Popular Leucine-Based Supplement Promotes Size, Strength & Endurance

Athletes who rely on strength to succeed at their sport adhere to dramatically different training strategies than those engaged in physical endeavors requiring lasting endurance. Although both types of training are fueled by protein and carbohydrates, the proportional breakdown of these macronutrients ingested pre- and post-workout tips heavily toward protein for rebuilding muscle after anaerobic weight lifting while aerobic endurance training puts the emphasis on carbs for topping off and replenishing glycogen.

Power lifters and triathletes. You'd think they would have very little in common, other than intense regular exercise and a deep appreciation for record-shattering performance. That assumption does not take into account the sports nutrition supplement known as HMB, a metabolite of the Branched Chain Amino Acid leucine which is found in beef, fish, soybeans and other natural whole foods. When leucine is metabolized by your body, hydroxy methylbutyrate is produced. Break this scientific name down into an acronym and you get the letters HMB.

To build muscle tissue, or to be more accurate re-build the muscle broken down during training, protein synthesis must take place. Through this process, amino acids are lined up to form structural proteins. It's a lot more complex than that, but here's the bottom line: The more you streamline the process of protein synthesis, the more efficiently your body can build muscle. Because HMB has been shown to help reduce the amount of damage that occurs during training, it promotes a more efficient and faster paced rebuilding process. So you can see how HMB scores points with strength athletes.

What's in it for runners, cyclists, swimmers and other endurance competitors? Some scientists believe that HMB can increase an athlete's maximal oxygen capacity over and above what's accomplished through training. That's your peak rate of oxygen consumption during exercise. The more oxygen you're able to use, the higher your exercise threshold. That means HMB might contribute to farther runs at a faster pace.

Not leaving anyone out, in 11 out of 11 studies, HMB demonstrated a capacity for increasing not only strength but muscle size. That opens the door for bodybuilders who go to the gym with the goal of proportional hugeness in mind. Looks like HMB has something for anyone who's committed to the ongoing pursuit of physical improvement. To read the research and learn more about HMB, visit

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