- Why HMB has remained a popular bodybuilding supplement for the last 20 years.
- What HMB is and which natural food sources contain HMB.
- How HMB can help to build muscle by minimizing muscle breakdown after training.
- What HMB does in the body, and the research behind its popularity.
- How to choose the best supplements to combine with HMB.
- How much HMB should be taken, and how long it takes to see benefits.
HMB supplements have been very popular in the muscle building scene since the early 1990's. Some bodybuilders have been taking HMB with excellent results. But despite it's popularity over recent years most lifters know little about how HMB works and it's role in the body. This HMB Expert Guide will cover everything you wanted to know about HMB. We recommend you read this before taking HMB supplements.
HMB or Beta-Hydroxy Beta-methylbutyrate is a byproduct of the normal breakdown of the amino acid Leucine. It is therefore a metabolite of the essential amino acid - Leucine. HMB is produced in our body from the proteins in our diet and is also consumed in small amounts from the foods we eat. Foods like catfish and alfalfa contain small amounts of HMB.
HMB supplements help to gain muscle by minimizing the amount of muscle that is broken down after you train. You may get the following benefits:
- Increased gains of lean muscle
- Prevents muscle catabolism
- Speeds up muscle repair and recovery times
- Decreases body fat
- Decreases blood cholesterol levels
- Increase VO2 max and endurance
HMB supplements help to slow down a process call proteolysis, which is the natural process of breaking down muscle tissue that occurs after intense physical activity (weight training in this case). Taking HMB gives the body a head start of muscle recovery by minimizing the amount of muscle breakdown and protein degradation after exercise. This means that you body stays in an anabolic state for longer allowing for more muscle growth.
HMB supplements were first used by Iowa State University in cattle. Their tests found that by giving cattle HMB supplements they would produce more muscle tissue and less body fat. Studies were then carried out on humans with the same results. Iowa State University tested 40 men who trained for 4 weeks and found that the men who were given 3 grams of HMB per day built more muscle and lost more body fat the men who trained without HMB.
Published studies have been undertaken to measure the side effects of taking HMB supplements in men, women, children and the elderly. In 9 separate studies only positive effects were found on muscle, body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol.
HMB supplements are commonly taken with whey protein, glutamine, creatine and carbs. In fact it's possible to buy blends which contain HMB with other products like creatine and whey protein. Taking HMB with other supplements will actually have a positive effect. For example creatine will give you the power to work your muscles harder and HMB will minimize muscle breakdown and recovery times.
Like many other muscle building supplements the recommended about of HMB you should be taking depends on your bodyweight. As a general guide, for people weighing up to 130lbs (60kg) 2 grams per day should be enough. For people weighing over 130lbs (60kg) a dosage of 4 grams per day is recommended. You should only take 1 gram at a time, so if you're over 130lbs take 1 gram 4 times per day.
Measurable increases in strength and muscle mass may be seen in 2-4 weeks.