HMB has been used by bodybuilders since the early 1990s. This expert guide will teach you what HMB supplements are, their possible benefits, and how to use HMB for optimal results.
This Guide Teaches You:
  • Why HMB has remained a popular bodybuilding supplement for the last 20 years.
  • What HMB is and which natural food sources contain HMB.
  • How HMB can help to build muscle by minimizing muscle breakdown after training.
  • What HMB does in the body, and the research behind its popularity.
  • How to choose the best supplements to combine with HMB.
  • How much HMB should be taken, and how long it takes to see benefits.


HMB supplements have been very popular in the muscle building scene since the early 1990's. Some bodybuilders have been taking HMB with excellent results. But despite it's popularity over recent years most lifters know little about how HMB works and it's role in the body. This HMB Expert Guide will cover everything you wanted to know about HMB. We recommend you read this before taking HMB supplements.

What is HMB?

HMB or Beta-Hydroxy Beta-methylbutyrate is a byproduct of the normal breakdown of the amino acid Leucine. It is therefore a metabolite of the essential amino acid - Leucine. HMB is produced in our body from the proteins in our diet and is also consumed in small amounts from the foods we eat. Foods like catfish and alfalfa contain small amounts of HMB.

What Benefits Do HMB Supplements Have?

HMB supplements help to gain muscle by minimizing the amount of muscle that is broken down after you train. You may get the following benefits:

  1. Increased gains of lean muscle
  2. Prevents muscle catabolism
  3. Speeds up muscle repair and recovery times
  4. Decreases body fat
  5. Decreases blood cholesterol levels
  6. Increase VO2 max and endurance

How HMB Supplements Work:

HMB supplements help to slow down a process call proteolysis, which is the natural process of breaking down muscle tissue that occurs after intense physical activity (weight training in this case). Taking HMB gives the body a head start of muscle recovery by minimizing the amount of muscle breakdown and protein degradation after exercise. This means that you body stays in an anabolic state for longer allowing for more muscle growth.

HMB supplements were first used by Iowa State University in cattle. Their tests found that by giving cattle HMB supplements they would produce more muscle tissue and less body fat. Studies were then carried out on humans with the same results. Iowa State University tested 40 men who trained for 4 weeks and found that the men who were given 3 grams of HMB per day built more muscle and lost more body fat the men who trained without HMB.

Does HMB Have Any Side Effects?

Published studies have been undertaken to measure the side effects of taking HMB supplements in men, women, children and the elderly. In 9 separate studies only positive effects were found on muscle, body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol.

Can HMB Be Taken With Other Supplements?

HMB supplements are commonly taken with whey protein, glutamine, creatine and carbs. In fact it's possible to buy blends which contain HMB with other products like creatine and whey protein. Taking HMB with other supplements will actually have a positive effect. For example creatine will give you the power to work your muscles harder and HMB will minimize muscle breakdown and recovery times.

How Much HMB You Should Take:

Like many other muscle building supplements the recommended about of HMB you should be taking depends on your bodyweight. As a general guide, for people weighing up to 130lbs (60kg) 2 grams per day should be enough. For people weighing over 130lbs (60kg) a dosage of 4 grams per day is recommended. You should only take 1 gram at a time, so if you're over 130lbs take 1 gram 4 times per day.

How Long Does It Take HMB To Work?

Measurable increases in strength and muscle mass may be seen in 2-4 weeks.

Posted on: Tue, 08/22/2023 - 10:51

How is synthetic HMB made? What process is used and what if any animal or plant products are used in it's synthesis? Thanks. Jim

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 08/27/2023 - 12:26

Will leave this up for someone else to answer if they like, Jim, but I personally have no idea, and if I was to find an answer, it would be through a Google search, which you could easily do as well. So, I won't be of much service for this one. Apologies.

Ben B
Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2023 - 11:21

Has anyone tried Nirvana HMB water?

Rasika Wasala
Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2018 - 01:26

wow..this is great articlei learned lots of information about hmb.thank you

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2018 - 08:32

Thanks for reading!

Posted on: Fri, 07/29/2016 - 16:13

Can I used HMB with stanazol ?

Posted on: Sun, 10/19/2014 - 23:30

Do you take HMB before or after a workout? And should I take it on rest days or only workout days?

Posted on: Mon, 10/13/2014 - 11:00

bodybuilding ****

Posted on: Wed, 10/08/2014 - 00:37

I'm 15 and I'm starting to lift, can I take HMB or am I too young?

Posted on: Tue, 06/20/2023 - 19:37

Proper nutrition is much more important than supplementation especially for those under 18. Eating lots of vegetables and lean proteins is much more important. Eliminating junk food is the best way to keep a low body fat percentage because what is the good of building muscles if it is under a thick layer of fat. If you are under 18 I would hold off on most supplements except for a good quality protein powder. I personally like plant-based protein. The first supplement I would recommend in addition to protein would be creatine but I would probably not start it under 18. Again, proper nutrition and regular exercise and stretching and getting good sleep will go much farther than any supplement. Knowledge is power and the more you learn from trusted sources the better off you will be. Look to multiple sources that have gained your trust to find agreement. And then ask yourself are they just trying to take my money or do they really want to share their knowledge?

Posted on: Sat, 08/02/2014 - 20:09

Hello I am a 54 yr old male body builder, and has been taking HMB for 15 yrs off and on. It not only works great but if you are trying to maintain your muscle mass as you get older it does the trick.

Posted on: Wed, 09/04/2013 - 16:47

Does hmb, or can hmb benefit you when trying to recover from a joint injury?

Posted on: Thu, 07/31/2014 - 10:52

Purchase glucasmine sulphate.

Shrinjay Khandel
Posted on: Sun, 06/02/2013 - 15:12

HMB smells awful. Good for muscle though !

Posted on: Fri, 03/08/2013 - 03:58

I noticed that eas has a protein blend that contains hmb, are there any other protein blends out that have. Hmb in them?

Posted on: Fri, 08/03/2012 - 20:45


That is why Punjab is messed up.

veer singh
Posted on: Tue, 05/01/2012 - 23:21

Is there any side effact using HMB . ?? And is it natural product or a stariod ?? I am confuse please help me

Posted on: Thu, 08/01/2013 - 17:53

You're a special kind of stupid aren't you

Posted on: Thu, 07/31/2014 - 10:49

and you're just ___ ignorant ____. he's probably new to lifting so doesn't know the answers to what would appear to be simple questions to people to who do lift regularly and take supplements. so unless you can give him the answer he wants stop being a ____

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2012 - 15:34

Woo! Go Iowa State (Currently where I go to school at)!

Posted on: Thu, 05/09/2013 - 21:51

Apparently you are not an English Major. You ended your sentence with a preposition. I'm from Alabama. So please America, stop bashing the South.

Posted on: Sun, 08/11/2013 - 23:58

It's ok to end a sentence with a preposition. The teachings of many years ago was that it was not grammatically correct to end sentences with a preposition. But, that is false. Look it up.