Does HMB Keep You From Getting Sore?
HMB (or b-Hydroxy b-methylbutyrate) is a metabolite (an intermediate product formed during a chemical reaction) of the amino acid leucine. Leucine is one of the 3 branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which have been proven to decrease muscle soreness by increasing the rate of muscle repair when taken before, during, or after a strength training workout.
Since HMB is essentially a byproduct of the breakdown of leucine, the theory is that HMB supplementation should also decrease muscle soreness and improve recovery time.
The Studies Show…
Studies that have been done in the past decade to investigate this theory have mostly been ambiguous and inconclusive. According to the University of Michigan Health, there may be some benefit to untrained individuals with a dose of 3g of HMB daily for improving body composition and performance.
However, results for individuals who are already trained athletes or regular exercisers received no benefit.
My overall recommendation is to forgo the HMB supplement and simply use a BCAA supplement during and after strength training sessions. Or, have a glass of milk or a cup of Greek yogurt after your workout—both are excellent natural sources of leucine!
For more information on the studies reviewed for this post, see the links below. If you have other questions about supplements or have a suggestion for a product to review, leave me a comment or send me an e-mail!