HMB, or beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate, has not been on the supplement market for long. HMB is produced as a by-product of metabolising leucine, an immensely popular amino acid. Studies demonstrated that HMB could help promote muscle growth and reduce muscle wasting, along with many other effects. Having a proper understanding of what HMB does will be crucial to making sure your use of it is as effective as possible.
Benefits of HMB
Supplementing HMB has a range of benefits, namely building and preserving muscle. The main benefit of HMB is that it increases the amount of protein that your body is able to synthesis. Meanwhile, HMB can also reduce the amount of muscle breakdown. These two properties mean that HMB reduces muscle damage while increasing recovery rate. HMB can therefore help build bigger, stronger muscles quicker. HMB can also increase your VO2 max meaning you can feel more resilient to intense training. Having a higher VO2 max increases the amount of oxygen being taken in by your body. More tolerance for high intensity training means being able to work hard for longer.
Should I Be Taking HMB
If your goals are to build muscle and strength or increase your cardiovascular ability then HMB should be on your shopping list. Reducing catabolism during training means you can gain muscle much quicker when supplementing with HMB. The benefit for those doing cardiovascular activity with HMB is increased oxygen intake and the ability to work hard for longer. If you are taking HMB you will notice an increase in your performance at higher levels of intensity. For others who are not training for strength or endurance, HMB is still useful. Improved protein synthesis means improved muscle profile and definition on the body.
Alternatives to HMB
The properties of HMB are fairly unique. To reproduce them you would need to be use many different types of supplements. This is why HMB is so useful. The prevention of catabolism can be achieved by correct diet but is tough. If your body has enough protein available then it won’t break down as much of your muscle. The increased protein synthesis is also an attribute of some of the amino acids that can be supplemented individually. Those training for endurance will benefit from aminos’ that reduce fatigue ant lactic build up. As always, to take full advantage of the benefits of these supplements you need to make sure your basics are right such as getting enough protein and keeping to a good diet.