Document Type



Calcium β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation has been reported to reduce catabolism and promote gains in strength and fat free mass in untrained individuals initiating training. However, the effects of HMB supplementation on strength and body composition alterations during training in athletes is less clear. This study examined the effects of 28-d of calcium HMB supplementation during intense training on markers of catabolism, body composition, strength, and sprint performance. In a double-blind and randomized manner, 28 NCAA division I-A football players were matched-paired and assigned to supplement their diet for 28-d during winter resistance/agility training (~8 hr/wk) with a carbohydrate placebo supplement (P) or the P supplement with 3 g/day of HMB as a calcium salt (HMB). Prior to and following supplementation: dietary records and fasting blood samples were obtained; body composition was determined via DEXA; subjects performed maximal effort bench press, barbell back squat, and power clean isotonic repetition tests; and, subjects performed a repeated cycle ergometer sprint test (12 x 6-s sprints with 30-s rest recovery) to simulate a 12-play drive in football. Results revealed no significant differences between the placebo and HMB supplemented groups in markers of catabolism, muscle/liver enzyme efflux, hematological parameters, body composition, combined lifting volume, or repetitive sprint performance. Results indicate that HMB supplementation (3 g/day) during off-season college football resistance/agility training does not reduce catabolism or provide ergogenic benefit.


Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Exercise Science


© Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, available at, and provided here by permission of the publisher.