Beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl butyrate (HMB) is a by-product of metabolism of the amino acid leucine. Studies have indicated that resistance training combined with HMB supplementation increases muscle strength and lean-muscle mass, and decreases muscle damage and breakdown compared to resistance training alone. In addition, lean-muscle gain was shown to be correlated directly with increasing dosages of HMB.27 Some studies have suggested that this effect is more pronounced in individuals who have not undergone prior endurance training.28,29 In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, patients with HIV-related muscle wasting were supplemented with a combination of HMB, glutamine, and arginine for eight weeks. At eight weeks, the subjects consuming the treatment mixture gained body weight predominantly as lean body mass compared with the placebo-supplemented subjects who lost lean mass.30 A typical dosage of HMB is 3 g per day, in divided doses.
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