In the previous article, we discussed the importance of the amino acid leucine and how beneficial it is. You then may wonder, how do HMB and leucine relate to each other? Well, we first begin by explaining what HMB is. HMB stands for Beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl butyrate. It preserves muscle mass while preventing muscle breakdown. In relation to leucine, HMB is found when leucine is oxidised. It is the primary leucine metabolite that effectively suppresses muscle protein degradation.
So why do we need HMB? Is it possible to just consume leucine to prevent muscle breakdown? When compared to leucine, HMB seems to be much more potent on a gram per gram basis in slowing muscle protein breakdown but less efficient at inducing muscle protein synthesis. As a result, HMB is an anti-catabolic drug (meant to slow muscle breakdown) rather than an anabolic agent (purposed to increase muscle mass).
The general theory of building muscle is balancing muscle protein synthesis and muscle breakdown. In most cases, men above the age of 50 tend to break down muscles at a higher rate as compared to men who are below the age of 50. Thus, HMBs are perfect for men above the age of 50. Here at NutriFist, we recommend taking the Magnum Nutraceuticals HMB for men above the age of 50 as it includes testosterone boosters that will help with muscle growth, hair growth and increase libido as well. A perfect combination as the decrease in testosterone levels is common in men above the age of 40.
You may then wonder if this supplement is recommended for beginners or professionals. The 1996 study by Stephen L. Nissen, PhD, and colleagues, reveals that while even a placebo allowed subjects to raise the total weight they could lift by 8%, HMB performed better. A 1.5-gram daily dosage increased by 13% and a 3-gram daily dose increased by 18.4%. Lean tissue appeared to grow in a dose-response manner as well. Slater and Jenkins argue that "doses of HMB more than 3 g/day do not appear to further improve its effects on untrained persons.”
According to Slater and Jenkins, the supplement does not appear to operate effectively in skilled athletes or professional strength trainers in general. Thus, showing that HMB is more effective for beginners and older men.