Short-term β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate supplementation does not reduce symptoms of eccentric muscle damage

D. Paddon-Jones, A. Keech, D. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Purpose: We examined the effects of short-term β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation on symptoms of muscle damage following an acute bout of eccentric exercise. Methods: Non-resistance trained subjects were randomly assigned to a HMB supplement group (HMB, 40mg/kg bodyweight/day, n = 8) or placebo group (CON, n = 9). Supplementation commenced 6 days prior to a bout of 24 maximal isokinetic eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors and continued throughout post-testing. Muscle soreness, upper arm girth, and torque measures were assessed pre-exercise, 15 min post-exercise, and 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 10 days post-exercise. Results: No pre-test differences between HMB and CON groups were identified, and both performed a similar amount of eccentric work during the main eccentric exercise bout (p > .05). HMB supplementation had no effect on swelling, muscle soreness, or torque following the damaging eccentric exercise bout (p > .05). Conclusion: Compared to a placebo condition, short-term supplementation with 40mg/kg bodyweight/day of HMB had no beneficial effect on a range of symptoms associated with eccentric muscle damage. If HMB can produce an ergogenic response, a longer pre-exercise supplementation period may be necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-450
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • DOMS
  • Exercise
  • HMB
  • Recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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