• Faster Recovery: Does This Product Deliver?

    Faster Recovery: Does This Product Deliver? | stupidesaypaleo.com

    If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know I’m not huge into supplements. It’s my belief that most athletes need a solid base of nutrition from whole, nutrient-dense foods with thoughtful pre- or post-workout refueling strategies, and perhaps—if the circumstances warrant it—smart supplementation.

    If you’re a casual athlete without competitive aspirations, a strong focus on nutrition will take you very far, and supplements really aren’t necessary. However, if you’re hitting your training and competitive season really hard, pushing the boundaries of your physical potential, carefully chosen supplements can have a place in your routine. (In case you’re curious, I regularly include Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and Vitamin D in my regimen, but I’d be taking those even if I wasn’t training.)

    In the interest of experimentation, I recently agreed to test out a supplement called HMB from Blonyx and report my findings to you. The short answer: HMB seemed to help my recovery.

    What exactly is it?

    If you’re after a longer answer, let’s back up a second. HMB is an acronym for beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate, and put into simple terms, it’s produced when the body metabolizes the amino acid leucine. Leucine, if you’re savvy about basic biochemistry, is a branched chain amino acid which is implicated in the body’s muscle protein synthesis pathway (mTOR).

    Put another way, HMB is known to help recovery by promoting muscle repair. For more details—including studies and further technical information—click here and here.

    Faster Recovery: Does This Product Deliver? | stupidesaypaleo.com

    What was my experience with it?

    I’m now doing olympic weightlifting full time for my training, with an eye on a couple local competitions later this summer and fall. Returning to the platform after a surgery, some time living abroad, writing my book and just general life chaos left me with some major flaws in my technique and some serious ups and downs in performance. I started using Blonyx’s HMB Sport in mid-January, just as my training started to find some consistency (i.e. lifting 4 times a week).

    I noticed that my sessions felt punchier and I could lift heavy on back-to-back days without feeling as sluggish as I had been. In May 2013 I hit PRs in both the clean (91kg) and snatch (63kg), but since that time had struggled to reach those numbers again. In February, I cleaned 90kg and snatched 63kg.

    Whether my improvement was a sole result of testing HMB Sport or not is hard to say because training frequency, sleep and nutrition are certainly possible factors. If you’re putting a premium on consecutive training sessions with short recovery windows, HMB might be worth experimenting with.

    Wondering how you can naturally bump recovery up? Be sure to get adequate dietary protein from leucine-rich foods such as meat and eggs.

    Note: I did not receive any financial compensation for reviewing this product. The opinions expressed here are my personal ones and do not substitute for professional medical advice. Always check with your medical professional before adding supplementation to your routine.

    Steph Gaudreau is a certified holistic nutrition practitioner, weightlifting and mindset coach, and the author of the best-selling Performance Paleo Cookbook. Her recipes and expert advice have been featured in SELF, Outside Magazine, Elle, and Greatist. Steph loves barbells, cats, and anything Lord of the Rings. She lives in San Diego, CA.

    7 thoughts on “Faster Recovery: Does This Product Deliver?

      1. Thank you!! That makes me think…I may blog a bit more about my training…not sure anyone is interested though! 😉

    1. Hi Steph.
      Just started ‘doing paleo’ & found your blog/website/youtube account very easy to follow. Keep up the good work!

      Quick question – what is the difference between this HMP product & a traditional BCAA powder or capsule from a health store? They both contain Leucine but the other stuff has Valine & Isoleucine. Are those bcaas not needed as much? I’ve taken traditional bcaas before & really not seen much of a difference in strength gains or recovery. I just take them because the ‘experts’ say they’re essential to progress.

      1. Hi John…great question: HMB is a metabolite of one of the BCAAs, leucine. BCAA powders are generally a mixture of the 3 branched chain amino acids, leucine, valine and isoleucine.

        Leucine has been implicated as the most important of the BCAAs for MPS (muscle protein synthesis). Here’s just one of the many journal articles about that if you really want to geek out: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/2/533S.full. So, the bottom line is that taking leucine directly (or a downstream metabolite such as HMB) has been shown to be more effective than taking a mixture like in a trad BCAA pill or powder.

        Did that help?

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