When HMB was first introduced, it quickly became the holy grail of sports supplements. With time, however, scientific research has shifted the conversation a bit. In this beginner’s guide to HMB, you’ll get the low-down on what HMB is, its benefits and potential side effects.
What is HMB?
Let’s start off with the basics. HMB stands for Beta-Hydroxy Beta-Methylbutyrate. You can probably see why it’s easier to use the HMB abbreviation.
HMB is an active metabolite of the Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA), Leucine. In other words, HMB is Leucine’s metabolic byproduct meaning it’s the result of our body’s processing Leucine. Therefore, HMB and Leucine aren’t quite the same.
Now onto a bit of history. HMB got increasingly popular in the 90s and it’s a frequent addition to post-training all-in-one formulas.
On a gram per gram basis, HMB seems to be more effective than Leucine at reducing the rate of muscle protein breakdown but is less effective at inducing muscle protein synthesis which is what can contribute to an increase in muscle mass. Also, increasing Leucine consumption would only result in modest increases in HMB levels.
What are the benefits of HMB?
- Lower muscle damage.
- Helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
Considering the existing studies on potential HMB benefits, it seems that its anti-catabolic properties are the strongest. That means HMB can be useful in preventing muscle break down in response to intense physical efforts. Currently, it doesn’t look like there are possible HMB side effects while pairing it with other supplements as creatine seems to help out with muscle upkeep.
When to take HMB?
Depending on your goals, HMB powder or capsules are a great addition to post-workout shakes. You can also use it in combination with an all-in-one formula that features protein, carbohydrate, Creatine and Glutamine. Alternatively, HMB capsules can be easily taken throughout the day.
If you’re aiming to reduce and prevent long-term muscle mass loss, the standard HMB dosage range of 1-3g to be taken daily. If you’re looking to reduce muscle damage, it’s advised to take HMB free acid 15-30 minutes before working out with the same dosage as above.
HMB Supplements from Bulk
To finish off our beginner’s guide to HMB, here are the top two products from our Pure Series. The HMB powder is a great addition to post-workout shakes and works well when teamed up with other formulas containing protein, carbohydrates, Creatine and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). The HMB Capsules are also super practical and can be taken throughout the day.
Keen to integrate these into your daily routine? Let us know how you get on tagging @bulkpowders!