3 grams of HMB per day increases muscle building effect of whey
The leucine metabolite HMB, a well-known supplement in the bodybuilding and fitness scene, has a mild anabolic effect. At a molecular level, the way HMB accelerates muscle growth is reminiscent of the way a high-protein diet acts on muscles. Does it make sense to use HMB if you also supplement with whey? A human study, recently published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, provides an affirmative answer to this question.
The researchers got 16 healthy male students, who had never done strength training before, to train with weights in an identical way for 12 weeks. All students used a shake with 30 grams of whey before and after their workout. In total, the students therefore consumed 60 grams of whey per day.
On the days that the subjects did not exercise, they consumed 30 grams of whey for breakfast.
One half of the students took 3 capsules daily with 1 gram of old-fashioned, calcium-bound HMB. In total, the students therefore consumed 3 grams of HMB per day. The other half of the students took a placebo.
Before and after the 12-week period, the researchers used MRI to determine the men's body composition.
Both groups built up lean body mass - say, muscle - but the increase in lean body mass was more convincing among HMB-plus-whey users [HMB] than in the group that had only used whey [PLA].
Click on the figure below for a larger version.
When the researchers analyzed the measured effects with statistics, they saw that the HMB-plus-whey group had significantly more muscle mass in the legs than the other group.
"We conclude that HMB combined with whey protein supplementation can modestly augment training-induced increases in fat-free mass in healthy adults", write the researchers.
"Notably, we studied untrained individuals and the results cannot be extrapolated to trained athletes."
"Our findings are relevant to individuals starting an exercise program and aiming to maximize training induced gains in muscle mass."
"Further studies are needed to elucidate optimal dosage, administration of HMB and its interactions with different levels of protein intake (i.e., low, moderate, and high protein intake) to identify the most beneficial usage of HMB."
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2020;17(1):16.
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Strength Training, Nutrition & Supplementation