If you follow American bodybuilding boards and supplement manufacturers' websites you'll know that a new form of HMB is about to conquer the market. The HMB found in most supplements is attached to calcium; the new form is free. HMB Free Acid is the name it goes by. According to a study that will be published soon in the British Journal of Nutrition, the effect of HMB Free Acid is noticeable after just two days.
If you want to know more about the advantages of HMB Free Acid, then we strongly recommend you read patent US20120053240, which John Rathmacher and his colleagues at Metabolic Technologies filed in 2010. [US Patent 20120053240] It's the result of research done by the inventors of HMB in their search for an improved version of the conventional HMB supplements.
Many sports scientists have maintained a sceptical view of HMB for years. There may have been many studies demonstrating the effectiveness of HMB, but nearly all of them were carried out by manufacturers. This situation has now changed. The sports scientists have revised their opinion, and it's official. [J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Feb 2;10(1):6.] That makes HMB Free Acid, and Rathmacherís patent, even more interesting.
The two figures below come from the patent application. The first figure compares the effect of a dose of HMB Free Acid on the concentration of HMB in the blood with the effect of a similar dose of calcium HMB. As you can see, HMB Free Acid is more efficient than its calcium cousin.
In the figure above you can see that after ingesting HMB Free Acid in gel form [FALW] and in capsule form [FASW] there was less HMB in the urine of test subjects than when they took calcium HMB [CaHMB]. It seems that the body not only absorbs HMB in free form better, but also uses it more efficiently. Apologies for the poor quality of the figure; we couldn't find anything better at short notice.
In the study that will soon be published in the British Journal of Nutrition, first author Jacob and Wilson and his colleagues gave 11 well-trained strength athletes 3 g HMB Free Acid a day. The athletes took one 1 g dose with their lunch, another with their evening meal, and one more 30 minutes before a heavy workout, earlier in the day. A control group of 9 athletes were given a placebo.
When the researchers measured the concentration of the enzyme creatine kinase in the athletes' blood 48 hours after their workout, they observed that the concentration was lower in the athletes that had been given HMB Free Acid the last two days. That means that they had less muscle damage.
The researchers also asked the athletes about their recovery [perceived recovery status]. The athletes in the HMB Free Acid group felt ready to do a new workout earlier than the athletes in the placebo group.
The study was financed by Metabolic Technologies; the research leader was John Rathmacher.
Br J Nutr. 2013 Jan 3:1-7. [Epub ahead of print].