Best HMB Supplements Reviewed - Top Capsule and Powder Form Options For Lean Gains
You might have already heard of the beneficial effects of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) but HMB supplements are another step up.
HMB (Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate) is a supplement formed naturally when your body breaks down the BCAA leucine.
As only 5% of the leucine you consume is made into HMB, supplementing more of this compound can be really beneficial for enhancing the effects of BCAAs.
Its main purpose is to protect and repair your body tissue, which is ideal for anyone like me, who often can barely walk from muscle soreness the day after a good workout.
Check out this HMB supplement review for a closer look at the best options out there right now.
- The 5 Best HMB Supplements Reviewed
- What is an HMB Supplement?
- Which is the Best HMB Supplement for Me?
- What is the Best Way to Take HMB Supplements?
- Are There Any Side Effects?
The 5 Best HMB Supplements Reviewed
1. Optimum Nutrition HMB
Our Verdict: Best Overall
The Optimum Nutrition HMB supplement is #1 on the list as it is the best for building lean muscle from a well-known, trusted brand. Optimum Nutrition has been providing supplements for years and offer everything from protein powders to general health supplements.
Optimum Nutrition HMB comes in a 90 serving container of capsules. Each capsule is 1 gram of Calcium HMB Monohydrate which has been found to promote fat-free mass and enhance strength.
If you are looking to build lean muscle and improve your overall training, this is the best HMB for you.
You will need to take 3 capsules a day to reach the highest dosage of 3 grams, which can be slightly annoying especially if you are forgetful when it comes to taking supplements.
However, this means that you can alter your serving size depending on whether you want to bulk or build lean muscle.
The maximum amount you should take per day is 3 capsules or 3 grams. It is recommended to take the supplements with each meal containing protein for maximum effects.
This HMB has been found to reduce catabolic muscle damage, which is the wasting away of lean muscle, and enables protein synthesis, so your muscles will be able to effectively use the protein you consume in meals.
Optimum Nutrition HMB also contains gelatine, microcrystalline cellulose and magnesium stearate. Of course, if you are a vegetarian you might want to avoid this one because of the gelatine. The other ingredients are included in small amounts to form the capsule and are low in toxicity.
Scientifically tested and high quality, these supplements won’t let you down when it comes to improving your strength and growing lean muscle mass.
2. BulkSupplements HMB Powder
Our Verdict: Best Budget Buy
The most cost effective HMB supplement in this review is BulkSupplements who provide an impressive 100 serving bag for a very reasonable price.
This is also the best HMB supplement for anyone who prefers a powder to a capsule and, because it is a powder, it is the purest option.
Each serving is 1 gram of pure Calcium B-Hydroxy Methylbutyrate Monohydrate which means that you aren’t getting any fillers or other ingredients.
This supplement comes in a powder form which means it’s not as quick to take as the capsules, however, you can easily mix it with a protein drink or sports drink.
It is recommended to mix it with a flavoured drink instead of plain water as the flavour will mask the powdery taste.
If you regularly take a protein shake, adding this powder is an easy way to make sure you are getting an HMB supplement at the same time as your other daily supplements. With this added supplement, you’ll see a reduction in muscle breakdown and soreness after your workout.
3. HMB by VitaMonk
Our Verdict: Best Vegan-Friendly Capsule
Like many other HMB supplements, VitaMonk has produced capsules which require more than one to get the optimum dosage. With VitaMonk you will need to take 2 capsules to get a 1 gram serving of HMB and there are 180 capsules per container, which is 90 servings.
This is a relatively affordable option from a high-quality manufacturer. They aim to provide the best ingredients and the safest supplements which is why there are no fillers in this product.
Taking the capsule at the beginning at the end of the day should be easy to remember or you could take it before and after your workout to feel the full effects.
HMB by VitaMonk, like all good HMB supplements, aims to build lean muscle mass and enhance protein synthesis and muscle building. It does this with 1 gram of Calcium HMB Monohydrate per serving.
The only other ingredients you will find in this product are the capsule casing made from vegetables and organic brown rice concentrate, making this a very clean product.
For anyone concerned about clean eating, this is a great option as you know you are getting high-quality ingredients. This makes it the best HMB supplement for clean eating in a capsule form.
4. MET-Rx HMB 1000
Our Verdict: Fastest Absorption
MET-Rx company is a trusted brand with over 20 years of experience. Their MET-Rx HMB supplement in particular is also very popular with customers and has received a lot of good reviews.
It contains Calcium B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate Monohydrate but is not as pure as the other options in this review. It also contains a very small amount of gelatine which makes it unsuitable for strict vegetarians.
Furthermore, it contains less than 2% vegetable magnesium stearate which is made from a combination of saturated fatty acid found in vegetables and magnesium. As these other ingredients are used in very small amounts, it shouldn’t be anything to worry about unless you are on a very strict clean eating diet or vegetarian.
There is also croscarmellose which is a sodium used to rapidly break down the powder. This could be beneficial for fast absorption of the supplement.
As with the other ingredients, a small amount shouldn’t be harmful but you need to be aware of the side effects of croscarmellose. Think about taking a pure powder if you want a purer option.
Other than this, the 1 gram of HMB per serving has been found to support muscle strength when combined with muscle training.
The branched chain amino acid leucine provides a base for building protein in this HMB supplement and helps to maintain the structure of muscle cells after exercise as well as supporting recovery and repair.
5. MuscleTech Clear Muscle
Our Verdict: Best For Muscle Growth
According to the manufacturers, this free acid is more advanced at building muscle and strength. The supplement has been clinically tested and subjects were found to increase muscle mass more than those using BCAA powders or protein shakes alone.
It contains 84 servings per container and it is not recommended to take more than 3 servings of 1 gram per 24 hours. Aside from BetaTOR, this supplement is made up of a veggie capsule, choline chloride and silicon dioxide making it suitable for vegetarians.
To get the optimum 1-gram dosage, you will have to take two capsules. For HMB supplements, capsules are a very easy option that you can take quickly alongside a protein shake or just some water.
What is an HMB Supplement?
In BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acid) supplements, you always get the three BCAAs leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The problem is that only 5% of the leucine you consume is turned into HMB (Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate).
So, you might think that you are getting a lot of benefits from your BCAA supplement, but the actual amount of HMB produced - the chemical which will help you with muscle repair - is very low.
For this reason, it is a good idea to take a pure HMB supplement to up the amount of HMB you are getting. This supplement slows muscle protein breakdown and speeds up protein synthesis, meaning you can build muscle more effectively when you take this supplement alongside your weight training.
HMB is the chemical produced when the body breaks down leucine which is used to protect and repair your muscle tissue.
Which is the Best HMB Supplement for Me?
Best for Bulking
If you are a bodybuilder, or your main focus is to increase your muscle mass, try a version of HMB specifically designed to aid muscle growth like MuscleTech Clear Muscle.
This supplement uses BetaTOR, instead of calcium fortified HMB like the other supplements in this review, which has been found to work more quickly when building muscle.
Another name that is best for bulking is the Transparent Labs BULK Pre-workout supplement which aside from building your muscles, is also known to reduce muscle soreness & fatigue.
Best for Clean Eating
If you are looking for the cleanest and purest option, try BulkSupplements HMB Powder. The powder option doesn’t have any of the other ingredients required to make a capsule and so is one of the purest forms of HMB.
VitaMonk have also created an organic capsule if you prefer taking a capsule but are looking for the cleanest option.
Best for Lean Muscle
If you are looking to build lean muscle instead of bulking up, try Optimum Nutrition HMB. This is a popular option amongst all athletes as you can adapt your dosage to your body goals.
If you want to build more muscle you can take the maximum dosage of 3 capsules a day; whereas, if you want to build lean muscle you can take a smaller dosage of 1 or 2 capsules. Each capsule contains one gram of HMB.
What is the Best Way to Take HMB Supplements?
Many of the HMB supplements in this review need to be taken two or three times a day to get a full serving. This is actually the most effective way to take HMB as you can take part of the serving both before and after your workout.
Before & After Exercise Timing
Before you work out, it can help to increase muscle strength through protein synthesis and improve your reps.
After your workout, HMB helps to reduce recovery time and prevents muscle breakdown.
Get The Dosage Right
The correct amount of HMB to take depends on your weight. You should be taking 17mg per pound of bodyweight a day. You will also get HMB through food in, for example, fish and grapefruit.
With other sources of HMB in your diet, it is recommended to stick to the recommended serving size of HMB supplement and not to take more than 3 grams per day.
Are There Any Side Effects?
HMB supplements have been found to be have no side effects as long as you stick to the recommended serving.
The maximum you should take is 3 grams per day, but make sure to work out the recommended portion for you depending on your weight.
Now, I also want to call the attention of women who are into lean muscle building. You may want to check out this article we put together about the best creatine to take, without the side effects of bloating, plus facts & figures on BCAA powder and capsule options.
This simple supplement is easy to add to any diet and can enhance your muscle growth, reduce recovery time and prevent muscle breakdown.
The stand out product in this HMB supplement review is Optimum Nutrition HMB. This well-known brand provides safe and effective supplements that you can easily add into your diet.
The serving comes in three capsules so you can alter your serving size depending on your workout goals.
Give Optimum Nutrition HMB or one of the other options in this review a try to find the best HMB supplement for you.