The power of supplementing with myHMB is that it delivers exactly what the body’s working muscles need — HMB. Scientifically known as β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate, HMB is produced naturally in our bodies during the metabolism of the essential amino acid leucine. Leucine is found in virtually all protein — we eat it every day in foods like soybeans, beef, alfalfa and fish, and some proteins have more leucine than others. However, it’s difficult if not impossible to consume enough protein with supplementation or a healthy diet alone to achieve the effective amount of HMB. With myHMB, you can get the muscle-building power of HMB directly — and that provides serious benefits.
Benefits of HMB
Athletes, aging adults, dieters, active individuals and persons 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.
MyHMB has also been clinically shown to:
- Boost protein synthesis (Eley et al., 2007)
- Reduce protein breakdown (Smith et al., 2005)
- Reduce muscle damage (Nissen et al., 1996)
- Improve body composition (Wilson et al., 2014)
- Improve strength gains from resistance training (Nissen and Sharp, 2003)
- Improve recovery by reducing damage associated with exercise (both resistance and endurance) (Knitter et al., 2000; Jówko et al., 2001)
- Improve endurance by increasing maximal oxygen consumption (Lamboley et al., 2007)
- Improve endurance by lengthening the time to the onset of blood lactate accumulation (Vukovich and Dreifort, 2001)
- Improve anabolic effects of plant-based protein (Rittig, et al. 2016)
Key Mechanisms of HMB
Muscle mass is the sum of muscle protein breakdown and muscle protein synthesis. HMB simultaneously decreases muscle protein breakdown and increases muscle protein synthesis. The beauty of HMB is that it performs best when stressors are introduced to the body.
HMB decreases protein breakdown by disrupting proteolysis through the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway (a major enzymatic pathway for protein breakdown in muscle). This results in less muscle damage.
HMB stimulates muscle protein synthesis through multiple mechanisms, including the mTOR/p70S6k 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 cause muscles to contract and are responsible for the strength of the muscle contraction. HMB has been shown to increase the phosphorylation of mTOR, thus activating the mTOR signaling pathway in muscle. The mTOR then stimulates the initiation of protein synthesis in the muscle.
While many of these effects are shared with leucine, HMB is more potent than leucine in promoting strength gains, and a recent study has shown that conversion of leucine to HMB is necessary for this increase in protein synthesis.
HMB vs. Protein or Leucine
In order to benefit from HMB, supplementation is needed. While it is true that HMB is produced naturally in our bodies during the metabolism of the essential amino acid leucine, only 5% of dietary leucine is converted to HMB in the body. This means that, in theory, a person would need to consume 60 grams of leucine — or approximately 600 grams of high quality protein — to get the effective amount of HMB. Directly consuming this amount of protein or leucine is a difficult if not impossible feat.
The simple solution: Daily supplementation of the effective amount of HMB, a manageable 3 grams, to maintain and improve overall muscle health.
600 grams of protein = 20 servings or scoops
60 grams of leucine = more than 3 tablespoons
3 grams of HMB = 3 - 1 gram capsules
In the case of HMB, the study of safety is almost as astounding as the discovery of the benefits. Numerous studies with HMB have included extensive measurements of safety data.
One study published in the Journal of Nutrition summarized extensive health questionnaires, blood analyses, and emotional profiles from participants in nine different clinical studies. The findings showed that HMB consumption is safe with no untoward effects in males and females, both young and old.
In addition, an extensive toxicity study using dosages more than tenfold the recommended dosage in humans showed no significant clinical findings, indicating no harmful effects of HMB supplementation.
HMB separates itself from other supplements with a growing body of research. Findings not only show that HMB works to improve the results of an exercise program, but they also show that it is safe, with no known side effects. In fact, the study of HMB safety has been just as extensive as the study of the effects of HMB on improving strength and performance. In the last two decades, over 50 human studies, 40 review articles, and four meta-analyses have been published as peer-reviewed papers, the scientific gold standard.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 eat it every day in soybeans, beef, alfalfa, and fish.
HMB aids in increasing muscle protein in two ways:
- Decreases protein breakdown from hard workouts.
- HMB disrupts protein breakdown by decreasing the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway.
- Increases protein synthesis for increased strength.
- Several studies indicate that HMB stimulates protein synthesis through multiple mechanisms including the mTOR pathway.
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.
Recognized experts at major universities have been conducting HMB research on animals and humans for over two decades. In these studies, HMB was found to have a number of 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, 40 review articles and 4 meta-analyses, which have been published as peer-reviewed papers, and there are still more ongoing studies with HMB.
It is well known that HMB can help build lean muscle mass, increase strength and improve recovery. Recent research has shown that another nutrient, Vitamin D, is essential for helping muscles reach their full potential. When HMB is combined with Vitamin D 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.
Research also shows that HMB combined with creatine produces greater results than either HMB or creatine alone.
HMB should be taken in combination with a balanced diet containing 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.
Extensive clinical studies have been 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).
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.
HMB plays a significant role in improving the effects of training. HMB aids in increasing muscle protein in the body by decreasing protein breakdown and increasing protein synthesis. These effects have been shown to produce increases in strength, improvement in endurance, and aid in recovery from exercise/activity.
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.
Research indicates that HMB supplementation can benefit virtually everyone, especially those who work out and train.
Yes, published research results show that women who take supplemental HMB and exercise benefited from enhanced strength and improved body composition.
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.