TL;DR Summary: Should you take HMB every day?
It is recommended that you take three grams of HMB per day for average-size individuals. In regards to HMB timing, we think you should take 1-3g of HMB an hour before exercise to help reduce muscle damage. The remaining dose of HMB should be taken post-workout.
If you have your finger on the pulse of the fitness industry, then you will have heard about HMB already. But for the vast majority of people, this supplement is still a completely unknown entity.
Yet in just a few years it is highly likely that HMB will become one of the most widely consumed supplements among bodybuilders, strength athletes and professional fighters, right alongside creatine and protein.
This is because HMB has a unique property; it can actively preserve muscle mass during periods of intensive weight training and caloric restriction.
That’s right – HMB can help you keep your gains while you burn fat.
How does HMB work?
We are not yet 100% certain how HMB works exactly.
There are dozens of studies showing that HMB supplementation reduces muscle mass loss during periods of intense training, caloric restriction, fasting, or all of the above simultaneously. This makes it the holy grail of athletic supplements.
Athletes constantly need to cut weight for competition (be it an MMA fighter trying to make weight or a bodybuilder trying to shred down for a show).
All of them want to maximize fat loss while minimizing muscle tissue breakdown. This has previously been almost impossible; if you want to lose fat, you’re going to have to lose some muscle mass too.
HMB makes keeping your gains possible. Some studies have found that HMB can limit muscle mass loss to under 5% during an entire cutting phase; that’s pretty spectacular.
But how HMB does this is something of a mystery.
Looking at the evidence, HMB likely works by inhibiting specific proteasomes which break down proteins in muscle tissue. Specifically, HMB is thought to inhibit the 19S and 20S subunits of the ubiquitin–proteasome system.
In simple terms, HMB prevents proteolysis (protein breakdown) by stopping the formation of the molecules which usually break down old, damaged or unnecessary proteins.
So what is the best way to take HMB?
Should you take HMB every single day?
Taking HMB every day
For the best possible results, you do really need to be taking HMB every single day for the duration of your cut.
This is because HMB provides protection against muscle catabolism, but only for a limited period. You cannot just take HMB at the start of the week and have it protect your muscle mass from wastage for the next 7 days – it doesn’t work like that.
By taking HMB every single day, you are constantly warding off muscle catabolism for the duration of a cut. This means you don’t have to worry about muscle wastage while you give everything you have to your training and diet discipline.
So not only can you take HMB every day, you should take HMB every day while cutting if you want to minimize fat loss and maximize lean muscle mass retention.
- Does HMB Burn Fat?
- How much HMB should you take per day?
- Should you take HMB every day?
- When to take HMB for best results
Pavel Sadovnik is a leading biochemical scientist with a PhD in biochemical engineering. He has spent decades working in industry as a chemist and pjharmaceutical consultant. He has extensive experience with the supplement industry, and specialises in supplement tsting and formulation consultancy. He is the Editor of NARSTO.