What is HMB?
HMB or Beta-Hydroxy Beta-methylbutyrate (also shown as ß-hydroxy ß-methylbutyrate monohydrate) is a
byproduct of the normal breakdown of the amino acid Leucine. It is therefore a metabolite of the
essential amino acid - Leucine. HMB is produced in our body from the proteins in our diet and
is also consumed in small amounts from the foods we eat.
What can HMB do for me?
Studies have shown that HMB supplementation can do the following:
- Increase Muscle Mass
- Decrease Body Fat
- Increase VO2 max and Endurance
How does HMB produce all these positive effects?
HMB helps slow down a phenomenon known as proteolysis, which is the natural process of
breaking down muscle that occurs especially after strenuous activity. It appears that HMB
supplementation has a protective effect on muscle and may help the body get a head
start on the recovery process by minimizing the amount of "muscle damage" and ensuing
protein degradation after exercise. It is theorized that HMB is a building block
for intra-muscular cholesterol, which your muscle needs after vigorous exercise
for repair and growth.
In simpler terms, HMB allows the body to stay in an anabolic state longer and this allows
the body to build more muscle.
Iowa State University first pioneered the use of HMB as a supplement for cattle. They found that by
giving cattle HMB the cattle increased muscle mass and decreased body fat. After this they decided to conduct
tests on humans and the results were very positive.
The Iowa State study consisted of 40 men who did 4 weeks of weight training, 3 times a day. One group
received 3 grams of HMB a day. The other group received a placebo. After 4 weeks, the HMB group showed a
greater increase in muscle, lost more fat and were stronger than the placebo group.
Are there any other studies on HMB?
Yes there have been numerous university and peer-reviewed studies done on HMB.
Over twelve years, researchers have found that HMB has numerous beneficial effects,
including producing better results from intense exercise. The list of HMB clinical studies
is continually growing. Currently there are about 11 human clinical studies completed,
many of which have been published as peer-reviewed papers, and there are still
more ongoing studies with HMB. Only creatine has more studies published than HMB.
Click Here for HMB Studies
What will HMB supplements do for me?
It will do as much as you want it to; the harder you work, the more effect you will get. Studies
have shown that HMB supplementation can do the following:
- Increase Muscle Mass and Strength (twice the gain from exercise alone)
- Decrease Body Fat (also twice the loss of exercise alone)
- Decrease Muscle Damage (less soreness)
Who should take HMB supplements?
Before taking any supplement you should always consult with your doctor. If you perform any type
of serious workout you may want to consider taking a HMB supplement. The more intense
your workout, the more benefit you will get from HMB.
The following people should NOT take HMB:
- Pregnant women
- Women who are breast feeding
- Anyone who has been advised not to by a doctor
If you are on any medications or have a medical condition, you should always consult with your Doctor
before taking any dietary supplement.
Does HMB work for women and older adults?
Yes, published research results show that women and older adults who take supplemental HMB and
exercise have enhanced strength and increased fat loss as well.
What will HMB do for runners or cyclists that don't want to bulk-up?
Research has shown that HMB increases VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption), which is an indicator
of endurance capacity. HMB has also been shown to minimize muscle damage and soreness
associated with prolonged/strenuous endurance exercise.
How long does it take to see effects from HMB?
Studies show that measurable increases in strength and lean body mass can 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 others.
How much HMB should I take?
Most studies have shown positive results with 3 grams a day for average individuals. It is best to split it into three 1 gram
servings, spread throughout the day. If you weigh less than 125 lbs, you may want to try 2 grams a day.
If you weigh over 225 lbs you may want to use 4 grams a day.
Can I take HMB with other sports supplements?
As always you should consult with your Doctor before taking any new supplements. HMB is commonly used
with other sports supplements like creatine, glutamine and whey protein. One of the more popular stacks is
creatine and HMB. Creatine gives you the energy to build more muscle mass and HMB makes sure that your
body is in an anabolic muscle building state. In addition, recent research shows that HMB combined
with creatine produces greater results than either HMB or creatine alone.
Are there any negative side effects to HMB?
Extensive clinical studies have been conducted to specifically evaluate the safety of HMB
and no negative side effects have been recorded in both men and women whether young or
elderly. A summary of the effects of HMB on hematology, emotional profile and adverse effects
as measured in 9 clinical studies showed only positive effects on cholesterol (7% decrease)
and blood pressure (4.4 mm of Hg decrease).
How can I tell if the HMB is a licensed product?
MTI holds the use patents on HMB. Currently all genuine sources of HMB are required to carry
one or more of the following Patent Numbers on the label: 4,992,470, 5,348,979, 5360,613, or
6,031,000. If at least one of these patent numbers is not on the package, it is likely
not HMB. MTI takes patent issues very seriously. In combination with Iowa State University, MTI
has filed numerous lawsuits against infringing companies. MTI's patent positions are
very strong and they will continue to vigorously defend these patents worldwide.
Why do we recommend Optimum Mega Potency HMB?
Optimum Nutrition Mega Potency HMB is a very high quality product
at a reasonable price. Of course, it is licensed from MTI so it has the patents to show it is pure
HMB. In addition, many of the other HMB products on the market only have 250 mg of HMB
per capsule. This means you have to take 12 capsules a day. With the Optimum HMB each capsule is
1000 mg, so you only need to take 3 capsules a day. When comparing products it is important to remember
that while the Optimum HMB only has 90 capsules - it contains 90 grams of HMB. Many of the other HMB
products have 180 capsules, but at only 250 mg per capsule, you are only getting 45 grams of HMB in
In addition, the Optimum HMB contains Calcium and Phosphorus. These supplements have been shown to be
effective in enhancing the effect of the HMB.
Are there any negatives to HMB?
Probably the biggest problem with HMB is the cost. Because the process to make HMB is complicated, it
is a relatively expensive supplement. HMB is not as cheap as Creatine or Whey Protein supplements, but it
is effective. By buying in large quantities and heavily discounting off retail we are able to offer HMB at
a relatively attractive price. (Click Here for pricing info).