HMB Prevents Inflammation and Immune System Suppression During Intense Training

Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. HMB prevents protein breakdown and promotes hypertrophy in beginning weight trainers, and decreases body fat and increases lean mass in power athletes. A study led by Jay Hoffman from the University of Central Florida in Orlando found that HMB might help prevent the effects of overtraining. Intense exercise such as extreme military training or repeated cross-training workouts often results in overtraining, suppression of the immune system and muscle breakdown. This can lead to decreased performance, upper respiratory infections and damaged muscle tissue. Supplementing HMB (three grams per day) for 23 days reduced symptoms of immune system suppression, inflammation and muscle deterioration in combat soldiers involved in intense military training, compared to a placebo (fake HMB). Examples of training stresses included six to eight hours of night navigation across difficult terrain, carrying heavy loads for long distances and severe sleep deprivation. HMB is an effective supplement for people involved in sustained heavy training. (Nutrition Research, 36: 553-563, 2016)

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