Ultimate Training Guide To Size And Strength
by: Robbie Durand
If your looking to stack something with creatine, than HMB maybe the perfect supplement to stack with creatine. β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB), a leucine derived metabolite, has been demonstrated to augment strength and lean muscle gains when supplemented in conjunction with resistance training.
While HMB has displayed robust anabolic/anticatabolic properties, the underlying mechanisms regarding its efficacy are not completely understood. HMB is known to increase muscle protein synthesis through mTOR signaling pathways while concurrently reducing proteolytic processes. Studies utilizing beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation in trained populations are limited. No long-term studies utilizing HMB free acid (HMB-FA) have been conducted.
HMB is used by your body to make the essential branched chain amino acid (BCCA) leucine. Your body makes some on its own, but taking an HMB supplement makes it much easier for your body to synthesize leucine. HMB also helps slow down proteolysis, the process of muscle protein breakdown after a stressful activity.
Researchers investigated the effects of 12 weeks of HMB supplementation on skeletal muscle hypertrophy, body composition, strength, and power in trained individuals. We also determined the effects of HMB-FA on muscle damage and performance during an overreaching cycle. The effectiveness of HMB was measured by comparing it to a placebo supplement which had no muscle or strength building benefit.
During the study, one group of men took 3 grams of HMB every day for 12 weeks. Another group took a placebo supplement. All of the guys had experience lifting weights. A three-phase double-blind, placebo- and diet-controlled randomized intervention study was conducted. Phase 1 was an 8-week-periodized resistance-training program; Phase 2 was a 2-week overreaching cycle; and Phase 3 was a 2-week taper. Muscle mass, strength, and power were examined at weeks 0, 4, 8, and 12 to assess the chronic effects of HMB; and assessment of these, as well as cortisol, testosterone, and creatine kinase (CK) was performed at weeks 9 and 10 of the overreaching cycle. At the end of the study, those taking HMB resulted in increased total strength (bench press, squat, and deadlift combined) over the 12-week training; a greater increase in vertical jump power ; and increased lean body mass gain in HMB supplemented groups.
During the overreaching or over-training cycle, HMB reduced increases in markers of overtraining such as creatine kinase and cortisol in the HMB- and placebo-supplemented groups, respectively. These results suggest that HMB enhances hypertrophy, strength, and power following chronic resistance training, and prevents decrements in performance following the overreaching.
The next study examined the combination of HMB and a creatine supplement is interesting, since they are the top two muscle building supplements on the market. And you know what? They stack great! Individually, HMB and creatine both work to build your muscles. But when you combine these two supplements, they synergize!
In this double-blind, 3-wk study, subjects were randomized to placebo, creatine (20.0 grams of creatine per day for 7 d followed by 10.0 grams of creatine per day for 14 days), HMB (3.0 grams of HMB/day), or creatine-and-HMB treatment groups. Over 3 weeks, all subjects gained lean muscle mass. These effects were additive because there was no interaction between CR and HMB. Across all exercises, HMB, creatine, and creatine/HMB supplementation caused accumulative strength increases. The markers of muscle damage was markedly suppressed with HMB supplementation.
In summary, creatine and HMB can increase lean muscle mass and strength, and the effects are additive. Although not definitive, these results suggest that CR and HMB act by different mechanisms.The results of combining them far outweigh the benefits of taking either alone. The fact that HMB and creatine together stack so well for muscle building indicates that they use different methods to spur muscle development!
Jówko E, Ostaszewski P, Jank M, Sacharuk J, Zieniewicz A, Wilczak J, Nissen S. Creatine and beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) additively increase lean body mass and muscle strength during a weight-training program. Nutrition. 2001 Jul-Aug;17(7-8):558-66.
Wilson JM, Lowery RP, Joy JM, Andersen JC, Wilson SM, Stout JR, Duncan N, Fuller JC, Baier SM, Naimo MA, Rathmacher J. The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Jun;114(6):1217-27.