HMB for bodybuilding
Your body can naturally produce HMB, but only when the essential, branched chain amino acid, leucine is present. When leucine is available in the body, a part of it tends to be metabolised into HMB. Although, HMB can be produced in the body, leucine can’t – this means you have to source leucine in your diet through foods such as meat, fish and eggs. The higher your leucine levels are, the more HMB is produced. And, of course, the higher your protein levels are, the more energy available to burn during exercise and support muscle development and growth.
What is bodybuilding?
When bodybuilding, your main aim is to stack on size by building new muscle and defining it so that you can compete against others in competitions. Your nutrition and workout plan, where every rep counts, are the keys to seeing successful results. A combination of both sets you on the right path to reaching your goals.
Some bodybuilders will choose to take supplements to support their workout and help them reach their goals. HMB supplements are just one type of supplement that can be taken in addition to a strict diet and intense workout plan. Here, we explore some of the benefits that HMB supplementation can have on your bodybuilding career and when the best time is to take them.
When to take ?
Presuming a bodybuilder is a larger than average individual, they are likely to be able to take a larger than average daily dosage of HMB. Current evidence suggests that 1g of HMB should be consumed 3 times a day, for a total of 3g per day. Timings will vary depending on the time of your workout.
HMB is generally supplemented pre-workout, around an hour before you start exercise if possible and then again post-workout. Pre-workout ensures HMB levels are sufficient for your workout and post-workout ensures HMB levels are replenished following intense exercise. Depending on the time of exercise, HMB can also be taken first thing on a morning, or on an evening before bed.
Some bodybuilders choose to have a loading phase at the beginning of supplementation so that levels become saturated the quickest way possible. A loading phase is when you supplement a larger daily dosage for the first 5-7 days of supplementation. Following that, the recommended daily dose is maintained. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe supplementation.
Benefits of HMB for bodybuilding
When your aim is to build muscle, protein synthesis needs to exceed protein breakdown. If protein breakdown exceeds synthesis, then muscle will be lost. HMB, also referred to as beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, could have some of the following benefits to help:
- HMB supplements help to maintain levels in the body
- High protein levels equates to more HMB – with protein levels high your body has the required energy to make the most of your workout and build muscle