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Athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts alike are always looking for ways to enhance their performance. If you’re one of them, chances are you’ve heard of HMB. Here, we’ll explore what HMB actually is, how it works, its benefits, potential side effects and tips for choosing the right HMB supplements.    

What is HMB? 

HMB, short for beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate, is a naturally occurring compound made when the body breaks down leucine, a branched chain amino acid known for its role in protein synthesis. HMB is produced in small amounts by the body during the metabolism of leucine-rich foods, such as meat and dairy products. Many, however, choose to take HMB supplements, which provide a concentrated dose for anyone looking to increase their levels. 

The best HMB supplements:

  • Our Body&Fit HMB contains 1300mg of HMB per tablet and is completely vegan.  

  • You can also try these HMB Mega Caps from Olimp Supplements, which deliver 1000mg of HMB per serving. 

How does HMB work? 

HMB acts as a potent activator of a key enzyme in the body called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). This is involved in a number of important bodily functions, including protein synthesis1. 

What are the benefits of HMB? 

There are a number of potential benefits of HMB surrounding the following areas: 

Protein synthesis 

One of the main benefits of HMB is its positive effect on protein synthesis2. As protein contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle, this can be especially beneficial for individuals involved in resistance training or bodybuilding.  

New to bodybuilding or weight lifting in general? Check out natural bodybuilding: the basics and find the tools you need to kick start your journey. 

Exercise performance 

In addition to optimising protein synthesis, HMB has been shown to increase OBLA and VO2 max peak in endurance-trained athletes3 

What is OBLA? 

OBLA stands for “Onset of Blood Lactate Accumulation”. It plays a crucial role in endurance sports because it represents the intensity at which an athlete transitions into the anaerobic zone.  

By training at or near the OBLA, endurance athletes can improve their lactate threshold and delay the onset of fatigue. This allows them to sustain a higher intensity for longer durations, enhancing overall performance in events such as long-distance running, cycling, swimming, and triathlons. 

What is V02 max? 

VO2 max, also known as maximal oxygen consumption, is a measurement that reflects an individual’s maximum capacity to transport and utilise oxygen during intense exercise. It is considered one of the most reliable indicators of aerobic fitness and endurance performance.  

The higher the VO2 max value, the more oxygen an athlete can utilise, indicating superior cardiovascular fitness. 

Find out more about the best endurance supplements right here. 

Muscle damage 

Intense exercise can lead to muscle damage and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Numerous studies have shown that there might be a relation between HMB, muscle damage markers and alleviate post-workout soreness3. 

Why do we feel muscle pain after exercise? Get the lowdown on muscle pain and recovery right here. 

Although some studies support the effectiveness of HMB, it’s important to note that a number of others do not. As such, it’s generally considered that further research is needed into HMB and HMB supplements to draw any final conclusions.  

Who can benefit from HMB supplements? 

Anyone can use HMB supplements, although they’re typically recommended for and used by athletes and bodybuilders, older adults and individuals following a calorie-restricted diet. 

How to take HMB supplements 

The recommended dosage of HMB supplements typically ranges from 2 to 3 grams per day. It’s important to follow the instructions provided by the specific product you choose, as dosages may vary between brands. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian can also provide personalised guidance based on your specific needs and goals. 

Combining HMB with other supplements 

HMB can be safely combined with other popular supplements such as protein powders, creatine, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Again (we can’t stress this enough), it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before adding any new supplements to your health & fitness routine. 

Potential side effects of HMB 

HMB is considered safe for most individuals when taken in the recommended dosages. However, some people may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort, such as bloating or diarrhea, when starting HMB supplementation. If you experience any adverse effects, stop using and get in touch with your doctor. 

Choosing the right HMB supplement 

When selecting HMB supplements, consider the following factors: 

Quality and purity 

Choose a reputable brand that undergoes rigorous testing to ensure the quality and purity of its HMB supplements. Look for third-party certifications or independent testing to validate the product’s claims. 

Dosage forms 

HMB supplements are available in various forms, including capsules and powders. Consider your personal preference and convenience when selecting the dosage form that suits you best. 

HMB: frequently asked questions (FAQs) 

Here, we answer more of your most asked questions surrounding HMB and HMB supplements: 

Is HMB suitable for vegetarians or vegans? 

Yes, there are vegetarian and vegan-friendly HMB supplements available. Look for products specifically labelled as plant-based or suitable for vegetarians and vegans. 

How long does it take to see results from HMB supplements? 

The time it takes to see results may vary depending on individual factors such as diet, exercise routine, and overall health. However, many people start noticing improvements within a few weeks of consistent HMB supplementation. 

Can HMB help with muscle recovery after injury? 

Some studies have shown that HMB may support muscle recovery and help to reduce muscle damage3. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional if you have a specific injury or medical condition to determine the most appropriate course of action. 

Are there any age restrictions for using HMB supplements? 

HMB supplements are generally safe for healthy adults over the age of eighteen.  


In the end, your fitness journey is your own, and you need to find what works best for you. HMB supplements may just be the extra boost you need to achieve your fitness goals. Remember, consistency is key, and while supplements can aid your progress, they can’t replace the importance of a well-rounded fitness regimen and a healthy lifestyle.  

For more questions about HMB, or any other the supplements in our range, don’t hesitate to contact our team of nutritionists. You can get in touch via the customer service channel on our site, or message us on Instagram or TikTok. 



  1. Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) Pathways in Neurological Diseases - PMC ( 

  2. Beta‐hydroxy‐beta‐methylbutyrate supplementation and skeletal muscle in healthy and muscle‐wasting conditions - PMC ( 

  3. Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) on exercise performance and body composition across varying levels of age, sex, and training experience: A review - PMC (