Examine publishes rigorous, unbiased analysis of the latest and most important nutrition and supplementation studies each month, available to all Examine Members. Click here to learn more or log in.

In this article

HMB + ATP = huge muscles?

HMB (short for β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate) has shown promise in limited trials looking at its free acid form. Could combining this form with ATP be a recipe for accelerated muscle gain?

Study under review: Interaction of Beta-Hydroxy-BetaMethylbutyrate Free Acid and Adenosine Triphosphate on Muscle Mass, Strength, and Power in Resistance Trained Individuals

Introduction

Emerging research is indicating that a combination of β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) may be a strong option for people looking to enhance their exercise capacity through supplementation.

HMB is a metabolite of the branched-chain amino acid leucine, and may help with reducing muscle protein breakdown. ATP is the energy currency of the body. This molecule stores and releases chemical energy to fuel metabolic processes that keep you alive. Availability of ATP to the muscle is a primary dictator of how much volume of work or exercise you can perform. Supplementing with creatine is effective because it can be used to quickly replenish ATP in hard-working muscles, so that they can continue contracting. A preliminary study looking at oral supplementation with ATP[1] on exercise performance has shown promise, but getting optimal amounts of energy to the muscle is only part of the equation.

Muscles still must be given time to recover from exercise-induced damage. The greater the amount of fatigue brought on by training, the higher the recovery demands will be between exercise sessions. For athletes, minimizing time between training sessions while maximizing training volume is a critical component of attaining peak performance. This is where HMB may come in, as evidence indicates that it can aid in perceived muscle recovery time[2]. It is possible that, when combined, HMB and ATP may act synergistically (as shown in Figure 1). ATP provides muscles the energy they need to keep working and HMB reduces the recovery time between bouts of training. The study under review aimed to investigate this potential synergistic effect.

A synergistic combination of ATP and HMB may prove to be a potent ergogenic aid. Supplementing with ATP can ensure a high availability of energy to working muscles while HMB may help to reduce recovery time between exercise sessions.

Who and what was studied?

Become an Examine Member to read the full article.

Becoming an Examine Member will keep you on the cutting edge of health research with access to in-depth analyses such as this article.

You also unlock a big picture view of 400+ supplements and 600+ health topics, as well as actionable study summaries delivered to you every month across 25 health categories.

Stop wasting time and energy — we make it easy for you to stay on top of nutrition research.

Try free for two weeks

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What were the findings?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What does the study really tell us?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

The big picture

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Frequently asked questions

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What should I know?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Free 2-week trial »

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Other Articles in Issue #23 (September 2016)

  • Gut bugs and arthritis
    Hippocrates said “all disease begins in the gut”, which might be close to the truth. This research looked at a type of gut bacteria that may help protect against rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rematch: EPA vs. DHA for cardiovascular risk factors
    NERD #21 already examined the effect of EPA vs. DHA in very high doses. This randomized trial answers whether normal doses of either fatty acid could help inflammation and blood lipids.
  • A review of carnitine and weight loss
    The amino acid l-carnitine has been studied for weight loss, with confusingly mixed results. Researchers pooled previous studies together in this meta-analysis to get a clearer picture.
  • Interview: Pablo Sanchez-Soria, PhD
    Toxins: a term that's incredibly overused by people who typically don't understand the concepts very well. Dr. Sanchez-Soria is a toxicologist who deals with toxins and disease on a daily basis. Dr. Pablo Sanchez-Soria is a Toxicologist at the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, L.L.C. (CTEH®). Dr. Sanchez-Soria has experience in the fields of human and environmental toxicology, as well as molecular and systems toxicology with an emphasis in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
  • Kids will be kids … even if they skip breakfast?
    Kids always get bugged by their parents to eat breakfast, so that they can do well in school. But does breakfast consumption actually impact cognition in this population?
  • Have the fructose alarm bells rang too soon?
    Fructose is both highly controversial and highly researched. Yet until this recent trial, it hadn’t been compared to other sugars for inflammation and intestinal impacts.
  • All the data on resveratrol for cardiovascular health
    With 21 existing randomized trials looking at resveratrol’s effect on cardiovascular health markers, this meta-analysis was needed to summarize the data and get a sense of how much, if any, it may help.