HMB decreases fat mass and improves oxygen capacity in endurance athletes

A large number of studies have investigated short-term supplementation with HMB and have shown many positive effects on health and muscle function. There are less long-term studies and few have focused on aerobic capacity.

In this study, 58 trained men participating in a variety of sports such as wrestling, martial arts and rowing took HMB supplements (3 grams per day) or a placebo for 12 weeks.

After a 10-day washout period, all participants switched to the other supplement for another 12 weeks. Participants maintained their same training and nutrition regimens. The change in fat-free mass over the 12-week supplementation period was significantly greater during HMB use than placebo (+0.4 vs –2.2 pounds). HMB supplementation also resulted in significantly greater decreases in fat mass than placebo (-1.8 vs +1.8 pounds). Maximal oxygen consumption and ventilatory threshold as determined on a cycle test improved to a greater extent in response to HMB.

These results are consistent with other studies showing improved body composition responses to HMB supplementation. In addition, the results suggest that HMB can improve aerobic capacity suggesting it may have a role for athletes participating in endurance sports.


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