HMB for women
Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, also known as HMB, is a metabolite of leucine, a branched-chain amino acid. When the amino acid is available in the body, HMB can be produced. However, production of it can be limited because leucine is essential, so the body must source it externally.
Luckily, BCAAs are found in key food groups, especially protein such as meat and fish – so we can get BCAAs in our daily diet. But with the body relying on leucine to metabolise HMB, HMB levels can be difficult to maintain, which is why some people supplement additional HMB – and women can too.
Dosage for women
HMB dosage can vary depending on the size of the individual. The average women would be recommended to supplement a daily dosage of around 3g – but this should be split out across the day into smaller equal servings. These smaller servings usually equate to around 1g each, taken as a powder mixed into a drink, or as a capsule.
When to take
The timings for HMB supplementation can vary, mainly depending on the time of day that you choose to exercise. It is most commonly taken pre-workout, usually around one hour before you begin exercise. However, if you work out first thing on a morning, you can take it immediately before. This ensures HMB levels are sufficient to support your workout.
It is also commonly taken immediately post-workout to replenish what has been used during exercise, so that levels are maintained as much as possible. Depending on the time of your training session, it can also be taken first thing on a morning, or before bed on an evening. Each time you take it, you should only take one serving. Always remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe supplementation.
How to take
HMB supplements come in two forms: a capsule and a powder. Both of which can be taken by women. The capsule generally equates to one serving of around 1g. The powder tends to be tasteless so can be mixed with a fruit juice or cordial to add flavour and make a refreshing drink. It’s down to personal preference how you choose to supplement HMB.
Why should women supplement HMB?
HMB levels can be limited in the body because the production is reliant on leucine – however, the availability of the branched-chain amino acid can also be limited because the body can’t naturally produce BCAAs. It needs to be sourced in your diet or through supplements.
HMB supplements help to maintain or increase HMB levels in the body so that you are no longer reliant on the essential amino acid for the metabolite to be produced.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand on HMB as a nutritional supplement concluded that HMB is safe. If however, you have pre-existing health issues, are from a vulnerable population group or have any concerns regarding HMB supplementation, it is important you speak with your GP prior to supplementing.