HMB is compellingly linked with enhanced muscle growth alongside a weight training programme. The main purpose of weight training is to stimulate muscle growth. This is done by creating ‘tears’ in the muscle tissue. These tears get repaired and reinforced to be able to take more strain in the future. Your body uses any of its available resources to make this repair. Available resources means nutrition reserves, ingested nutrition and other muscle tissue. This is where HMB supplementation comes in. HMB restricts this process in a positive way to help you get the most from your training. HMB also helps contribute to the recovery process and even to the intensity of your training.
Your body uses any resources available to repair the muscle you have damaged during training. This includes salvaging material from other muscle. This is not a very desirable effect of weight training, as you want to be building muscle, not breaking it down. Enter HMB. HMB restricts the breakdown of other muscle tissue by your body, preventing the destruction of your hard earned muscle. This is because HMB restricts the release of chemicals that initiate the breakdown of muscle for reuse.
To grow, your body needs material to be supplied to the muscle. HMB helps increase the amount of protein that can be provided to the muscle. HMB does this by stimulating the process that synthesises proteins in your body. Leucine, the main precursor to HMB, has a similar effect but HMB is considered more potent in terms stimulating protein synthesis. An increased supply of protein to the muscle spells for quicker and enhanced recovery. This results in stronger, bigger muscles. If you combine this effect with an increased protein intake, you ensure that your body is receiving enough protein. The better supplied your body is with protein, the faster you will improve. For this reason, it is always a good idea to maintain a high intake of protein when supplementing with HMB.
Not all of HMBs properties are linked to the production or preservation of muscle. HMB also helps to increase your VO2 max. An increased VO2 max means your body is using more of the oxygen take into your lungs. More oxygen use means greater oxygen supply to your muscles. Having higher levels of oxygen in the muscle allows you to increase your work output and endurance. The extra oxygen allows your body to continue using the aerobic energy system. As soon as your required energy output exceeds your available oxygen reserves, your body switches to using the anaerobic energy system. The anaerobic energy system produces lactic acid, which hastens fatigue and ultimately reduces your performance. As a result, the effects of supplementing with HMB mean you are able to train with more intensity, leading to muscle growth and strength gains.