Now many of you may be aware of a supplement called HMB but it’s unlikely that all of you know exactly what it is and what it is used for. It’s a very misunderstood product and can be far more effective than many give it credit for. When used properly this supplement can dramatically aid in preserving muscle mass whilst dieting or even aid in increasing muscle mass whilst trying to gain size.
So what is HMB? HMB basically stands for ß-hydroxy ß-methylbutyrate. HMB is a naturally occurring compound that is produced when the BCAA leucine is metabolised. Leucine is an essential amino acid so must be attained from food. Therefore HMB is not naturally produced in the body but must be attained through food or preferably supplementation.
So what are the benefits of the mysterious HMB?
Firstly and most importantly HMB helps to build muscle and avoid muscle breakdown by both reducing protein breakdown and increasing protein synthesis. When protein breakdown and protein synthesis are equal there is no gain in muscle. When protein synthesis is greater than protein breakdown there is muscle gain and vice versa for muscle loss. HMB is very important as it reduces the protein breakdown caused by hard workouts through a number of small biological processes. As HMB is also a metabolite of Leucine it has been shown to increase protein synthesis as well. This double benefit tips the scales positively towards the muscle building balance of synthesis over breakdown.
Further scientific studies have shown HMB to massively increase the effects of weight training on lean muscle mass. In a study conducted the results showed that, on average, trainers without HMB gained 0.18% lean muscle mass gain per week, whereas trainers using HMB, on average, gained 0.42% lean muscle mass per week. This is over double the lean muscle gains!
HMB is not only useful for bodybuilders and weight trainers. It has also been shown in studies to improve aerobic performance for endurance athletes. It has been shown to massively increase VO2 Max and can also lengthen the time before the onset of blood lactate accumulation occurs. This combined effect is extremely positive for overall aerobic performance.
So if you are looking for a product to add to your supplement stack don’t overlook HMB as it could be that missing link to help you make the gains you are looking for. HMB is relatively cheap, effective, convenient and 100% natural.