Review Creatine Nutrition

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review (2024)

In this Transparent Labs Creatine HMB review, we’ll be taking a look at Transparent Labs’ main creatine product. This unique combination of creatine with HMB makes this one of the more expensive creatine products on the market, but is it worth the extra money? Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of this product so you can decide if it’s right for you. 

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review – This product combines a solid 5g dose of creatine monohydrate along with a 1.5g dose of HMB. While creatine is a beneficial sports supplement, HMB likely won’t have any meaningful effect on most lifters. This makes Creatine HMB difficult to recommend over basic creatine.

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

tl creatine hbm
  • Form: Powder
  • Type: Monohydrate
  • Other Ingredients: HMB, Vitamin D
  • Price per Serving (for 5 g): ~$1.35
  • Servings per Container (for 5 g): 30 or 60 servings
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafþór Júlíus BjörnssonPat LiPAULINA

Transparent Labs consistently delivers some of the highest quality supplements on the market, prioritizing effectively-dosed formulas, and avoiding artificial ingredients entirely. 

So, what is creatine HMB? In short, while this supplement does contain a high-quality formula with an effective dose of Creatine Monohydrate, it also contains HMB, which is a largely unnecessary inclusion. 

transparent labs creatine hbm

The inclusion of HMB makes this supplement much more expensive than most basic creatine supplements on the market. Because HMB is unlikely to provide any significant extra effects alongside creatine, it’s difficult to fully recommend this compared to a more basic creatine supplement. 

With this being said, the inclusion of Vitamin D and vast flavor variety, along with HMB, does make this a unique creatine supplement. If you’re interested in a more deluxe creatine supplement, this isn’t a bad choice – just be aware of the high price point. 

Ingredients Breakdown

Below we’ll be going over the 4 main ingredients included in this supplement – creatine, HMB, vitamin D, and BioPerine. We’ll be giving our thoughts on the doses included, as well as the purpose of all these ingredients. 

1. Type and Dosage of Creatine

Each serving of this product contains 5g of creatine monohydrate, which is ideal for any creatine supplement. It’s generally recommended you take 3-5g/day to keep your muscles fully saturated and to maximize the effectiveness of creatine. Effects of creatine include improved high-intensity exercise performance, improved recovery, and increased lean muscle mass. 

Also, although there are plenty of forms of creatine available, we always recommend monohydrate, as this is the most well-researched and cost-effective form of creatine on the market. 

2. Type and dosage of HMB

The form of HMB included in this supplement is Calcium B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate monohydrate, which is also the most standard form of supplementary HMB available. Each serving contains 1.5g of HMB. However, regardless of dose, HMB does not appear to have any significant effect on strength and body composition, making its inclusion here effectively useless. 

3. Vitamin D as a Bonus Component

Another added ingredient that will likely have more value for strength and muscle growth is Vitamin D, with each serving of this supplement containing 500IU of the vitamin, or 63% of your DV. Vitamin D has numerous benefits for overall health, ranging from muscular strength to bone health and disease prevention. 

creatine powder

However, it’s worth noting that adding extra vitamin D to your diet won’t have any benefit if you’re already getting enough and may even cause harm. With that being said, if you do struggle with vitamin D intake, this supplement could be a good alternative to a dedicated vitamin D supplement. 

4. What is BioPerine® for?

Finally, this supplement also includes BioPerine, or Black Pepper Extract, which is a common ingredient in many Transparent Labs supplements. It is included here to enhance the bioavailability of the active ingredients through increased absorption. Because creatine is well-absorbed on its own, in all honesty, this is a largely pointless inclusion as well. 

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What Else Should Be Considered?

Beyond the formula, what else should you consider before deciding if this supplement is right for you? Below we’ll be covering a few additional factors, including third-party certification, flavor variety, and the different package sizes available.

1. This Creatine HMB is Certified by Informed Choice!

First, this supplement, like everything offered by Transparent Labs, is certified by Informed Choice. This is a good thing to look for if you’re concerned about good manufacturing practices or potential contamination with harmful substances. We always prioritize third-party certifications when it comes to recommending products, as they’re usually a great indicator of a brand’s commitment to quality.

To learn more about Informed Choice’s guidelines for certifying products, you can check out their website here. 

2. They Have 14 Flavors to Choose From Including an Unflavored Option!

One major pro of this product compared to most basic creatine supplements is its flavor variety. The vast majority of creatine supplements are completely unflavored, while Transparent Labs offers this supplement in 14 different flavors! Of course, this also includes an unflavored option if you want to keep things simple. 

3. You Can Choose a Package of 30 or 60 Servings

Finally, this supplement comes in 2 package sizes – 30 and 60 servings. With creatine being a daily supplement, this means you’ll need to buy a new package every month or 2, depending on the option you choose. Note that you could also stretch it a bit further if you take a smaller dose of 3g of creatine per day. 

Pure Creatine

You can expect fairly significant savings if you buy the larger package size. The 30-serving option will cost you about ~$1.67 per serving, while the 60-serving package will run around ~$1.50. 

Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that even with this discount, Transparent Labs’ Creatine HMB is significantly more expensive than the majority of basic creatine supplements out there. So, if budget is a priority for you, you’re probably better off buying a simpler alternative. 

Why Creatine + Hmb Can Be the Perfect Combo?

So, is creatine and HMB a worthwhile combo? As we mentioned above, there is plenty of research to support the use of creatine for athletic performance, while research on the use of HMB shows no real benefits when it comes to strength or body composition. 

While there are studies that show Creatine and HMB are beneficial together, because of the individual research bases, we believe that these positive effects come almost entirely from creatine, not HMB. 

Below, we’ll be taking a closer look at Creatine and HMB on their own, as well as together, so you can decide what’s best for you. 

1. Proven Benefits of Creatine

Creatine is one of the most well-researched sports supplements available, with proven benefits relating to exercise performance, recovery, and lean body mass. These effects are best achieved with a consistent daily dose of 3-5g of creatine monohydrate. 

2. Potential Advantages of Hmb

There is some limited evidence that HMB may be beneficial, specifically for untrained individuals. However, across multiple meta-analyses, HMB has not been shown to be effective as an anabolic supplement. While there don’t appear to be any downsides to HMB supplementation, expect benefits to be minimal at best. 

3. Potential Benefits of Combining Creatine + Hmb

There is a systematic review mentioned above that shows greater benefits to combined supplementation with Creatine and HMB when compared with individual supplementation. However, this study makes it clear that the results they found should be treated with caution, based on the individual studies used being very different. 

Overall, because of the overall amount of evidence against the use of HMB, we are fairly skeptical of these results and recommend taking them with a grain of salt. 

The Final Verdict on Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Overall, Transparent Labs is selling Creatine combined with HMB, likely based on a study that shows these 2 supplements produce better results when taken together rather than individually. However, the study that showed this also states that results should be taken with caution. 

Also, with there being a strong body of evidence against the use of HMB, we find this hard to believe. While creatine is highly effective, we believe HMB to be effectively useless.

transparent labs products

However, this supplement does still have a lot going for it. Namely, third-party certification, a formula free of artificial ingredients, great flavor variety, and solid doses of vitamin D and creatine. 

With this being said, it’s difficult to recommend a supplement that costs this much when there are plenty of cheaper products out there that will have the same basic effects. If you want a high-quality, flavored creatine supplement with added Vitamin D, this may still be a decent choice. Just be sure you’re alright with paying a premium for it.

FAQ

Is Creatine With HMB Worth It?

Whether Creatine HMB is worth it largely depends on what you’re looking for. As a basic creatine supplement, it’s difficult to recommend because of its high price point. You’re likely paying a premium for the inclusion of HMB – an ingredient that has very little evidence to support its effectiveness. 

However, if you want a flavored supplement with added vitamin D and third-party certifications, this supplement may still be worth it to you. 

Is Transparent Labs Trustworthy?

Transparent Labs is generally a very trustworthy company. Almost all of their products are made with high-quality formulas, science-backed doses, and third-party certifications.

It’s worth noting that they did base their Creatine HMB supplements on a scientific study that supports this combination of ingredients. However, we believe there is more significant evidence that suggests HMB supplementation is not beneficial, regardless of whether it’s combined with Creatine. 

As a result, the inclusion of HMB in their creatine supplement is somewhat of a misstep by Transparent Labs – especially because they don’t also sell a more basic, affordable creatine supplement. With all this being said, this supplement still has plenty of good things going for it, and we believe Transparent Labs is still a very trustworthy brand. 

Is Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Better Than Creatine Monohydrate?

Unless you need additional dietary Vitamin D, Transparent Labs Creatine HMB will likely provide no additional significant benefits when compared with a basic creatine monohydrate supplement. 

As a result, most people will likely be better off choosing a more basic creatine supplement. However, if you want a naturally-flavored creatine supplement that includes Vitamin D, this may still be a good choice, even though it is fairly expensive.

Is HMB a Steroid?

No, HMB is not a steroid. Anabolic steroids are typically derivatives of testosterone and generally have major effects on athletic performance and muscle growth. HMB, instead, is a  metabolite of the amino acid Leucine and appears to have no major effects on muscle growth or performance. 

Does HMB Really Build Muscle?

While there is some minimal evidence to support the use of HMB as a sports supplement, there are numerous systematic reviews that suggest the supplement is virtually useless. Based on the available research, it’s our opinion that HMB is not beneficial for building muscle. 

Conclusion

Overall, because the supplement comes at such a high price and research suggests that HMB is not beneficial for muscle growth, it’s difficult to fully recommend Transparent Labs Creatine HMB. Most people will be better off saving their money by buying a basic creatine monohydrate supplement instead.

However, Transparent Labs Strengthseries Creatine HMB may still be good for you if you want a third-party certified, flavored creatine supplement with the inclusion of Vitamin D. We hope our Transparent Labs Creatine reviews can help you make a more informed decision!

Have you ever tried creatine or HMB? Are you currently taking creatine, or looking to try it for the first time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  1. Javier Sanchez-Martinez, et. al “Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate supplementation on strength and body composition in trained and competitive athletes: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials” Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Volume 21, Issue 7, 647-758. (2018).
  2. The Nutrition Source, “Vitamin D,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/ (Accessed February 5, 2023).
  3. Informed Choice Certification Process, “Informed Choice: Four Steps to Certification,” INformed Choice https://choice.wetestyoutrust.com/about/certification-process (Accessed February 5, 2023).
  4. Julen Fernandez-Landa, et. al “Effect of the Combination of Creatine Monohydrate Plus HMB Supplementation on Sports Performance, Body Composition, Markers of Muscle Damage and Hormone Status: A Systematic Review,” Nutrients.; 11(10): 2528 (2019).
  5. Chad M. Kerskick, et. al, “ISSN exercise & sports nutrition review update: research & recommendations” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Volume 15 – Issue 1 (2018).
  6. Student Health Center, “Steroids,” University of Northern Colorado, https://www.unco.edu/student-health-center/health-topics/steroids.aspx (Accessed February 5, 2023).

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

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