5 Best HMB Supplements To Increase Muscle Mass & Boost Energy 2022

Chelsea Rae Bourgeois

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

All articles are produced independently. When you click our links for purchasing products, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more about how we earn revenue by reading our advertise disclaimer.

Life Extension Wellness Code Muscle Strength & Restore Formula

Life Extension Wellness Code Muscle Strength & Restore Formula

  • Gluten-free
  • Unflavored for easy mixing
  • 1000 IU of vitamin D per serving

Optimum Nutrition HMB

Optimum Nutrition HMB

  • Minimal ingredients
  • Subscribe and save
  • Easy-to-take capsules

Bulk Supplements HMB

Bulk Supplements HMB

  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Third-party tested
  • No additional ingredients

Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, otherwise known as HMB, is a product that results from the breakdown of the amino acid leucine. 

Like other amino acids, such as arginine and glutamine, leucine is known to prevent or slow muscle damage after intense exercise. 

Dietary supplement companies market their list of purported health benefits, but HMB supplements are most often sold as a way to increase lean muscle mass while improving one’s strength and endurance. 

This article will review the pros, and cons of HMB supplementation to help you choose the best HMB supplement for your muscle-building needs.

5 Best HMB Supplements on the market in (December. 2022)

What Is HMB Supplement Used For Nutritionally?

The human body naturally produces HMB when it breaks down leucine, a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) necessary for muscle protein synthesis and muscle repair. 

However, your body produces HMB in small amounts, so many people rely on an HMB supplement to get maximum benefits from the compound.

In the fitness community, the best HMB supplements are typically used to help promote muscle growth, prevent muscle breakdown, and improve exercise performance through increased strength and stamina. 

Science is also exploring its role in helping preserve muscle mass in older adults, but that’s a topic for another day. For the purpose of this article, let’s focus on its purported roles in fitness performance. 

You can find HMB supplements in multiple forms, including HMB powder and HMB capsules. Depending on your needs and fitness goals, you may prefer one form over the other. 

The Line Up At A Glance

Life Extension Wellness Code Muscle Strength & Restore Formula

Editor’s Choice

Life Extension Wellness Code Muscle Strength & Restore Formula

  • Gluten-free
  • Unflavored for easy mixing
  • 1000 IU of vitamin D per serving

Optimum Nutrition HMB

Best HMB Capsule Supplement

Optimum Nutrition HMB

  • Minimal ingredients
  • Subscribe and save
  • Easy-to-take capsules

Bulk Supplements HMB

Best HMB Powder On a Budget

Bulk Supplements HMB

  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Third-party tested
  • No additional ingredients

Nutricost HMB

Most Affordable HMB Capsule

Nutricost HMB

  • Gluten-free
  • Third-party tested
  • Highly-affordable per serving

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Best HMB Supplement With Creatine

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

  • 5,000 mg of creatine monohydrate per serving
  • 5 mg of BioPerine per serving
  • No artificial sweeteners, colorings, or preservatives

5 Best HMB Supplements To Buy In 2022

Life Extension Wellness Code Muscle Strength & Restore Formula

Life Extension Wellness Code Muscle Strength & Restore Formula provides HMB bioactive leucine metabolite and vitamin D3 to help preserve muscle function, aid muscle growth, and increase strength.

  • Gluten-free
  • Unflavored for easy mixing
  • Subscribe and save 
  • Contains 1,000 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D
  • Some reviews mention bad taste
  • Contains the highly processed starch thickener maltodextrin
  • Contains the natural sweetener stevia

The product contains 3,000 mg of HMB in every serving as well as 25 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D3 and 360 milligrams (mg) of calcium. Together they help to preserve muscle function through increased lean muscle mass and improved muscle strength. Three grams of HMB is considered an effective dose with five grams being the maximum.

Since this supplement contains 1,000 IU of Vitamin D, take care with other supplements that may contain Vitamin D as this is a fat-soluble vitamin that may build up in the fatty tissues causing toxicity levels over time. With the upper limit being 4,000 IU before toxicity symptoms appear, the range is quite high to remain safe.

Are you curious as to why Transparent Labs includes vitamin D in their HMB formula? Vitamin D is said to help reduce inflammatory factors that can affect muscle health, and it can help support muscle function and energy metabolism. 

This unflavored powder is easy to mix into your favorite beverage of choice. The recommended serving size is one scoop daily, meaning you can work it into your workout routine. 

You might consider mixing it into your pre-workout or post-workout shake, as it can help promote muscle growth when combined with resistance training.

Maltodextrin is a highly processed starch[1] that may elevate blood sugar levels. Stevia has recently (2022) been found to have adverse effects on the gut microbiome[2] and to affect insulin levels in a manner that may promote blood sugar dysregulation.

Optimum Nutrition HMB

Optimum Nutrition’s HMB supplement provides 1,000 mg of HMB per serving, helping to stimulate protein synthesis and prevent muscle breakdown after a challenging workout.

  • Minimal ingredients
  • Subscribe and save
  • Easy-to-take capsules
  • Requires three doses per day

Optimum Nutrition’s HMB supplement aims to help highly-trained muscles recover efficiently and effectively by combatting protein breakdown. It is said that their HMB capsules help build lean muscle mass and increase strength when combined with consistent exercise. 

With 1000 mg of HMB per serving, Optimum Nutrition recommends taking three capsules daily with protein-containing meals to achieve maximum results. The product is rated 4.6 out of five stars, averaging almost 2,000 recorded customer reviews. 

Currently, it is only available in a one-month supply. However, you can make a one-time purchase, or there is the option to subscribe and save for additional cost savings. 

 Bulk Supplements HMB

As an unflavored powder, Bulk Supplements’ HMB powder is easy to mix with your beverage of choice or add to your post-workout routine. 

  • Free of soy, sugar, dairy, and yeast
  • No additional ingredients
  • National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)-certified
  • Produced in an FDA-approved facility
  • Some reviews mention bad taste
  • Does not come with measuring utensil

Bulk Supplements is known for its affordable supplements. Their HMB powder is no exception. With 825 mg of HMB in each serving, this supplement can help prevent muscle loss and even help promote muscle growth when combined with a balanced diet and consistent exercise. 

In addition, this HMB in powder form contains no other ingredients as it is free from added sugar, soy, dairy, and yeast additives.

Like their other products, Bulk Supplements’ HMB powder is high-affordable as a one-time purchase with the option to subscribe to timed deliveries for additional savings. 

In addition, it is third-party tested and manufactured to current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) standards. Third-party testing does not reveal what variables are tested for such as heavy metals, microbial contamination, pesticides, solvents, etc.

Nutricost HMB

With 500 mg of HMB in each convenient gelatin capsule and 1 gram per serving size, Nutricost HMB is an affordable way to increase your HMB levels to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and maintain lean muscle mass.

  • Gluten-free
  • Third-party tested
  • Highly affordable per serving
  • Non-GMO
  • Contains only HMB and calcium
  • Requires two capsules per dose
  • No information on what COA tests for in terms of purity and safety

You can rest assured that Nutricost HMB is one of the best HMB supplements on the market as it is manufactured in a Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-registered facility and third-party tested. 

Nutricost recommends taking two capsules daily, totaling 1000 mg of HMB and 140 mg of calcium per day. If taken as directed, the HMB capsules are said to help stimulate protein synthesis to assist with muscle recovery and growth. 

Furthermore, Nutricost is safe for those with gluten intolerance as it is gluten-free. It is made from ingredients free of genetically modified organisms (non-GMO).

Nutricost HMB is one of the most affordable HMB capsules available on the market. You have the option to purchase 30 servings or 60 servings, and you can buy it as a one-time purchase or subscribe to timed deliveries for additional cost savings. 

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Each serving of Transparent Labs Creatine HMB provides 1,500 mg of HMB and 5,000 mg of creatine monohydrate, and it is free from artificial colorings, sweeteners, or preservatives.

  • 5,000 mg of creatine monohydrate per serving
  • 5 mg of BioPerine per serving
  • 1,500 mg of HMB per serving
  • 500 IU or 12.5 mcg of Vitamin D per serving
  • High-cost per serving
  • Contains Stevia

This HMB supplement aims to build muscle and increase strength. However, Transparent Labs kicks it up a notch by including 5,000 mg of creatine monohydrate with 1,500 mg of HMB per serving. 

Though more research is warranted, both creatine[3] and HMB[4] have been found to help support lean muscle mass and prevent protein breakdown. 

Furthermore, each serving of Transparent Labs’ Creatine HMB powder includes 5 mg of BioPerine, which is said to help increase bioavailability and absorption, ultimately increasing its efficacy. 

Compared to other HMB supplements on the market, Creatine HMB from Transparent Labs appears to be more expensive per serving. However, most other HMB products don’t include creatine.

How To Choose The Best HMB Supplements?

If you’re searching for the best HMB to add to your supplement stack, there are a few decisions you might want to take into consideration. A good place to start is HMB powder versus HMB capsules. 

Most supplement companies recommend taking HMB daily, so which form are you more likely to take consistently? HMB powder can be added to your beverage of choice, or you can add HMB capsules to your vitamin routine. 

Next, consider the amount of HMB provided per serving. Some HMB supplements require multiple doses throughout the day, which might not be realistic for some schedules. If your busy day would benefit from one single dose, consider a supplement that can give you the HMB you need in one swoop. 

Lastly, check for additional components included in the HMB supplement. For example, you can find products that only include pure HMB powder, but some products also contain vitamin D and calcium. 

If you already take supplements that include calcium or vitamin D, you might want to consider a pure HMB powder to avoid overconsumption of the vitamin or mineral.    

This article does not take the place of medical advice. If you have questions about HMB supplements, it’s important to talk with your doctor or registered dietitian to choose the right HMB product for your individual needs.

Benefits Of HMB Supplements

Studies have shown that taking HMB may offer several benefits, especially concerning body composition and physical performance. In addition, taking HMB is said to help promote muscle growth and reduce muscle breakdown. 

However, while current research points to many potential benefits, it’s important to note that additional research is needed to understand HMB’s full impact. 

Let’s look at some of the benefits HMB supplements can bring to your fitness routine. 

Promote Muscle Growth

While HMB is naturally occurring in the human body, research[5] indicates that increased HMB levels can encourage muscle growth. 

However, it should be stated that most studies show that taking HMB supplements is best combined with strength training and other forms of physical exercise when trying to increase muscle size. 

Furthermore, to build muscle mass, your body requires increased energy intake[6]. Meeting your protein needs through your nutritional intake is incredibly important for muscle growth. 

Recent 2022 research[7] suggests that more study is needed before conclusions can be drawn on the effects of HMB and muscle growth.

Reduce Muscle Breakdown

Skeletal muscle damage can result from several different factors. However, HMB supplements are said to help retain lean mass by maintaining existing muscle tissue. 

Research[8] shows that HMB acts as a precursor for cholesterol, playing a role in membrane fluidity, ion channels, and membrane excitability. With its influence on those particular bodily mechanisms, HMB may help reduce muscle breakdown.

Promote Exercise Adaptations   

Select research[9] suggests that HMB supplementation can influence long-term exercise adaptations through its role in muscle recovery and preventing muscle loss. 

For example, one recent 2017 study[10] found that athletes who took 3,000 mg of HMB every day saw significantly increased anaerobic and aerobic exercise capacities when compared to the placebo. 

Benefit Cardiovascular Health

Recent research[11] has found that HMB supplementation can result in a decrease in total cholesterol and a decrease in systolic blood pressure. 

This study leads researchers to believe that the ingestion of HMB before and after workouts can have an impact on inflammation, the antioxidant defense system, and cardiovascular risk factors in the body.

Increase Testosterone

A recent study[12] shows that daily HMB supplementation[12] may help increase testosterone with an antagonistic effect on cortisol, specifically when combined with creatine monohydrate. 

There is definitely room for continued research, but the findings thus far are encouraging. Cortisol causes muscle breakdown and is known as the “stress hormone.”

How Much HMB Should I Take?

HMB is considered generally safe, with a low risk for side effects when taken by most healthy adults. There is currently no standardized dosage, but most studies have used three grams (or less) of HMB daily as the recommended dose. 

You should not take more than the amount recommended on the product’s label or defer from the directions provided by your doctor. 

As with any new dietary supplement, it’s essential to speak with your medical provider before taking an HMB supplement, especially if your medical history includes a preexisting health condition or any current medications. 

Final Thought

The best HMB supplements further the impact of the beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate produced when your body breaks down the amino acid leucine. 

Taking an HMB supplement is said to help prevent muscle breakdown and maintain lean muscle mass when combined with regular physical activity. However, they should be taken with regular physical exercise and a well-balanced diet with adequate complete sources of protein. 

However, you should talk with your healthcare provider before adding HMB supplements to your routine. 

And, remember, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and can be stored in the fat tissues so taking an HMB supplement with Vitamin D in it means you need to plan on what other supplements you may be taking with Vitamin D in them so you don’t take too much and build up toxicity.

Also, remember to try to stick to supplements with natural ingredients avoiding those with highly processed additives or sugars, and stick to ones that are third-party tested for quality and purity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best form of HMB?

HMB supplements are primarily available as powder and capsules. The best HMB supplement is one that you can tolerate and take consistently. For example, pure HMB powder might be easy to add to your favorite recipes if you enjoy a daily protein shake or smoothie but may be more difficult to measure accurately. However, if you take vitamins consistently, HMB capsules might be an efficient way to take the supplement.

Is HMB worth taking?

HMB is a naturally occurring substance created when the body breaks down leucine. It only occurs in small amounts, which is why HMB supplements are becoming increasingly popular in the fitness community and with those who lead an active lifestyle. Increasing your HMB levels through supplementation can help maximize its effects and improve your athletic performance.

Does HMB make you bigger?

HMB can play a role in muscle growth, but it does not act alone. HMB supports lean muscle mass and muscle building when combined with a balanced diet and strength training. The best HMB supplements can help support muscle recovery and prevent lean tissue loss, ultimately helping you reach your full potential during your workouts and maximize your athletic performance and muscle growth.

Does HMB increase testosterone?

Current research indicates that HMB supplementation can increase testosterone,  but there is certainly room for continued research to explore the relationship between them further.

Does HMB cause any side effects?

HMB supplements are considered safe for most adults without glaring side effects. However, some people have reported stomach pain and constipation as a result of taking an HMB supplement. There is currently no standardized HMB dosage, but most studies use 3 grams of HMB daily.


+ 12 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Diabetics Weekly. (2017). Is Maltodextrin Causing Your Blood Sugar Spikes? – Diabetics Weekly. [online] Available at: https://diabetics-weekly.com/maltodextrin-causing-blood-sugar-spikes/
  2. Suez, J., Cohen, Y., Valdés-Mas, R., Mor, U., Dori-Bachash, M., Federici, S., Zmora, N., Leshem, A., Heinemann, M., Linevsky, R., Zur, M., Ben-Zeev Brik, R., Bukimer, A., Eliyahu-Miller, S., Metz, A., Fischbein, R., Sharov, O., Malitsky, S., Itkin, M. and Stettner, N. (2022). Personalized microbiome-driven effects of non-nutritive sweeteners on human glucose tolerance. Cell, [online] 185(18), pp.3307-3328.e19. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2022.07.016.
  3. Wu, S.-H., Chen, K.-L., Hsu, C., Chen, H.-C., Chen, J.-Y., Yu, S.-Y. and Shiu, Y.-J. (2022). Creatine Supplementation for Muscle Growth: A Scoping Review of Randomized Clinical Trials from 2012 to 2021. Nutrients, [online] 14(6), p.1255. doi:10.3390/nu14061255.
  4. Bear, D.E., Langan, A., Dimidi, E., Wandrag, L., Harridge, S.D.R., Hart, N., Connolly, B. and Whelan, K. (2019). β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate and its impact on skeletal muscle mass and physical function in clinical practice: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 109(4), pp.1119–1132. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy373.
  5. Engelen, M.P.K.J. and Deutz, N.E.P. (2018). Is β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate an effective anabolic agent to improve outcome in older diseased populations? Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, [online] 21(3), pp.207–213. doi:10.1097/mco.0000000000000459.
  6. Slater, G.J., Dieter, B.P., Marsh, D.J., Helms, E.R., Shaw, G. and Iraki, J. (2019). Is an Energy Surplus Required to Maximize Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy Associated With Resistance Training. Frontiers in Nutrition, [online] 6. doi:10.3389/fnut.2019.00131.
  7. Bear, D.E. and Rooyackers, O. (2021). HMB and leucine supplementation during critical illness and recovery. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, [online] 25(2), pp.88–92. doi:10.1097/mco.0000000000000809.
  8. Holeček, M. (2017). Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate supplementation and skeletal muscle in healthy and muscle-wasting conditions. Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, [online] 8(4), pp.529–541. doi:10.1002/jcsm.12208.
  9. Wilson, J.M., Fitschen, P.J., Campbell, B., Wilson, G.J., Zanchi, N., Taylor, L., Wilborn, C., Kalman, D.S., Stout, J.R., Hoffman, J.R., Ziegenfuss, T.N., Lopez, H.L., Kreider, R.B., Smith-Ryan, A.E. and Antonio, J. (2013). International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB). Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, [online] 10(1). doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-6.
  10. Durkalec-Michalski, K., Jeszka, J. and Podgórski, T. (2017). The Effect of a 12-Week Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation on Highly-Trained Combat Sports Athletes: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study. Nutrients, [online] 9(7), p.753. doi:10.3390/nu9070753.
  11. Arazi, H., Taati, B. and Suzuki, K. (2018). A Review of the Effects of Leucine Metabolite (β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate) Supplementation and Resistance Training on Inflammatory Markers: A New Approach to Oxidative Stress and Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Antioxidants, [online] 7(10), p.148. doi:10.3390/antiox7100148.
  12. Fernández-Landa, J., Fernández-Lázaro, D., Calleja-González, J., Caballero-García, A., Córdova, A., León-Guereño, P. and Mielgo-Ayuso, J. (2020). Long-Term Effect of Combination of Creatine Monohydrate Plus β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) on Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage and Anabolic/Catabolic Hormones in Elite Male Endurance Athletes. Biomolecules, [online] 10(1), p.140. doi:10.3390/biom10010140.
Chelsea Rae Bourgeois

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Chelsea Rae Bourgeois is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a background in fitness and athletics. She has worked as a dietitian in the clinical setting for the past seven years, helping a wide variety of patients navigate their health through nutrition. She finds joy in sharing her passions through her freelance writing career with the hopes of helping people embrace their health and live their lives to the fullest.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Harvard Health Publishing

Database from Health Information and Medical Information

Harvard Medical School
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Governmental Authority
Go to source

WHO

Database from World Health Organization

Go to source

Neurology Journals

American Academy of Neurology Journals

American Academy of Neurology
Go to source

MDPI

United Nations Global Compact
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database from U.S. National Library of Medicine

U.S. Federal Government
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From Department of Health and Human Services

Governmental Authority
Go to source

PubMed Central

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
Go to source
black friday