HMB: Everything You Need to Know

It's been proven that HMB increases strength and improves body composition, especially in amateur athletes. What else should you know about this supplement?
HMB: Everything You Need to Know

Last update: 06 August, 2020

HMB is a metabolite of the leucine amino acid, which has positive implications for sports performance. Its use is extensive, especially in strength athletes. However, studies have shown that it’s also effective in resistance exercises.

For those individuals whose bodies don’t respond to creatine, HMB is a great supplementary option. In addition, it’s possible to combine it with other products, such as protein shakes. Up next, we’ll teach you about this metabolite, how to use it, and what it’s for.

HMB increases strength

The Journal of Human Kinetics published an article on the matter. In it, they ensured that HMB supplementation is capable of producing significant improvements in strength values, even in elite athletes.

The writers of the article state that this substance is capable of activating the mTOR pathway of metabolism, which has an anabolic character. For this reason, it increases protein synthesis, and consequently, the genesis of lean tissue.

In any case, it’s easier to see the effects of this substance on amateur athletes than in elite athletes. In a way, this is due to the fact that, in professional athletes, the range of performance improvement is a lot narrower.

However, it’s useful to implement this supplement in professional sports. HMG is capable of optimizing and improving both aerobic and anaerobic metabolism. For that reason, it can be used in different various sports disciplines.

A man kissing a bottle of protein powder.

HMB improves body composition

In addition to being effective in increasing strength and performance, HMB optimizes body composition. The use of this supplement leads to positive changes in terms of lean mass, as stated in an article published in the Journal of Strenght and Conditioning Research. Despite all this, to this day researchers haven’t found if there’s an association between HMB and fatty tissue reduction.

The effects that this metabolite has on body composition are less than those that creatine produces. However, it’s a useful supplement for this task in those individuals who don’t respond to it.

The combination of both substances is capable of further improving the results, both in increased strength and in changes associated with body composition.

What you need to know about dosing

HMB has a very rigid dosing protocol that must be strictly followed to achieve the desired effects. The standard dose is three grams, divided into three doses of one gram.

The individual should take the first dose with breakfast, the second after training, and the third before bed. On rest days, they should take the supplement with each meal.

Now, it’s necessary to pay attention to the composition and purity of HMB supplements. This substance is often mixed with large doses of calcium oxalate.

On one hand, this mixture can reduce the purity and the total content of the product of interest. In addition, it’s a risk for those individuals with a tendency or history of kidney stones. Remember, excessive calcium intake goes hand-in-hand with the formation of kidney stones.

A bottle of HMB pills.

An effective supplement

HMB is frequently used in professional sports. The latest studies on this topic show that it’s an effective and safe supplement. Although its effects are superior in amateur athletes, it’s also possible to see how it improves strength values and muscle mass in elite athletes.

For this reason, individuals who don’t respond to creatine can consume it, or even combine it for a better effect. Now, it’s vital to remember the rigidity of your dosing protocol since any changes in it may imply the ineffectiveness of the supplement.

Finally, keep in mind that in order to maximize the effects of this substance, you should follow two things. For one, an appropriate training protocol, and secondly, a varied diet adapted to your needs.

Taking HMB in combination with a post-tremor protein shake helps improve the athlete’s recovery and stimulate the synthesis of lean tissue. This can be beneficial to increase performance.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Kaczka P., Magdalena MM., Jastrzab R., Gawelczyk M., Kubicka K., Methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation on different types of physical performance – a systemtatic review. J Hum Kinet, 2019. 68: 211-222.
  • Holland BM., Roberts BM., Krieger JW., Schoenfeld BJ., Does HMB enhance body composition in athletes? a systematic review and meta analysis. J Strenght Cond Res, 2019.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.