There are no shortcuts to developing big muscles or reaching your maximum athletic performance. You will have to dedicate endless hours to specialized training in order to accomplish your goals and you will also be required to complement it with diligent dieting as well.
While there is no such thing as shortcuts, tons of supplements are available on the market today that can catalyze your journey towards top performance in your specific sport. One such dietary supplement that has attracted tons of potential users in recent times is HMB. Research suggests that HMB offers benefits such as increased strength and fuller-looking muscles.
Here, I’ll review some of the research that has been done so far on HMB and will help guide you in your decision on whether or not to use this dietary supplement. I’ll also review the 4 best HMB supplements available today which include both powder and capsule form.
What Does HMB Stand For
HMB, also known as Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, is produced naturally in the body due to an amino acid breakdown . Among various amino acids that perform different functions inside our body, leucine helps stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit protein breakdown, especially in muscles.
When our body breaks down this branched-chain amino acid, leucine, HMB is produced. However, only 5% of leucine is broken down to produce HMB , due to which supplements are often taken to avail its maximum benefits.
What Is HMB Supplement Used For?
While not enough human trials have been carried out to assess the actual long-term effects of HMB, current research suggests that it has prospective benefits.
One study suggested a positive correlation between HMB and muscle growth, provided that individuals also performed resistance training . Another review involving 7 different studies suggested a muscle gain in individuals of approximately 0.78 pounds after using HMB for more than 2 months .
On the other hand, few major studies done on HMB showed no muscle growth due to HMB consumption. There were no changes in body composition parameters, and overall strength remained unaffected even after taking the HMB dosage for considerable days .
One study  involving patients with certain conditions, like AIDS and cancer, showed that these affected individuals were able to retain muscle despite their health condition. This means that HMB has the potential to help individuals improve lean muscle mass.
The results from another study  suggest that HMB may promote fat loss and enhance athletic abilities. Subjects that used the HMB supplement generated more power in high-intensity workouts.
Again, there is still insufficient data, but HMB has shown in several studies that it is able to improve the recovery process and effectively heal wounds. It’s also been shown to reduce the expression of inflammatory markers  such as TNF-α and IL-8.
Participants taking HMB were also tested to have lower levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. Systolic blood pressures also seemed to drop due to HMB intake.
How To Take HMB
Currently, HMB is available in capsule and powder form. The powder version can be mixed with any liquid, but water is generally recommended.
Some studies suggest that individuals experienced enhanced benefits such as higher muscle growth, reduced body fat, and increased testosterone levels when using HMB with supplements such as Vitamin D, Creatine, or other amino acids . Hence, stacking HMB with one of these supplements should result in greater athletic performance.
How Much HMB Should I Take
No standard dosage guidelines exist but based on research , 3 grams of daily intake seems effective in achieving the benefits.
You can split the dosage into 3 equal servings if that seems feasible for you.
When To Take HMB
It is advised to consume HMB 1 hour before or after your workout session . Taking HMB around training sessions helps maintain elevated HMB levels in the body and maximize its effectiveness and results.
HMB Supplement Reviews
There were mostly positive reviews about HMB across all the credible platforms with a few complaints only.
Here were 3 anonymous reviews I found:
“This is a great supplement that I’m surprised doesn’t get more attention. I’ve been taking it for about 3 months now and I do think it’s helped me maintain progress. I throw it all into a half gallon jug and drink throughout the day.”
“A really good product which helps my recovery after training.”
“I have gotten massive lifts. I’ve gone from 40kg dumbbell press to 90kg easily, and my calves for some reason have gotten huge. Same with my lower back .”
HMB Supplement Side Effects
Since HMB is a naturally occurring compound, it doesn’t show any severe side effects in the body. But occasionally, you may experience constipation, itching, rashness, and stomachache.
Where To Buy HMB
Being such a common supplement, you will find HMB at practically any health and fitness store, either online or offline.
Let’s review some of my favorite online stores and make a pick!
Bulk Supplements offers 100g of HMB for $13.96, making each serving come out to less than $0.14 total. This HMB powder is free of added sugar and allergens, making it suitable for practically any customer.
Bulk Supplements sells the most affordable HMB supplement and on top of that also offers the most options for serving sizes, with quantities ranging from 3.52 oz to 11 lbs.
These third-party tested HMB capsules offered by Double Wood are best for those who prefer not to taste the natural flavor of HMB powder. These capsules are gluten-free and non-GMO.
Each serving is 2 capsules and contains 1,000mg of HMB. This product is best for new users of HMB since capsules are easier to take and Double Wood offers one of the best-dosed capsules.
Life Extension’s HMB-Ca is stacked with vitamin D3 and contains 30 servings per container. This easy-to-use powder contains bioactive leucine metabolite as well as 1000 IU of vitamin D3 for maximum synergistic benefits.
You can mix the powder with any liquid of choice.
While one may argue that not enough research exists on HMB, the fact remains that HMB is a naturally occurring compound with a known mechanism of action that’s proven to retain lean mass and enhance athletic abilities. Several studies have shown that HMB has incredible potential for athletes and many users have experienced great results from its use.
If you’re looking to purchase the most reliable and pure HMB available today, I highly suggest you purchase from Doublewood. Instead, if you’re looking to make the most affordable purchase then Bulk Supplements offers several options for HMB powder that are competitively priced, yet still pure.
More experienced users that don’t mind paying a slightly higher cost would benefit the most from Life Extension’s HMB powder, but I suggest that beginners who want to avoid measuring out their dosages use Double Wood’s HMB capsules to start as they are low dose.
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