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Supplementation With HMB and Protein May Increase Fat Free Mass

Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a metabolite of the essential amino acid leucine. Leucine has the ability to build muscles and activate a protein which triggers muscle protein synthesis. A recent study suggests that supplementation with HMB and protein may help increase fat free mass and strength during resistance training.

Sixteen healthy men with an average age of 22 participated in the study. All of them received 60 grams of whey protein on training days and 30 grams of whey protein on non-training days. In addition, half received 3 grams of HMB on training days, while the other half received a placebo for 12 weeks.

All the participants performed split-body strength training regimens for 12 weeks. Body composition and physical fitness were tested at baseline and after 12 weeks. Whole-body, arm, and leg fat free mass were assessed, and upper and lower body strength were measured.

Participants in the HMB group saw higher gains in leg fat free mass (7.7 pounds) compared to the placebo group (4.1 pounds). Whole-body fat free mass significantly increased in both groups, but the biggest increases were seen in the HMB group. No differences between the groups were seen in increases in arm fat free mass.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Humboldt University. It was published online ahead of print on March 12, 2020 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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