Military training is some of the most strenuous training an individual can undergo. Sleep deprivation coupled with a high level of continuous activity and heavy physical load carriage not only wears down the soldier’s muscular strength, but can also invoke an inflammatory immune response stimulating catabolic processes in muscles. In this study of soldiers undergoing military training, HMB free acid supplementation (BetaTOR) decreased TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8, key inflammatory markers. This decrease in inflammation likely resulted in the increase in muscle quality the authors also measured. In conclusion, BetaTOR supplementation reduced the inflammatory response and allowed the soldiers to maintain muscle quality during the high intensity military training.
The free acid form of HMB (BetaTOR) is available in commercially produced capsules similar to that of CaHMB. Therefore this study was conducted to compare the pharmacokinetics of HMB free acid (BetaTOR) with CaHMB when both were administered in commercially manufactured capsule form. The results of this study demonstrated that when the capsule delivery form was used for both the HMB free acid (BetaTOR) and CaHMB, plasma HMB levels were greater and peaked earlier, and HMB clearance from the plasma was greater with HMB in the free acid form. This advantage allows athletes to better gauge the delivery timing of HMB intake in relation to exercise bouts.
In this study the researchers looked at the endocrine response after an acute heavy resistance exercise protocol. Twenty resistance trained subjects were randomized to receive either 1 gram of HMB free acid or a placebo 30 minutes before the exercise bout. Endocrine responses from pre- to 30 min post exercise were measured. The researchers observed that both growth hormone (GH) and insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) area under the curve were increased with the HMB free acid in comparison to the placebo group. These findings further demonstrate how HMB supplementation potentiates and increases the anabolic response of resistance exercise.
This study was conducted with college-aged men and women supplemented with HMB free acid (BetaTOR). Subjects underwent High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 3 times per week for 4 weeks. HMB free acid supplementation improved the gains in VO2peak and ventilatory threshold compared with placebo supplementation.
This 12 week study in highly trained men, undergoing a rigorous periodized training program, demonstrated that supplementation with HMB in free acid form resulted in increased gains in strength, power, and lean mass over placebo and training alone. Additionally, the researchers conducted a 2 week overreaching protocol in weeks 9 and 10 to simulate overtraining. HMB free acid minimized or eliminated losses in strength and power during this period and allowed for improved recovery after intense training.
A 91-day subchronic toxicity study was conducted in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats following FDA Redbook protocols. Rats were assigned to HMBFA treatments at either 0, 0.8, 1.6, or 4% of the diet by weight. The no-observed-adverse-event-level (NOAEL) was determined to be 4% of the diet, which corresponds to an intake of 2.48 and 2.83 g/kg BW d-1 in the males and females, respectively. Using body surface area conversion, the equivalent dosage in humans would be 402 and 459 mg/kg BW d-1 for men and women, respectively.
This study examined the effects of HMB free acid (HMB-FA) supplementation and cold water immersion (CWI) on recovery in 40 resistance-training men post high-intensity lower body training. HMB-FA and HMB-FA combined with CWI resulted in significantly lower C-reactive protein levels during recovery. More importantly HMB free acid combined with CWI resulted in a significant improvement in power per repetition. The authors concluded that HMB-FA combined with CWI improved performance recovery after the acute bout of exercise.
In this study the effects of HMB free acid supplementation and cold water immersion (CWI) on the expression of complement receptor type 3 (CR3) and the concentration macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP-1β) were studied after intense resistance exercise. It was clear that both CWI and HMB free acid attenuated CR3 expression. While these were not correlated with an objective measure of improved recovery, the researchers concluded that HMB free acid modulates the inflammatory response which could help the muscle recover faster.
The effects of HMB free acid supplementation and cold water immersion (CWI) on immune response after intense resistance training was studied in forty male subjects. Supplementation with HMB free acid reduced the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF- immediately post exercise and its receptor expression (TNFR1) during the recovery period compared with placebo or CWI. The researchers concluded that HMB free acid may attenuate the immune response to resistance exercise which may then lead to reduced recovery time.
This study in trained athletes demonstrated that HMB free acid taken before a muscle-damaging, resistance-training session decreases muscle damage and improves perceived readiness to train in the next session. Thus, the athletes were able to recover quicker and train harder sooner with HMB free acid supplementation.
The overreaching cycle during a resistance-training program is designed to simulate muscle stress that is encountered during higher intensity training, peaking for competition, or multiple-game tournaments. In this study, trained athletes underwent a 2-week overreaching cycle after 8 weeks of intense resistance-training. HMB free acid supplementation resulted in decreased CPK, an indicator of muscle damage; decreased cortisol, a stress hormone; and maintained more strength throughout the overreaching cycle. In conclusion HMB free acid provided more muscle protection against the sudden increase in training intensity compared to the placebo.
This is the first 12-week study using the new delivery form of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, HMB free acid. Highly trained athletes underwent an intense, high-volume, resistance-training program, including a 2-week overreaching phase during weeks 9 and 10. HMB free acid supplemented subjects had greater strength gains, increased Wingate power, and increased muscle thickness compared with the placebo supplemented subjects. This study showed that even in highly trained athletes, HMB free acid results in greater training gains over a 12-week periodized resistance-training program.
This is the first resistance training study to examine the acute effects of HMB free acid supplementation on muscle damage and perceived recovery scale (PRS) when initiating a high-volume resistance-training program. The results showed that when compared to placebo, HMB free acid resulted in decreased CPK indicating decreased muscle damage, and an increase in PRS meaning the subjects felt more recovered 48 hours after the training. In conclusion, HMB free acid minimized the initial muscle damage and improved recovery in trained athletes initiating a high-volume training program.
The results of this research study demonstrate that a liquid gel form of HMB is more readily available to tissues when taken orally than the currently available powdered form, Calcium HMB. The results show quicker and higher plasma levels of HMB with improved utilization by the tissues. HMB free acid gel could improve HMB availability and efficacy to tissues in health and disease.