HMB stands for beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate and is a metabolite of the branched-chain amino acid leucine. Its precursors are the amino acid leucine and the keto acid KIC. HMB is also normally produced in the body – roughly .3 grams to 1 gram per day – and can be found in foods of both plant and animal origin.
Certain plants such as alfalfa and corn silage appear to have relatively large concentrations of HMB as do grapefruit and catfish. However, similar to various vitamins and other micronutrients, it is extremely difficult and impractical to consume enough of these foods on a regular basis to provide the full benefits of HMB.
Use in the Body:
One study by doctors at Iowa State University in 1995 found that HMB supplementation resulted in an enhancement of muscle function in humans undergoing resistance exercise. The study suggested that HMB supports the body’s ability to minimize muscular damage associated with muscular work or stress. With less muscle damage, the body appears to speed up the rate at which it builds new muscle tissue and burns fat. Measurable increases in strength and lean muscle mass can be noticed in about one week but more likely in three to four weeks.
HMB has even been tested by NASA as a supplement to aid in preventing the muscle wasting (catabolism) effects of prolonged space travel.
- Improves the growth of new muscle tissue by increasing protein synthesis
- Decreases muscle breakdown, fatigue, and soreness
- Prevents muscle catabolism
- Increases strength and endurance
- Enhances fat burning
- Dosing can be pre or post exercise with a second dose before bed
- Research shows that HMB’s effects are boosted with creatine supplementation