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HMB and whey protein improves muscle recovery.

HMB and whey protein improves muscle recovery.

Athletes often use whey protein to build lean muscle mass, but long recovery times after intense exercise can slow the process. In this study, 13 resistance-trained men, average age 23, took whey protein twice per day with or without hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) plus isomaltulose-a less-sweet natural sugar in honey and cane.

The men took the supplements two weeks before, then during three test days, followed by two more supplement days while resting. The test was one day of heavy resistance work and two days of metabolic resistance training.

Compared to whey protein alone, the men who took HMB had fewer signs of muscle damage and better athletic performance during the testing. After the test, men on HMB had less muscle soreness the first resting day, and had greater vertical jumping power on the first and second resting days.

Additional Comment . . . from Don Goldberg
Many of you may be familiar with whey protein, but not with “HMB.” Whey protein is a very high quality protein, second only to egg white depending on which measure you use. Milk contains two general types of protein, a water-insoluble protein called casein, and a water-soluble protein called whey. When the water-insoluble fraction is removed (curd) you are left with whey and lactose. Removal of the lactose results in concentrated whey protein. As a “high quality” protein, it contains all of the essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, in ratios suited to what the human body requires for growth and repair of the body’s protein structures, including muscle.
One of those essential amino acids is leucine. When leucine is metabolized, such as when muscle is broken down during exercise, one of the break down products is HMB, or “beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid.” It may sound scary, but it occurs naturally in the body.
During athletic exercise, muscle breaks down to some degree, and levels of leucine and HMB become elevated. It is thought that when HMB (and leucine from Whey Protein) is taken as a supplement, this may retard muscle tissue destruction.

Reference: Journal of the American College of Nutrition; 2015, Vol. 34, No. 2, 91-9

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