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6 Best HMB Supplements (2022) Reviewed and Compared

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If you’re a fitness enthusiast on the hunt for a supplement that guarantees gains, you have likely heard of HMB supplements. It’s a popular supplement among the fitness community for its potential to improve athletic performance and promote muscle growth.

However, many claims supporting this potential are decades-old or anecdotal. In reality, recent research on HMB has been inconclusive. And while studies suggest that your grandma can benefit from HMB, it’s unclear if a young, fit person (like yourself) can.

Today, we’ll cover whether an HMB supplement is worth the try and the best options on the market.

What is HMB?

First, HMB has a few different names. It’s commonly called hydroxymethylbutyrate but is also known as beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid or beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate.

For everyone’s sake, let’s just stick with HMB.

HMB is a naturally occurring substance created when the body breaks down leucine, an amino acid responsible for building and repairing muscles. It’s believed that HMB reduces exercise-induced muscle breakdown, improves cardiovascular performance, and promotes muscle growth because of it relation to leucine.

Leucine has been proven to activate mTOR, which clever marketers have coined as “the anabolic switch.” That is, it moves your cells into a state of building up (anabolism) versus breaking down (catabolism).

While naturally occurring, people can boost their HMB levels with supplements. HMB is widely available and comes in powder and capsule forms. There’s no standard dosage recommendation, but most clinical studies use 3 grams or less.

Why Should You Take an HMB (Hydroxymethylbutyrate) Supplement?

HMB might promote muscle growth.

For example, one study in 2000 showed that participants who took HMB built more upper body strength than the placebo group. In addition, a 1996 study concluded that participants who took HMB supplements experienced less exercise-induced muscle breakdown than those who did not.

While early research was promising, recent studies indicate that HMB might not aid muscle growth as much as we previously thought.

For example, a review of 10 studies determined that taking HMB in addition to exercise had no significant effect on strength, athletic performance, or muscle mass. Exercise alone produced the same results.

On the bright side, multiple studies suggest that HMB can reduce muscle breakdown.

One study showed that taking HMB helped prevent muscle loss in participants with certain health conditions. Another study suggested that taking HMB helped reduce muscle breakdown in elderly participants.

There’s also promising research that HMB can boost your cardiovascular and anaerobic health.

For example, elite rowers in a 12 week study took HMB daily and reported improvements in their aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Another study indicated that taking HMB increased participants’ aerobic capacity.

In sum, research on HMB has yielded mixed results. It’s more likely to benefit older adults or people just starting their fitness journey. Regardless, HMB is a safe supplement. It’s a variation on an amino acid, so there’s little downside. If its potential benefits align with your fitness goals, it’s worth a try. 

*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.

Every supplement on our list is third-party tested. The supplement industry is known for its loose requirements, which is why we only include companies that third-party test their products for purity and quality. 

Now, let’s get to our list of the best HMB supplements.

The Best 6 HMB (Hydroxymethylbutyrate) Supplements

1) Double Wood HMB Supplements 

double wood hmb supplement

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Double Wood Supplements offers a great capsule-based option for your HMB supplement needs. Each bottle has about 60 servings, and each serving provides 2,000 mg of HMB. It’s also sustainably sourced and manufactured in the United States.

Double Wood offers a money-back guarantee on all of its supplements. So if you’re new to HMB and looking for a supplement to try, this one’s for you.

2) Microingredients Pure HMB Powder

microingredients pure hmb powder

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Microingredients Pure HMB Powder contains over 200 servings, making it another solid option for buying in bulk. Each serving contains 1000 mg of HMB that you can add to any meal or beverage. Or, you can take it straight for quicker absorption. It’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, and plant-based, so it’s a good option for alternative diets.

Keep in mind that HMB has a tart taste. So we recommend mixing it into a smoothie, juice, or your other favorite (flavored) beverages.

3) PureBulk Calcium HMB Powder

pure bulk calcium hmb

 

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PureBulk’s Calcium HMB gives you options. You can pick the kind (powder or capsule) and quantity of HMB you want. All of PureBulk’s supplements are third-party tested for quality and potency. Plus, its HMB is free of sugar, gluten, dairy, and additives. It’s a great option if you like to buy in bulk and already know that HMB works for you.

Keep in mind that HMB has a tart taste. So we recommend mixing it into a smoothie, juice, or your other favorite (flavored) beverages.

4) MRM HMB Supplements 1000

MRM HMB 1000

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Each serving of MRM Nutrition’s HMB 1000 has 1000 mg of HMB and 30% of your required Vitamin D, which is essential for bone strength. Its ingredients are responsibly sourced and have no added gluten, soy, or dairy. Each bottle contains about 60 servings.

5) Optimum Nutrition HMB 1000 Caps

Optimum Nutrition HMB capsules

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Optimum Nutrition offers a potent HMB supplement with 1000 mg per serving. HMB is the only ingredient, which means you’re getting the good stuff without any fluff. It technically has 90 servings but recommends taking 3 capsules per day. So, if you follow that recommendation, you’re only actually getting a month’s supply.

6) NOW Foods Sports HMB Supplements 

Now Sports HMB

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NOW Foods Sports HMB Double Strength offers 1000 mg of HMB per capsule and 60% of your required daily Vitamin D. It’s recommended to take capsules 1 to 3 per day for the best results. Depending on your intake, each bottle has 30 to 90 servings. It’s a great option for vegan and keto diets.

FAQ

Are there any drawbacks?

HMB is considered a safe supplement with no serious side effects reported. However, it’s always best to consult a health professional before trying a new supplement.

HMB might help reduce exercise-induced muscle breakdown and enhance cardiovascular health. If that aligns with your fitness goals, taking an HMB supplement is worth the try.

About the Author

Kelly is a Hawaii-based wellness writer. She graduated with her Master's degree in English and combines her background in health care, wellness, and fitness with her writing background to create content for various health-related companies. In her free time, you'll find her reading on the beach or training for her next half marathon.

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