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HMB in Combination With Whey May Aid Muscle Recovery More Than Whey Alone

A recent study suggests that adding the amino acid derivative beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) and the disaccharide sweetener isomaltulose to whey protein powder may improve muscle recovery time following intense exercise.


Participants in the study included thirteen resistance-trained men who took a whey protein, HMB, and isomaltulose supplement, or just whey protein twice daily before, during, and after three consecutive days of intense resistance exercise. The participants did not perform any physical activity on days 4 or 5, while recovery testing was performed.


The researchers used blood-based muscle damage markers and hormones, perceptual measures of muscles soreness, and countermovement jump performance in order to assess the effectiveness of each treatment.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the whey protein, HMB, disaccharide isomaltolose supplement was more effective at aiding recovery than the whey protein alone. They observed reductions in markers of muscle damage and improved athletic performance.


Researchers from The Ohio State University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 11, 2015, in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.


HMB is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. Recent studies have found that it may reduce the risk of sarcopenia and help support physical strength and functionality.


Whey protein is one of the two proteins found in milk, but is only approximately 1% of the composition of milk. It is obtained as a byproduct of cheese making and can be purchased in powder form from health food stores. Additionally, it can be found in yogurt and in ricotta cheese, which is one of the only cheeses that do not have the whey removed.

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