HMB for Fat Loss
Hydroxy methylbutric acid, or HMB for short, is a metabolite of leucine, one of the three branched chain amino acids. It is created naturally when leucine is synthesized by the body, and has been shown to offer a number of benefits including increased muscle mass and decreased muscle breakdown. While it's been offered as a nutritional supplement mainly for these reasons, a recent study has shown that HMB can be an important ingredient to stimulate immediate fat loss.
Researchers in Taiwan used 8 international-level female judo competitors (average age 21) in a three-day study, where they consumed 20 calories per kg of bodyweight, taking a multivitamin and no other supplement (including protein powder). Half the group was given 3g per day of HMB to be taken in three separate doses, and the other group was given a placebo. In three days, the HMB group went from 20.23% body fat to 19.38% body fat, with no significant loss of strength or muscle mass.
Although this study was extremely limited in terms of subjects and duration, it offers another possible benefit to HMB supplementation.
Taurine Makes you 12 Seconds Faster
Taurine, one of the 22 amino acids, is often used in supplements and energy drinks due to believed benefits of endurance and stamina. While research has disagreed on the question of whether taurine supplementation improves athletic ability, a recent UK study has confirmed it.
The study used 8 medium-distance runners and had them run 3km on a treadmill on two separate occasions. On one occasion, the runners were given a 1g dose of taurine two hours before the run, and on the other occasion, a placebo. On average, when taking taurine two hours before the run, the runners completed it 12 seconds faster.
Although the exact reasons for the increased performance aren't known, it does suggest that the use of taurine as a supplement can definitely benefit athletes.
Whey Protein for Pre Workout?
We all know of the benefits of drinking your protein shake right after a heavy weight training session - your muscles have been damaged, and the fast digesting amino acids from whey protein (particularly whey protein isolate) begin working immediately to repair and help those muscles grow. Although the whey digests much quicker than an edible protein source such as eggs or meat, it still takes hours to fully digest.
Researchers from the University of Birmingham tested 17 subjects in their 20's, eight of which drank a shake with 20g of whey protein immediately before exercise, and the nine others an hour after the exercise. The subjects performed 10 sets of 8 reps on a leg extension machine with 80% of their one-rep max.
The test subjects who consumed the whey protein before their workout absorbed more amino acids in their leg muscles than those who consumed the protein post-workout. This study shows that if you are going to have your protein shake either before or after your workout, you're better off having it before. That said, you're probably going to benefit even more from having a protein shake an hour before, and then shortly after your workout.
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