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HMB Supplementation For Endurance Athletes

HMB Supplementation For Endurance Athletes

If you're over 40, your body is starting that downward spiral to muscle breakdown and loss, BUT this doesn't have to be your story.

With age, the response of our muscle tissues to resistance training and the rate of muscle loss can really make building and maintaining muscle mass an uphill battle.

This is why it's important to make resistance training a part of your life. It's another reason to add HMB (hydroxymethylbutyrate) to your fitness routine.

HMB can stimulate muscle protein synthesis because it upregulates anabolic pathways and can minimize muscle protein breakdown via its regulating effects on the catabolic signaling pathways. 

What is HMB?

HMB is a chemical produced from the essential branched-chain amino acid leucine. 

HMB is also found in small amounts in grapefruit, avocado, asparagus, cauliflower and meat. It takes about 16 ounces of red meat to obtain 3 grams of HMB.

One of the issues the aging athlete faces is muscle breakdown occurring at a faster pace than muscle building.

With each passing decade the stimulus for muscle protein synthesis decreases. 

This promotes the dreaded process of sarcopenia. 

When a 40 plus individual is inactive for a period of time due to sickness or injury, muscle loss can be significant because there are no youthful hormones and protein signals to help prevent the loss.

When muscle health declines, fatigue, decreased strength, and energy capacity also go down.  

HMB works by helping to slow muscle breakdown. 

HMB has been the subject of over 90 clinical studies over the last 20 years.

Studies in humans show that in aging adults, HMB can actually preserve muscle mass. HMB works by increasing muscle stem cells and activating the enzymes needed to make muscle fibers

In a study in Clinical Nutrition,

HMB supplementation among older hospitalized adults was associated with increased handgrip strength and decreased risk of dying within 90 days. 

According to the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism,

HMB supplementation has been shown to reduce proteolysis and muscle-structure damage resulting from an acute bout of eccentric running which are known to limit sport performance.

The Journal of Applied Physiology noted that,

Dietary supplementation of 3.0 g HMB/day in individuals undergoing intense endurance exercise resulted in decreased CPK and LDH responses after a prolonged run. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that HMB-supplemented subjects experienced less muscle damage or that the HMB-supplemented group could have sustained a similar amount of muscle damage as the placebo-supplemented group but recovered at a faster rate.

The Metabolism Journal concluded that,

HMB improves body composition and sensorimotor function during normal training and attenuates muscle mass and strength loss during catabolic conditions.

Studies also show that levels of HMB in body are correlated with the amount of muscles mass an individual has. 

So we can take BCAAs and get the breakdown of HMB from leucine but less than 5% is actually converted to HMB.  

A high protein diet is needed for building and maintaining muscle but as we age it is even more critical that we increase our protein intake to maintain sufficient muscle protein synthesis.

If you're over 40 or in an endurance sport, try PRO HMB to help prevent muscle loss and support physical performance.

Have you tried HMB, share your feedback in the comments below!



Deutz NE, Matheson EM, Matarese LE, et al. Readmission and mortality in malnourished, older, hospitalized adults treated with a specialized oral nutritional supplement: A randomized clinical trial. Clinical Nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland). 2016 Feb;35(1):18-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.clnu.2015.12.010. 

O'Connor, Donna & Crowe, Melissa. (2003). Effects of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the aerobic and anaerobic capacity of highly trained athletes. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness. 43. 64-8. 

Knitter AE, Panton L, Rathmacher JA, Petersen A, Sharp R. Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate on muscle damage after a prolonged run. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2000 Oct;89(4):1340-4. doi: 10.1152/jappl.2000.89.4.1340.

Bong-Sup Park, Paul C. Henning, Samuel C. Grant, Won Jun Lee, Sang-Rok Lee, Bahram H. Arjmandi, Jeong-Su Kima, "HMB attenuates muscle loss during sustained energy deficit induced by calorie restriction and endurance exercise", Metabolism, 7 June 2013.


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