There are more and more alternatives in the market of sports supplements to gain muscle mass. One of them has been expanding among athletes for some time now, with an ever-increasing number of sales. We are talking about HMB.
What is HMB and what is it for?
The acronym refers to beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate and consists of a metabolite obtained by breaking down one of the essential amino acids that are so important for the body. We are talking about what is known as leucine.
This process is carried out by the body itself, as long as food containing this amino acid is ingested. If you do not reach the figures required for a good protein diet to increase muscle mass, a good idea is to take HMB.
The results are particularly good in athletes who exercise at high intensity and on a very regular basis, for example every other day. However, amateurs can also benefit from it. In both cases, the muscles recover much faster, eliminating the fatigue that is so common.
This is not the only negative aspect it ends up with. As if that were not enough, it also prevents muscle catabolisation. As a result, after physical activity, the body does not feed on muscle tissue, with a corresponding loss of muscle mass. This positive result is achieved by optimising protein synthesis.
It has been scientifically proven on numerous occasions that two people, doing the same type of exercise and following the same diet, gain very different muscle mass depending on whether or not they take HMB. Doing so results in muscles gaining more strength and bulk.
By gaining greater endurance, injuries are also prevented. This is especially appreciated by those who cannot afford to rest the affected muscle group for several weeks or even months.
Muscle capacity is not the only thing that is improved by taking HMB. As if that were not enough, cardiovascular capacity is also improved. In particular, oxygenation is improved. As a result, anaerobic exercise takes place optimally.
In addition, HMB is also useful for weight loss. In contrast to other alternatives, reducing the number of kilograms does not lead to a decrease in muscle size and strength, but both aspects are maintained. Such results are achieved by taking beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate properly, which is easy to do by following these guidelines.
How and when to take HMB
HMB comes in several different forms, from powder to capsules. In both cases it is advisable to take three grams a day, but not all at once. It is best taken in a couple of doses.
Because beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate increases both the anabolic hormone level, thanks to the natural regulation of cortisol, it is highly recommended to take this amino acid immediately after finishing physical exercise, especially if it has had a high intensity. In this way, recovery will be unbeatable.
This does not mean that taking HMB before training is not recommended. In fact, many athletes prefer to take a gram and a half beforehand and then the rest of the dose afterwards.
If the activity is high intensity, the extra muscle strength provided by the natural amino acid will be greatly appreciated, allowing you to finish demanding exercises such as bench presses and pull-ups.
It is worth noting that the time you need to allow varies depending on the type of HMB you take. In the case of HMB-FA, which is slightly more bioavailable, half an hour beforehand is sufficient. If you opt for HMB-CA with a lower level of acidity, it is advisable to wait an hour, or even two hours if you take more than one and a half grams.
Side effects of HMB
If the recommended amount of three grams per day is not exceeded, both HMB-FA and HMB-CA are harmless. Since 1997, it has been consumed regularly as a sports supplement to gain muscle mass and there have been no reports of adverse effects in the population, which is the result of the absence of toxic substances.