Get Better Muscle Pumps with HMB, Glutamine and Arginine

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Better Muscle Pumps

Better Pumps with HMB, Glutamine, and Arginine

HMB, glutamine, and arginine are traditionally thought of as “post-workout” supplements that enhance recovery and prevent muscle soreness. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, or HMB, that has been shown in multiple studies to help improve both their strength and muscle mass. L-Glutamine is known to enhance immune function and surgery patients and trauma patients often recover more quickly and comfortably when taking L-Glutamine supplements. Therefore, during catabolic states such as exercise, glutamine is released from skeletal muscle into the plasma to be utilized for maintenance of the glutamine level in other tissues. Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide and enhances GH secretion which may lead to an increase in muscle mass and strength.

Although traditionally termed as “post-workout” and “recovery” supplements, according to scientists from the University of Alabama, they will also help with getting better pumps in the gym. Vascular endothelial function declines with advancing age, due in part to increased oxidative stress and inflammation, and this age-related vascular dysfunction has been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Researchers found that a combination of HMB (beta-hydroxy- beta-methylbutyrate), glutamine and arginine increased blood flow by 27% in older adults when taken pre-workout.

The study recruited 31 men and women aged between 65 and 87 to participate in their randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The researchers wanted to examine what happened to flow mediated dilation of arteries (i.e. a measure of vascular function). The participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups:

  • One group received 3  g HMB, 14  g glutamine and 14  g arginine per day;
  • the other group received an identical flavored placebo.

At the end of the study, six months later, the researchers found that blood vessel flow increased in the HMB + glutamine + arginine group, whereas the placebo group had no effect.

This is one of the first studies to show that a combination of amino acids such as HMB, glutamine, and arginine combination could increase blood flow. The researchers hypothesized that the combination of supplements taken together could reduce oxidative stress and inflammation which would lead to improved blood vessel health. The researchers also suspected that the well-document effects of arginine enhancing nitric oxide production also probably played a significant role in the increased blood flow results.

Ellis AC, Patterson M, Dudenbostel T, Calhoun D, Gower B. Effects of 6-month supplementation with β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate, glutamine and arginine on vascular endothelial function of older adults. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Aug 26.