Many more people these days are concerned about their health and often find themselves standing in the nutrition supplements aisle at the store, starring and trying to decide on the right product. This objective can be tricky and a waste of money if you haven’t done your research. The sports nutrition supplements industry is skyrocketing and has just begun. This industry is predicted to double its revenue of $32 billion in 2021. Sports nutrition supplements’ customers used to be only gym rats and men, but now there are just as much women and “everyday” people interested in supplements. With all these new customers, more and more people are unknowledgeable about nutritional supplements and their uses. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate and beta-alanine are two supplements that have become the most popular in the sports nutrition world and have been studied for over ten years. These two supplements have been researched and proven to provide ergogenic effects such as building muscle mass and enhancing performance.
HMB is a derivative of the amino acid leucine. Therefore, HMB is found in foods with leucine, but in very small amounts (meat, catfish & citrus fruit). HMB has several physiological functions. It has been found to decrease levels of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase (indicators of muscle damage and soreness) after resistance training. It reduces protein breakdown by interfering in two of the skeletal muscle cells catabolic pathways. HMB also enhances fat oxidation, and stimulates protein synthesis, thus producing an increase in lean body mass. HMB has greater results if consumed in a daily dose of 3g. Post ingestion, HMB reaches peak levels at 2.5 – 3.5 hours. Bioavailability does not increase if paired with another, if taken with glucose, it will slow digestion and absorption. For the best results HMB should be consumed little by little throughout the day in addition to practice of resistance exercise.
Benefits of Supplementing with HMB
1) Increase in Lean Body Mass
2) Increase of Strength
3) Reduction of Muscle Damage
4) Decrease of Muscle Soreness
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is produced by our bodies naturally and enhances muscle carnosine concentrations. Studies have shown that 4-6g/day of beta-alanine for 4-10 weeks increases muscle carnosine by 60-80%. Carnosine delays muscle fatigue by neutralizing acid accumulated in the muscle as a result of high-intensity exercise. This is the muscles buffer capacity, which beta-alanine is 7-10% composed of and increases with highly trained athletes. Therefore, beta-alanine helps us to surpass restrained exercise performance. Beta-alanine’s mechanisms for its other results (increase in endurance, training volume, etc.) are still being studied. Beta-alanine can be paired with another ergogenic aid (creatine, multi-ingredient, or sodium bicarbonate) to enhance its properties and can be found in protein-rich foods such as, poultry, pork, meat, and fish. The side effect parethesia (tingling) has been found as a result of beta-alanine consumption. If this may happen, a low dose of 1.6g/day of beta-alanine for a long duration is recommended.
Benefits of Supplementing with Beta-Alanine
1) Improves Training Volume
2) Decreases Muscle Fatigue
3) Increases Lean Body Mass
4) Increases Muscular Endurance