HMB Free Acid
Lose 5 kg fat, gain 7 kg lean body mass and add 13 kg to your top bench-press weight: this is what bodybuilders can expect if they train hard for 12 weeks and add a daily 3 g HMB Free Acid. If we can believe the article that American sports scientists are about to publish in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, HMB Free Acid works better than any anabolic steroid you care to think of.
Researchers at the University of Tampa, Florida tested HMB Free Acid – not the calcium bound HMB found in supplements, but the unbound variety that will soon be available on the market – on 24 male resistance-trained students. The study was presented as a poster at the Ninth International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Conference and Expo in 2012. [Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9(Suppl 1):P5.]
It took a year for the researchers to submit their study to the European Journal of Applied Physiology, in November 2013. That’s unusual. There’s nothing wrong with the European Journal of Applied Physiology, but you’d expect a study with such impressive results as these would be published in a journal at least as prestigious as the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which has a higher impact factor than the European Journal of Applied Physiology.
It’s also strange that the person who presented the poster in 2012 is not listed as an author in the publication in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. Not even as a co-author. Which is also a little unusual.
The study was sponsored by Metabolic Technologies, the company behind HMB and HMB Free Acid. A number of Metabolic Technologies employees also took part in the study.
The researchers did an experiment with 20 students, average age 21. The students all followed the same training schedule for 12 weeks: for the first eight weeks they trained three times a week, in weeks 9 and 10 they trained five times a week, and in weeks 11 and 12 they took it easier so they could recover.
Every day half of the students took 1 g HMB Free Acid on three occasions. The other half took a placebo.
Supplementation sped up the rate at which strength increased. The figure below shows that the subjects who took HMB for the 12 weeks of the experiment became stronger throughout that period, but that the placebo takers lost strength between weeks 8 and 12. The first figure below shows maximal strength when performing squats; the second shows maximal strength when performing bench presses.
DXA scans showed that HMB Free Acid supplementation caused the students to gain 7.4 kg lean body mass. The students in the placebo group only gained 2.1 kg lean body mass.
The students who took HMB Free Acid also lost 5.4 kg fat during the experiment. The students in the placebo group lost 1.7 kg fat.
We’re going to be honest here: we just can’t believe these results. Experienced strength athletes simply can’t gain 7 kg lean meat in three months by training and taking a supplement. And then losing 5 kg fat at the same time? That’s not even possible if you take steroids. So how would taking a supplement make it possible?
The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Studies utilizing beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation in trained populations are limited. No long-term studies utilizing HMB free acid (HMB-FA) have been conducted. Therefore, we investigated the effects of 12 weeks of HMB-FA supplementation on skeletal muscle hypertrophy, body composition, strength, and power in trained individuals. We also determined the effects of HMB-FA on muscle damage and performance during an overreaching cycle.
A three-phase double-blind, placebo- and diet-controlled randomized intervention study was conducted. Phase 1 was an 8-week-periodized resistance-training program; Phase 2 was a 2-week overreaching cycle; and Phase 3 was a 2-week taper. Muscle mass, strength, and power were examined at weeks 0, 4, 8, and 12 to assess the chronic effects of HMB-FA; and assessment of these, as well as cortisol, testosterone, and creatine kinase (CK) was performed at weeks 9 and 10 of the overreaching cycle.
HMB-FA resulted in increased total strength (bench press, squat, and deadlift combined) over the 12-week training (77.1 ± 18.4 vs. 25.3 ± 22.0 kg, p < 0.001); a greater increase in vertical jump power (991 ± 168 vs. 630 ± 167 W, p < 0.001); and increased lean body mass gain (7.4 ± 4.2 vs. 2.1 ± 6.1 kg, p < 0.001) in HMB-FA- and placebo-supplemented groups, respectively. During the overreaching cycle, HMB-FA attenuated increases in CK (-6 ± 91 vs. 277 ± 229 IU/l, p < 0.001) and cortisol (-0.2 ± 2.9 vs. 4.5 ± 1.7 ?g/dl, p < 0.003) in the HMB-FA- and placebo-supplemented groups, respectively.
These results suggest that HMB-FA enhances hypertrophy, strength, and power following chronic resistance training, and prevents decrements in performance following the overreaching.
PMID: 24599749 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]