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HMB for Sports & Fitness

Why Use

HMB

Why Do Athletes Use It?*

Some athletes say that HMB promotes the loss body fat, helps build muscle and increase strength, speeds recovery between workouts, and reduces post-workout soreness.

What Do the Advocates Say?*

HMB may assist in accelerating the loss of body fat.

Exercise-induced muscle protein breakdown appears to decrease with HMB supplementation. This, in turn, should speed up recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage.

Enhanced strength and increased muscle mass have been documented in people supplementing with HMB. However, to date, a very limited number of studies have been done. Longitudinal studies to indicate possible long-term use effects of HMB have not been completed.

*Athletes and fitness advocates may claim benefits for this supplement based on their personal or professional experience. These are individual opinions and testimonials that may or may not be supported by controlled clinical studies or published scientific articles.

Dosage & Side Effects

HMB

How Much Is Usually Taken by Athletes?

Biochemical and animal research shows HMB has a role in protein synthesis and might improve muscle growth and overall body composition as a supplement. However, double-blind human research suggests that HMB may only be effective when combined with an exercise program in people who are not already highly trained athletes. Double-blind trials found no effect of 3 to 6 grams per day HMB on body weight, body fat, or overall body composition in weight-training football players or other trained athletes.1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 However, one double-blind study found that 3 grams per day HMB increased the amount of body fat lost by 70-year old adults who were participating in a strength-training program for the first time.6 A double-blind study of young men with no strength-training experience reported greater improvements in muscle mass (but not in percentage body fat) when HMB was used in the amount of 17 mg per pound of body weight.7 However, another group of men in the same study given twice as much HMB did not experience any changes in body composition.

Side Effects

At the time of writing, there were no well-known side effects caused by this supplement.

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

More Resources

HMB

Where to Find It

Small amounts of HMB are present in many foods of animal and plant origin, especially alfalfa and catfish. The amino acid leucine is metabolized into a compound called alpha-ketoisocaproate (KIC), which is then turned into HMB by the body. Dietary supplements of HMB are also available.

Resources

See a list of books, periodicals, and other resources for this and related topics.

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