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With all of the sports nutrition supplements available on the market today, it’s hard to learn about and understand what all of them really do. One of the most popular questions in fitness forums today is “what is HMB?” Fortunately, once you understand the relationship between amino acids and proteins, it is easy to understand exactly what HMB (beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyric acid) does.
Proteins are an essential part of any living organism. They are organic compounds comprised of one or more long chains of amino acids. These proteins are important for the development of your hair and fingernails, tissues like collagen and muscle, and even the enzymes and antibodies that work to keep you healthy. As you can see, proteins are vital for many, many different bodily functions. HMB is designed to help athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and even bodybuilders direct more protein toward their muscles to add bulk and strength.
Answering the question “what is HMB?” also requires understanding where it comes from. It occurs naturally in the body when a very specific amino acid known as leucine is broken down into smaller pieces. When you exercise or work out, leucine breaks down into HMB, which is a very specific part of that amino acid. While HMB does occur naturally within the body, it can be synthesized in a laboratory and introduced into the body in an exogenous form. Research has proven that this molecular component can help improve muscle mass and lessen the muscle damage that occurs during intense exercise.
Your body constantly works to break proteins down into amino acids, and then it reassembles those amino acids into new proteins that can be used to help make enzymes, grow your hair, or create antibodies that help your immune system do its job. When you work out, you essentially damage your muscle fibers, and your body goes to work to break down the proteins making up those fibers. The primary role of HMB is slowing the breakdown of protein and improving protein synthesis to repair torn muscle fibers. This keeps your muscles in better health and provides the right environment for optimal growth. It’s also known to work well as part of an HMB creatine combination.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that unlike many products that can provide explosive muscle growth, unprecedented energy, fantastic muscle tissue retention, and even fast workout recovery, HMB is completely legal and safe. Although there have only been a handful of small-scale clinical trials on humans, the results suggest that the product has very few side effects. Individuals who have used it long-term have had no unusual effects or problems and remain healthy.
What is HMB? It is a 100% legal, safe, and natural product that is designed to help your muscles make better use of the protein you consume. By slowing down the breakdown process and improving protein synthesis, there is more protein readily available to repair and grow muscle tissue. This results in bigger, leaner, harder, and stronger muscles.