What is HMB?

HMB stands for β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate, which is naturally produced in our bodies during the metabolism of the essential amino acid leucine. Leucine is a part of the food chain – we consume  it every day in foods like soybeans, beef, alfalfa, and fish.  Some proteins have more leucine than others, however it is difficult if not impossible to consume enough protein through supplementation or a healthy diet alone to achieve the effective amount of HMB your body needs.

 

What is HMB good for?

HMB is important for our aging muscles.  As we age, it is inevitable that we will experience muscle loss.  Supplementing with HMB can help prevent or slow the process of muscle loss to improve overall health, strength, and mobility.

What is the difference between Calcium HMB and HMB free acid?

Calcium HMB is the mono-hydrated calcium salt combined with HMB to create a powder while the HMB free acid is HMB in its pure viscous liquid form.

(Fuller et al., 2011)
(Fuller et al., 2015)

 

How does HMB work?

HMB aids in increasing muscle protein in the body through two dual mechanisms:

Decreasing Muscle Protein Breakdown 

HMB decreases protein breakdown by disrupting proteolysis through the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway (a major enzymatic pathway for protein breakdown in muscle). This process helps to blunt muscle damage and recover faster.

Increasing Muscle Protein Synthesis

HMB stimulates muscle protein synthesis through multiple mechanisms, including the mTOR pathway. While the initiation of myofibrillar protein synthesis is influenced by multiple factors, mTOR is a key regulatory factor that results in a direct increase in myofibrillar protein synthesis.

Myofibrillar proteins make up the contractile apparatus in muscles. HMB helps maintain this by increasing the phosphorylation of mTOR, thus activating the mTOR signaling pathway in muscle which stimulates the initiation of protein synthesis in the muscle.  And HMB also works on decreasing myofibrillar protein degradation.

While many of these effects are shared with the essential amino acid leucine, HMB is more potent than leucine in promoting strength gains, and a study has shown that conversion of leucine to HMB is necessary for this increase in protein synthesis.

 

Does HMB build muscle?

Yes, HMB does improve muscle mass through its unique dual-action of increasing protein synthesis and decreasing protein breakdown.  These mechanisms blunt muscle damage allowing you to recover faster and build muscle.

How long will it take for me to see results from HMB?

Studies show that measurable increases in strength and prevention for overtraining occur in only a couple of weeks; however, it will most likely take three or four weeks to produce results that will also be noticed by friends and coworkers depending upon the level of training and overall training status.

Is HMB really effective?

Recognized experts at major universities have been conducting HMB research on animals and humans for three decades. In these studies, HMB was found to have several beneficial effects, including producing better results faster from intense exercise. The list of HMB clinical studies is continually growing. Currently, there are about 50 human clinical studies traceable to TSI’s myHMB®, and myHMB® has been discussed in about 100 review articles, and 10 meta-analyses, which have been published as peer-reviewed papers, and there are still more ongoing studies with HMB!

What is HMB plus Vitamin D?

While HMB is vital to muscle health it has also been shown that Vitamin D3 is also an essential nutrient to help muscles reach their full potential.  When HMB and Vitamin D3 are combined it optimizes the effectiveness of HMB.

A year-long, double-blind study conducted by the researchers at Iowa State University and Des Moines University funded by NIH also found HMB and Vitamin D3 improved muscle function in older adults, even without exercise.

HMB boosts muscle health in older adults by both stimulating protein synthesis and reducing muscle breakdown. Higher Vitamin D3 levels are associated with greater strength and superior muscle function, especially in older adults. The study indicated that the proper ratio of HMB and Vitamin D3 can boost effects, helping improve muscle function in an entire generation of people.

 

Are there any other supplements that I should use with HMB?

Yes, there are other supplements that have shown to have healthy benefits when taken in conjunction with HMB.

Research has shown that the nutrient, Vitamin D3, is essential for helping muscles reach their full potential.  When HMB is combined with Vitamin D3 it optimizes the effectiveness of HMB. Learn more.

HMB combined with PEAK ATP® has also shown a synergistic benefit on performance gains – meaning that when combined the benefits are greater than with either supplement alone. Learn more.

HMB combined with creatine has been shown to have an additive effect on performance, more than either supplement on their own.

It is also suggested that HMB be taken in combination with a balanced diet that contains a daily protein intake of about one gram per pound of body weight, especially if you are actively exercising. If your diet isn’t balanced or your protein intake is low, then HMB should be combined with the appropriate vitamin, mineral, protein, or energy supplement to balance your diet.

 

Is HMB safe to take?

Yes, HMB has had extensive clinical studies conducted to specifically evaluate the safety of HMB, and no negative side effects have been recorded in either men or women whether young or elderly.

A summary of the effects of HMB on hematology, emotional profile, and adverse effects as measured in nine clinical studies showed only positive effects on cholesterol (7 percent decrease) and blood pressure (4.4 mm of Hg decrease).

 

What can I expect from taking HMB?

In clinical studies, HMB users have consistently improved strength, reduced muscle damage and have also improved body composition with exercise when compared with control test subjects. Research suggests that HMB supplementation also provides benefits to runners, cyclists, and other endurance-training individuals.

What can I expect from taking HMB?

In clinical studies, HMB users have consistently improved strength, reduced muscle damage, and have also improved body composition with exercise when compared with placebo test subjects. Research suggests that HMB supplementation also provides benefits to runners, cyclists, and other endurance-training individuals.

Newer research has also shown that the combination of HMB and Vitamin D3 improved muscle function in older adults, even without exercise.

Should I take HMB everyday?

Yes, you should consume HMB daily.  The recommended dosage is three grams per day for average-size individuals. If you want to “customize” your dosage, research has shown that 38 mg/kg body weight each day is optimal.

How do I benefit from supplementing with HMB?

Research indicates that HMB supplementation can benefit virtually everyone.  Athletes, aging adults, dieters, active individuals, or those recovering from illness or injury have used HMB for decades as a highly effective supplement for improving muscle health under a variety of external stressors.  In fact, the beauty of HMB is that it performs best when stressors – such as strenuous exercise or injury – are introduced to the body.

Is myHMB® acceptable for athletes to use in sports?

Yes, myHMB® is acceptable for sports use and does not contain any banned substances in accordance with WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).

Who should not take HMB?

Pregnant or lactating women are advised against taking HMB because safety studies have not yet been conducted for these populations. Also, individuals with any known medical problems and adolescents should consult with their physicians prior to using HMB, as they should with all dietary supplements.