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HMB has been used in sports supplementation to stop muscle breakdown and enhance repair and recovery for many years but has somewhat strangely fallen out of popularity recently. People started turning away from it and started using BCAAs as their primary weapon to fight muscle loss and increase repair and recovery intra workout. However, a few forward thinking companies have started to re-introduce this once popular amino back into their formulas, so let’s examine what HMB is, how it works and how it can benefit you.
HMB is a metabolite of leucine. This means it is produced when our body utilises and digests leucine. However, it has been shown that only around 5% of leucine intake is actually converted into HMB.
HMB’s main benefit comes in the form of stopping muscle breakdown. As we train we breakdown muscle tissue that gets utilised by our body. By doing this we can gain more muscle tissues by enhancing our repair and recovery and metabolise more fat by keeping our lean muscle mass high and in turn increasing our metabolic rate. HMB works by preventing proteolysis, which is the process of your body breaking down your muscle into its constituent amino acids. Our body does this under times of great stress, like weight training, where it needs access to certain amino acids found in our muscle tissue to continue its normal process’.
The recommended dose of HMB is 3G around your training times. The key is that you want it to be present in your system while you train to prevent proteolysis. We suggest taking 1.5-3g before training and another 1.5-3g while your train for the best muscle sparing benefits.
After all, if our body produces HMB after taking leucine then why not just take a BCAA supplement? And this is a fair question. BCAAs (particularly leucine) are shown to increase muscle protein synthesis and reduce muscle breakdown so why take both? Studies have shown that a dosage of 7g of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio will help increase muscle tissue by increasing muscle protein synthesis. But to get the best muscle sparing benefits you need to up that dosage dramatically. This is because the inhibiting of proteolysis is caused by HMB alone, and because your body will produce 5% HMB from leucine you need a much larger dose to get the full benefits. However, the increase in muscle protein synthesis does not increase beyond the 7g (2:1:1) BCAA serve. Therefore, it is much more efficient to supplement with the effective dosages of BCAAs and the most effective dosage of HMB to get optimal repair, recovery, growth and muscle sparing.
Anyone looking to build more muscle mass, or anyone looking to maintain more muscle mass as they are losing body fat. Everyone who is training could benefit from supplementing with HMB.
Written by Alex Jeffs, National Sales Manager.