance (x). HMB, or B-hydroxy-B-methylbutyrate, is a metabolite of the essential amino acid leucine. Studies suggest that HMB may help promote healthy cardiovascular health, reduce muscle damage and support muscle recovery.
Have you been looking for a way to naturally reduce the risk for muscle damage during or after workouts? Are you looking for ways to adequately improve your cardiovascular health? If so, HMB may be the right supplement for you. But remember to consult a doctor before adding it to your diet. While there is no medical evidence proving that HMB cures or treats any disease, it may have natural benefits in the body.
What is HMB?
We reached out to Dr. Rashmi Byakodi, editor of Best of Nutrition, a site dedicated to providing research-supported content on nutrition, diets, fitness tips and supplement reviews. Dr. Byakodi defines HMB as “a substance produced in your body during the breakdown of amino acid leucine,” which “plays various roles in the body including protein metabolism, glucose homeostasis, insulin action and exercise recovery. HMB… is a metabolite of leucine that helps reduce protein breakdown, thereby retaining muscle strength and assisting with improved body composition.”
History of Research on HMB
Dr. Steven L. Nissen, a researcher at the University of Iowa, was the first to discover the role that HMB plays in protein synthesis. He examined its effects on muscle metabolism and performance in two experiments involving healthy, untrained male subjects. Researchers have studied HMB for over two decades to determine its effects on muscle metabolism during resistance training (x).
What are HMB Supplements Used for?
People may supplement with HMB for a number of health benefits, but how exactly does it work? In its supplemental form, HMB may help:
- Reduce muscle damage
- Stimulate muscle recovery
- Prevent age-related muscle degradation
- Protect the heart and lungs
If you’ve been looking for supplementation to help you build muscle and contribute to your overall everyday health, HMB might be the right health alternative for you. HMB is a significant tool in preserving vital organs in the body. 5% of dietary leucine is made up of HMB, meaning the metabolite has similar activities and may have similar benefits.
Preserving Muscle Mass
Extensive research and evidence suggests that HMB may help preserve muscle mass. It has natural anti-catabolic effects that may help prevent muscle breakdown during high-intensity resistance exercise. Catabolism is a metabolic process that breaks down molecules. By combating these effects, anti-catabolic properties may help preserve muscle mass.
In a study at Vanderbilt University, a heart psychology report revealed that HMB supplementation may prevent protein degradation caused by high-intensity resistance training (x). Another study by the European Journal of Applied psychology showed that while HMB is not as effective as leucine for muscle building, it does seem to be more effective in its ability to prevent muscle breakdown (x).
Because HMB powder potentially increases muscle mass and strength, HMB may also increase metabolism with exercise. There are studies that suggest that HMB supplements have contributed to significant fat loss in subject groups (x). HMB may also aid in chronic health conditions that may cause weak muscles and low energy (x).
Stimulating Muscle Recovery
In addition to its potential ability to preserve muscle mass, HMB may also help stimulate muscle recovery after a strenuous workout at the gym (x). It improves muscle recovery by helping to reduce protein breakdown, while speeding up protein synthesis process to repair the muscles. HMB is the structural component of muscle cell membranes and supports rebuilding overall.
In a 2013 study on 20 resistance-trained athletes, researchers analyzed the effects of short-term HMB supplementation on protein breakdown and muscle damage. They noticed that when the subjects took the supplements before high-volume resistance training, it appeared to reduce muscle damage and improve recovery between training days (x).
Studies suggest that HMB has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and that the supplement may have positive effects on cardiovascular health (x). In a detailed study with nine different trials, the researchers noted that HMB may have helped reduce the subjects’ blood pressure and cholesterol levels and potentially reduced the risk for stroke and heart attacks as a result (x).
In a more recent study, researchers administered 3 g doses of HMB every day for one week to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a collection of chronic inflammatory lung diseases. The researchers noticed that the supplement may have reduced inflammation and improved the patients’ lung function (x).
However, supplements are not an adequate method to treat or prevent any health condition. There are not enough studies to produce a definitive conclusion on their effects. Always consult a doctor before adding any supplement to your diet.
How to Take HMB Supplements
By now you’re probably ready to hear how and when to take HMB as a supplement. The recommended dosage for HMB powder is 1,000 mg up to three times daily with food, or as directed by a physician. You can mix the powder into food, water or protein shakes.
Studies suggest that it is best to take HMB before exercise or high intensity training. One study noted that taking it before exercise may have prevented lactic acid from accumulating in the body (x). Taking HMB may be what you need to reduce muscle soreness after your workout and maintain muscle mass.
Stacking HMB and Creatine Supplements
Creatine is found naturally in muscle cells and athletes often use the supplement to produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity training. HMB has the same potential effects and together, creatine and HMB may potentially increase lean body mass and muscle strength during weight-training (x). You may be able to take creatine and HMB together if you’re looking to achieve effective muscle recovery and promote lean muscle mass.
While creatine and HMB may work well together to promote strength and repair in the muscles, you should consult a doctor before taking these—or any other—supplements to make sure they are the right choices for you.
What are the Side Effects of HMB?
Oral HMB supplementation is typically safe for most people in recommended dosages. However, there isn’t enough research available to determine exactly what side effects it may cause. It may not be safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. There is not enough research on how it may affect infants, so it’s best to avoid it completely (x). Be sure to consult a doctor before taking HMB, as it may also interact with other medications you may be taking and cause side effects (x).
Where to Buy HMB Supplements
You can purchase HMB supplements at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other brands that distribute food and other supplement products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in trying HMB powder to potentially preserve muscle mass, prevent muscle breakdown, increase muscle recovery and improve heart health? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today and improve your fitness routine.
HMB has natural properties that help the body build and repair muscles. Because HMB powder may increase muscle mass and strength, it may also increase metabolism with exercise and support fat loss. In addition to its muscle building and recovering benefits, supplementing with HMB may also help support cardiovascular and pulmonary health, reducing cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation.
If you’ve been looking for a natural way to promote heart health, repair damaged muscles or maintain your muscle mass, HMB might be able to help. However, there is not enough research to definitively support its effects on the body. Make sure to consult a doctor before taking HMB or any other supplement.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.