HMB works just as well as leucine
For bodybuilders and other strength athletes, HMB is just as effective as leucine. Both supplements are equally useful for strength athletes for building muscle mass and developing strength. Canadian scientists from McMaster University come to this conclusion in a human study, which has been published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
The researchers divided 26 young men, who had been training with weights for some time, into 2 groups. For 12 weeks the men in both groups trained in an identical way, drinking 2 shakes with 25 grams of whey every day. The test subjects therefore consumed 50 grams of whey per day.
One group also received 1.5 grams of leucine in each shake [3 grams of leucine daily], the other 1.5 grams of HMB [3 grams of HMB].
It did not matter whether the subjects received leucine or HMB. Both groups built up the same amount of muscle mass, the figures below show. Click on them for larger versions.
The researchers also looked at the weight with which the men could just squat 1 rep, deadlift or bench press. And also in terms of strength development, both groups performed just as well.
"Our results show that there is no benefit of HMB when added to whey compared to whey protein with leucine," the Canadians write.
In the near past, some researchers have suggested that leucine and HMB can complement each other because they do not work exactly the same way. This would mean that athletes can combine HMB with leucine to build up more muscle mass. Whether that theory makes sense? This study does not provide an answer to that question.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019 Jan;51(1):65-74.
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