Take HMB for increased muscle growth and recovery

Every individual looking to effectively maintain their weight should be focused on muscle growth.  Building muscle isn’t reserved for bodybuilders and males alone. There are many people out there that are always looking to find the most effective and efficient means of supplementation.  If you are one of those people, this blog is for you. Each post will contain a research study we will break down and then share so you can see the evidence for yourself.

The study titled “Effects of Amino Acids Supplement on Physiological Adaptations to Resistance Training”

Researchers at the University of Connecticut wanted to find out if taking HMB (A-hydroxy-A-methylbutyrate) in combination with amino acids L-arginine and L-glutamine had any anabolic effects when ingested over a twelve-week period compared a placebo group.

The method they took:

Seventeen healthy men (mean body mass: 77.9 T 7.2 kg; mean height: 174.3 T 12.4 cm; mean age: 22.9 T 3.8 yr) were matched and randomized into two groups and performed 12 wk of periodized heavy resistance training while supplementing with either MA or an isocaloric, isonitrogenous placebo (CON). Every 2 wk during the 12-wk intervention, resting blood draws were obtained, and muscle strength and power were measured. In addition, blood draws were obtained before, during, and after a standardized resistance exercise challenge performed pre-, mid-, and post training.

The method explained:

So some of that needs translated.  They took 17 males, broke them into two groups and had them all on the same workout plan.  One group took EAS Muscle Armor (contains a combo of HMB, L-Arginine, and L-Glutamine), and one group took placebo that contained the same caloric value. Specially, the control group took 10 g of glycine, 11.5 g of alanine, 1.5 g of glutamic acid, and 1.5 g of serine.

The blood draws were to test specifically for testosterone, GH (growth hormone), and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), insulin, and cortisol.  They wanted to look at the factors that affect muscle growth between the two groups and compare them.

To further expand on the method, they also took comparative body fat measurements via the use of dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA).  If you’re not familiar with what DXA is, it’s essentially an x-ray machine that is one of the most accurate means of analyzing body fat composition.

I am not explaining every single method here so please review the study if you want full detail.

The results they found:

Lean body mass, muscle strength, and muscle power significantly (P e 0.05) increased in both groups after training; however, MA supplementation augmented these responses to a significantly greater extent when compared with the CON group. MA supplementation promoted increases in resting and exercise-induced testosterone and resting growth hormone concentrations. In addition, MA reduced preexercise cortisol concentrations. Throughout the training protocol, MA attenuated circulating creatine kinase and malondealdehyde compared with the CON group, suggesting that MA might have influenced a reduction in muscle damage.

The results explained:

The researchers found significant gains in muscle and strength across both groups.  The reason both groups had significant increases is because they took a group of males who had not lifted weights for at least 6 months. Naturally, both groups will make an increase because your body is made to adapt to its environment. What they really wanted to find out was if Muscle Armor helped your body adapt faster. What they saw, however, was the Muscle Armor group increased significantly more than the placebo group. A graph can be seen below.

In addition to the lean body mass increases and the loss of fat experienced by the Muscle Armor group, they had significant increases in Growth Hormone (GH) and decreases in the markers for muscle damage.  This is pretty convincing results that make a solid case for HMB and the Muscle Armor supplement alike.

Our Conclusion

Ok so something clear here is that they were testing a very specific supplement made by Abbot called Muscle Armor.  There could be some level of bias among the researchers as we don’t know the origins of the study but the research methods seem sound.  That being said, there seems to be a significant advantage of taking HMB in combination with L-Arginine and L-Glutamine.  If you don’t already have HMB in your muscle building line up it might be worth considering.

As promised, here is the link to the study so you can make your own judgements


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