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Interaction of Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate Free Acid and Adenosine Triphosphate on Muscle Mass, Strength, and Power in Resistance Trained Individuals

Lowery, Ryan P.; Joy, Jordan M.; Rathmacher, John A.; Baier, Shawn M.; Fuller, John C. Jr; Shelley, Mack C. II; Jäger, Ralf; Purpura, Martin; Wilson, Stephanie M.C.; Wilson, Jacob M.

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000482
Original Research

Abstract: Lowery, RP, Joy, JM, Rathmacher, JA, Baier, SM, Fuller, JC Jr, Shelley, MC II, Jäger, R, Purpura, M, Wilson, SMC, and Wilson, JM. Interaction of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid and adenosine triphosphate on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance trained individuals. J Strength Cond Res 30(7): 1843–1854, 2016—Adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) supplementation helps maintain performance under high fatiguing contractions and with greater fatigue recovery demands also increase. Current evidence suggests that the free acid form of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB-FA) acts by speeding regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle after high-intensity or prolonged exercise. Therefore, we investigated the effects of 12 weeks of HMB-FA (3 g) and ATP (400 mg) administration on lean body mass (LBM), strength, and power in trained individuals. A 3-phase double-blind, placebo-, and diet-controlled study was conducted. Phases consisted of an 8-week periodized resistance training program (phase 1), followed by a 2-week overreaching cycle (phase 2), and a 2-week taper (phase 3). Lean body mass was increased by a combination of HMB-FA/ATP by 12.7% (p < 0.001). In a similar fashion, strength gains after training were increased in HMB-FA/ATP-supplemented subjects by 23.5% (p < 0.001). Vertical jump and Wingate power were increased in the HMB-FA/ATP-supplemented group compared with the placebo-supplemented group, and the 12-week increases were 21.5 and 23.7%, respectively. During the overreaching cycle, strength and power declined in the placebo group (4.3–5.7%), whereas supplementation with HMB-FA/ATP resulted in continued strength gains (1.3%). In conclusion, HMB-FA and ATP in combination with resistance exercise training enhanced LBM, power, and strength. In addition, HMB-FA plus ATP blunted the typical response to overreaching, resulting in a further increase in strength during that period. It seems that the combination of HMB-FA/ATP could benefit those who continuously train at high levels such as elite athletes or military personnel.

Author Information

1Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance, The University of Tampa, Tampa, Florida;

2Metabolic Technologies, Inc., Iowa State University Research Park, Ames, Iowa;

3Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa;

4Department of Statistics, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa;

5Increnovo LLC, 2138 E Lafayette Pl, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and

6Department of Nutrition, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Florida

Address correspondence to Jacob M. Wilson,

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.