HMB supplements may help endurance athletes increase lung capacity and reduce fat mass
HMB, or hydroxy methylbutyric acid, comes from the essential amino acid leucine, which is a popular sports supplement. In this study, 16 elite male rowers, average age 20, who were typically training 17 hours per week, took a placebo or 1 gram of HMB three times per day, in alternating 12-week phases.

The rowers took the HMB in between two daily training sessions to measure changes in lung function and power output. After the 12-week HMB phase, lung capacity increased 4 percent compared to a 1.5 percent decline during the placebo phase. Overall lung health was also better during the HMB phase, extending the time to reach maximum lung oxygen capacity. Power also increased at peak oxygen capacity, rising 12.9 percent for HMB while declining 1.8 percent for placebo. The HMB group also lost an average 1.9 pounds in fat mass compared to a gain of 1.7 pounds during the placebo phase.

Reference: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; July, 2015, 12:31.
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