Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB)
Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements (2017).

Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB)
Your body converts a small amount of leucine, one of the amino acids in foods and protein powders, to HMB. Your liver then converts the HMB into another compound that experts think helps muscle cells restore their structure and function after exercise. HMB also helps build protein in muscle and reduces muscle-protein breakdown.

DOES IT WORK? It’s hard to know whether you might benefit from using HMB supplements because the research on these supplements has included adults of very different ages and fitness levels who took widely varying doses for different amounts of time. Overall, HMB seems to speed up recovery from exercise that’s intense enough and long enough to cause muscle damage. Therefore, if you’re a trained athlete, you’ll need to exert yourself more than recreationally active people to cause the muscle damage that HMB might help treat.
IS IT SAFE? Studies haven’t reported any side effects in adults taking 3 grams per day of HMB for up to 8 weeks.
BOTTOM LINE It’s not clear whether taking HMB supplements will improve athletic performance. The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends that if you are a healthy adult who wants to try HMB supplements, to take 3 grams per day in three equal servings of 1 gram for at least 2 weeks to see if it helps. HMB comes in two forms: one with calcium and one without. A dose of 3 grams of the type with calcium supplies about 400 milligrams of calcium.
REMARK Many performance supplements in the marketplace contain more than one ingredient, and ingredients can work differently when they’re combined. Because most ingredient combinations have not been studied, it is not known how effective or safe they are in improving performance.

Leave a comment