Creatine and HMB are dietary supplements that could boost your overall body strength by helping to build muscle and burn fat. Each supplement does however work in its own way. HMB, or hydroxymethylbutyrate, is chemically like creatine but has different effects. It is produced naturally within the body and helps with energy metabolism and the synthesis of fatty acids.
Learn more about this supplement and how it compares to creatine below.
The benefits of taking HMB
Research indicates that HMB may encourage weight loss. HMB has been found to reduce body fat and improve body composition by enhancing muscle development. Some studies show that three grams of HMB daily can positively impact lean muscle mass and strength gains. Increasing lean muscle mass can also lead to greater calorie burn during workouts. More calories burned throughout the day could ultimately mean losing more weight over time than if you do not exercise.
Potential side effects of taking HMB
While it may benefit those looking to add lean muscle mass, not everyone should take HMB supplements. Those with kidney or liver diseases should speak with their doctors before using HMB because of the potential side effects. Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use HMB until they consult their doctors.
HMB supplements can cause adverse side effects in some users. For example, nausea or stomach pain are not uncommon with HMB use. Some users also report headaches or muscle cramps when taking HMB. If you experience any of these symptoms when taking HMB, talk to your doctor about adjusting your supplement dosage or stopping altogether.
HMB supplements are often sold as part of a sports supplement stack, which means they are sometimes taken alongside other supplements such as creatine. Studies show that taking three grams of HMB daily with 30-60 grams of whey protein can be more effective than taking HMB alone for increasing lean muscle mass. Additionally, combining these two supplements may help prevent side effects like nausea or stomach pain.
Although HMB supplements may help increase lean muscle mass in some instances, they should not be used as a sole weight-loss aid. Instead of taking HMB supplements to lose weight faster or prevent muscle breakdown during workouts, consider incorporating strength training into your workout routine. Your metabolism will improve if you increase your muscle mass by lifting weights several times per week for approximately 30 minutes at a time. This will also make it easier to lose weight overall.
Who can benefit from taking HMB?
HMB is one of many forms of beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate found in nature. When beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate supplements are taken by mouth, HMB is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. From there, it travels to your liver, which may help protect against diseases like cancer by preventing cell damage due to a buildup of ammonia from amino acid metabolism. In addition, HMB may also work as an antioxidant when combined with other compounds like vitamins C and E.
HMB is also believed to improve athletic performance. It may work as an anti-catabolic agent by helping prevent muscle breakdown during periods of intense exercise. Because HMB stimulates protein synthesis in muscle tissue, it may be most beneficial for power athletes lifting weights or participating in other forms of strenuous resistance training. Additionally, taking HMB may improve overall mood and help reduce anxiety associated with physical activity.
Unfortunately, like many supplements containing amino acids, HMB has received much attention from people looking for an easy way to burn fat. However, no extensive studies show whether taking HMB will lead to weight loss in humans. What is known is that HMB supplements may boost fat loss when combined with resistance training.
While HMB is not commonly linked to creatine, there are some similarities between these two supplements. Both HMB and creatine have been shown to increase lean muscle mass when taken as a supplement. Additionally, both HMB and creatine help protect muscles from being broken down by proteins called proteases. Taking HMB or creatine may be especially useful for endurance athletes who engage in long periods of intense training.
Why is creatine linked to HMB?
Although creatine monohydrate is still considered a mainstay of muscle-building supplementation due to its safety, efficacy, and lack of severe side effects, it does not work alone. Research indicates that it may be more effective in combination with other supplements such as HMB. Since HMB is a metabolite of leucine—an amino acid commonly found in whey protein—it makes sense that athletes supplementing with whey or taking whey protein would benefit from it.
However, many types of leucine are available on the market today. For example, HMB has been shown to increase lean body mass by stimulating muscle growth and inhibiting muscle breakdown when combined with resistance training. In addition, a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise showed that individuals who supplemented with three grams of HMB per day for ten weeks experienced significant increases in strength compared to those who did not take any supplements.
Because of its links with lean body mass, strength gains and creatine monohydrate supplementation, HMB is a popular muscle-building supplement. You can buy it individually or as part of a pre-workout or weight-loss stack containing other ingredients like caffeine.
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