|I still believe HMB is better suited for HIIT full body workouts than for cycling or running - regardless of whether it's the calcium or free acid form, by the way.|
That's not just quite a mouthful, and - this is where it becomes interesting - nothing that has not previously been studied in a comparable scenario with regular HMB (we will get back to why this is a problem in the conclusion).
Apropos scenario, what we are dealing with, here, is a double-blind, placebo-controlled design study, in the course of which all participants, 34 healthy men and women (Age: 22.7 ± 3.1 yrs ; VO2peak: 39.3 ± 5.0 ml/kg) who had volunteered to participate completed a series of tests prior to and following treatment (A peak oxygen consumption test was performed on a cycle ergometer to assess VO2peak, Tmax, VT, and RCP. ). 26 of the participants had been randomly assigned into either a placebo (PLA-HIIT) or 3 g per day of HMBFA (BetaTor™) (HMBFA-HIIT) group. The rest, eight participants served as sedentary controls (CTL) - well, as sedentary as college aged boys and girls usually are ;-) The participants who had been randomized to the exercise groups (PLA-HIIT and HMBFA-HIIT) completed 12 HIIT (80-120% maximal workload) exercise sessions consisting of 5–6 bouts of cycling at a work to rest ratio 2:1 - that's 2 minutes of all out cycle vs. 1 minute of total rest.
|Figure 1: Changes in body composition in response to sitting around (control) and HIIT with (HMBFA-HIIT) and without (HMBFA-PLACEBO) supplementing 3g of the free acid form of HBM (Robinson. 2014)|
BetaTor™? Yes, this is the first official supplement with free acid form HMB: Being produced by Metabolic Technologies Inc (Ames, IA), it contains 1 gram of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate in the free acid form, reverse osmosis water, a de-bittering agent, orange flavor, stevia extract, and potassium carbonate. At least that's what the full-text of the study at hand says. A study of which I don't have to tell you that it was obviously funded by Metabolic Technologies.Against that background it's quite astonishing that the control group lost 10% of their total fat mass, right? Well, in view of the fact that this change was not significant, someone probably has been dieting here - not very successful, considering the absence of improvements in body fat %, by the way.
|"The Fallacy of Working out To Burn Calories" | learn more|
In essence, it's thus not the fact that the subjects didn't lose weight / body fat, but rather the absence of significant effects of the shiny new free acid form β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMBFA) supplement on the exercise induced improvements in metabolic fitness you could consider disappointing before you've had another look at the data in Figure 3.
Question? What's the mechanism, here? Answer: Nobody knows. Most scientists speculate that HMB dampens the muscle damage, reduces the need for compensation and will thus increase the degree of overcompenation, though.Figure 3 depicts the VO2peak obtained during graded exercise test, the power at ventilatory threshold (PVT) and the amount of air the subjects were gasping at this ventilatory Threshold (VT) and here - actually somewhat to my surprise - the supplement did what I suppose the producer is soon going to promise: It resulted in greater changes inVO2 peak, PVT and VT than HIIT alone.
|Figure 3: Changes (% of baseline) in VO2peak, peak power, the power at ventilatory threshold (PVT) and the amount of air the subjects were gasping at this ventilatory Threshold (VT) obtained during graded exercise test (Robinson. 2014)|
- Lamboley, Cédric RH, Donald Royer, and Isabelle J. Dionne. "Effects of β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate on Aerobic-Performance Components and Body Composition in College Students." International journal of sport nutrition & exercise metabolism 17.1 (2007).
- Wilson, Gabriel J., et al. "The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study." European Journal of Applied Physiology (2014) | learn more in a previous SuppVersity article