HMB (β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate), an active anabolic compound found naturally in skeletal muscle, continues to get rave reviews from supplement scientists. In fact, a recent review article published in the journal Amino Acids illustrates the several mechanisms by which HMB enhances protein synthesis and supports mitochondrial function/expression (biogenesis) in skeletal muscle, leading to increases in strength, muscular performance and muscular health.
Real-world support for HMB’s influence on mitochondrial biogenesis is exemplified in a recent study published in the Journal of the International Society for Sports Nutrition, where HMB supplementation combined with high-intensity interval training promoted increases in VO2 peak (a measure of aerobic fitness) by approximately 5 percent in as few as four weeks.
In yet another study, this one published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, HMB sup-plementation combined with 12 weeks of periodized heavy resistance training promoted greater gains in overall body mass, lean body mass, strength, power and decreased body fat compared to placebo. Notably, subjects who took HMB had significantly lower levels of cortisol (a catabolic hormone) and greater perceptions of recovery between training bouts.
ACTION POINT: To take advantage of all the benefits HMB has to offer, we recommend taking 3 to 6 grams of HMB with a protein shake two to three times per day. Make sure one dose is taken 30 minutes preworkout.