Scientific research on HMB and muscle building

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HMB and muscle building

HMB increases the production of muscle proteins.

What is HMB? Muscle building: proteins are essential in the diet of every athlete. After all, every effort, both in strength and endurance sports, requires muscle strength, and proteins are the most important building blocks for that muscle. Proteins are made up of amino acids. A number of these amino acids, the essential amino acids, cannot be produced by the body itself. Shortage of protein in our food therefore leads to shortages of essential amino acids in our body. B-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) occurs naturally in the body as the active form of the essential amino acid leucine. Fish (e.g. catfish) and citrus fruits (e.g. grapefruit) are good sources of HMB in the diet. [1]

  • Promotes muscle recovery
  • Reduces muscle damage during exercise
  • Reduces the breakdown of muscle proteins
  • Increases the production of muscle proteins

For which type of athlete is HMB supplementation appropriate?

Given its muscle breakdown inhibiting effect, HMB is most effective after efforts that cause a lot of muscle damage. This is particularly the case in the following situations:

  • For un-trained athletes muscle damage is greater. HMB accelerates muscle recovery in such situations. [2]
  • Resistance training aims to increase muscle mass. HMB contributes to this effect and is therefore recommended for strength athletes and bodybuilders. [3]
  • Very intensive efforts cause a lot of muscle damage. In such cases too, HMB is recommended, for both endurance and strength athletes, in order to recover more quickly and have less muscle pain. [4],[5]

When should I take HMB?

Goal: more muscle strength and muscle growth:

Use daily 3 grams of HMB(38 mg per kg body weight) spread over the day for more muscle strength and muscle growth. This corresponds to 4 tablets of Svensson HMB Xtr per day. This supplement may be taken for a long period of time on both training and non-training days (minimum 2 weeks) On training days it is best to take 2 tablets before training. The remaining 2 tablets should be taken immediately after exercise. It is best to start an HMB course 2 weeks before the start of a heavy training period.

Goal: faster muscle recovery after a competition or training:

Take the 4 tablets together with your recovery shake immediately after exercise.


1 Wilson GJ et al. Nutrition & Metabolism 2008, 5:1.

2Gallagher PM et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000, 32:2109-2115. 3Nissen S et al. J Appl Physiol 2003, 94:651-659

4 Knitter AE et al. J Appl Physiol 2000, 89:1340-1344.

5 Vukovich MD et al. J of Strength and Condition Research 2001, 15(4):491-497.

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