Hydroxy-methyl-butyrate (HMB) supplementation has been studied for its ability to reduce muscle soreness and breakdown during intense exercise sessions.

A new study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism has looked at this ingredient?s impact on maximal oxygen consumption which is tightly linked with performance.

The evidence

Sixteen subjects were divided into two groups and assigned to either an HMB or placebo group. Each underwent interval training three times a week on a treadmill. Aerobic performance components were measured using a respiratory gas analyser.

The HMB dosage was 3g per day equally distributed between their three main meals of the day. Subjects were tested pre-test (in the week prior to start) and post-test (at the end of the fifth week). Maximal oxygen consumption increased by 8.4 per cent in the placebo group and by 15.5 per cent in the HMB group, an almost double improvement!

Layman lowdown

HMB is a metabolite of amino acid, leucine. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein but this one should be of particular interest to athletes. Leucine is naturally present in grapefruit and catfish in small quantities, but for performance dosages a capsule supplement is recommended.

This study shows an amazing effect on increasing aerobic training variables but before you get over-excited, this study was completed on college students who were not endurance trained. The performance increase in endurance trained sports people is likely to be less, but nevertheless studies indicate that HMB could maximize this increase.

CW says

If you are trying to peak for an event, a five-week course of 3mg of HMB every day provides good aerobic performance support and could reduce muscle soreness too.

Always make sure you choose a brand that drug tests every batch of product.