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International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB)

Jacob M Wilson1*, Peter J Fitschen2, Bill Campbell3, Gabriel J Wilson4, Nelo Zanchi5, Lem Taylor6, Colin Wilborn6, Douglas S Kalman7, Jeffrey R Stout8, Jay R Hoffman8, Tim N Ziegenfuss9, Hector L Lopez109, Richard B Kreider11, Abbie E Smith-Ryan12 and Jose Antonio13

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance, University of Tampa, Tampa, FL, USA

2 Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA

3 Exercise and Performance Nutrition Laboratory, Dept. of Physical Education and Exercise Science, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, PED 214, Tampa, FL, 33620, USA

4 Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA

5 Laboratory of Applied Nutrition and Metabolism, Physical Education and School of Sports, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

6 Human Performance Laboratory, Exercise & Sport Science Department, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belton, TX, 76513, USA

7 Miami Research Associates, Endocrinology & Nutrition Department, 6141 Sunset Drive - Suite 301, Miami, FL, 33143, USA

8 Institute of Exercise Physiology and Wellness, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, 32816, USA

9 The Center for Applied Health Sciences, Stow, OH, 44224, USA

10 Supplement Safety Solutions, Bedford, MA, USA

11 Exercise & Sport Nutrition Lab, Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

12 Applied Physiology Laboratory, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-8605, USA

13 Exercise and Sports Science, Nova Southeastern University, Davie, FL, 33314, USA

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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013, 10:6  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-6

Published: 2 February 2013


Position Statement: The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) bases the following position stand on a critical analysis of the literature on the use of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) as a nutritional supplement. The ISSN has concluded the following. 1. HMB can be used to enhance recovery by attenuating exercise induced skeletal muscle damage in trained and untrained populations. 2. If consuming HMB, an athlete will benefit from consuming the supplement in close proximity to their workout. 3. HMB appears to be most effective when consumed for 2 weeks prior to an exercise bout. 4. Thirty-eight mg·kg·BM-1 daily of HMB has been demonstrated to enhance skeletal muscle hypertrophy, strength, and power in untrained and trained populations when the appropriate exercise prescription is utilized. 5. Currently, two forms of HMB have been used: Calcium HMB (HMB-Ca) and a free acid form of HMB (HMB-FA). HMB-FA may increase plasma absorption and retention of HMB to a greater extent than HMB-CA. However, research with HMB-FA is in its infancy, and there is not enough research to support whether one form is superior. 6. HMB has been demonstrated to increase LBM and functionality in elderly, sedentary populations. 7. HMB ingestion in conjunction with a structured exercise program may result in greater declines in fat mass (FM). 8. HMB’s mechanisms of action include an inhibition and increase of proteolysis and protein synthesis, respectively. 9. Chronic consumption of HMB is safe in both young and old populations.