Despite being produced from an essential amino acid that can’t be produced naturally in the body, HMB is naturally produced in the body. It is metabolised as a by-product from the branched-chain amino acid, leucine. Leucine is a building block for protein, and generally, when protein levels are high, more HMB can be produced in the body.
Also referred to as beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, HMB can be outsourced from foods in our diet, similarly to leucine. Whilst leucine is present in foods such as meat, fish and eggs etc, HMB is consumed through foods like fish, grapefruits and alfalfa. However, some individuals choose to take HMB supplements in their regime to support their workout and maintain HMB levels in the body.
They are available in two forms: a powder and a tablet. The powder is usually mixed with a liquid such as a fruit juice to make a refreshing drink, as HMB powder can be quite bland and tasteless.
HMB is generally safe to supplement; Of course, this is when you take the correct dosage based on recommendations for your size and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition’s position stand on HMB as a nutritional supplement concludes its safety, recommending a consumption of 3g at least 60 minutes prior to intense exercise and 120 minutes if consumed with glucose and should be taken at 1–2 grams 60–120 minutes prior to exercise if consuming HMB-Ca. The Society also adds that HMB will work ideally if consumed at a dosage of 3 grams for two weeks prior to a high intensity bout that induces muscle damage.