Reviews Supplements

6 Best HMB Supplements in 2024

Reviewed by: Jacek Szymanowski (Certified Nutritionist, S&C specialist, M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology)

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If you’re interested in trying HMB alongside other supplements, we’ve created this list of the best HMB supplements available today.

As we’ll cover later on, HMB likely won’t provide as many benefits as other supplements like creatine and protein powder. However, HMB does appear to be beneficial in certain specific scenarios. So, with that being said, let’s get into our HMB supplement reviews.

Best HMB Supplements

Top 6 Best HMB Supplements Reviewed

  1. BULKSUPPLEMENTS HMB – Top Pick
  2. Life Extension Wellness Code – Runner-Up (With Vitamin D)
  3. ALLMAX HMB
  4. Nutricost HMB
  5. Optimum Nutrition HMB
  6. MRM Nutrition HMB – Vitamin D Included
ProductTotalPrice per
3g of HMB
Nutrition Label
Transparency
Servings per
3g of HMB
Value
for Money
Bulksupplements39.5109.51010
Life Extension399.5109.510
ALLMAX38.59.5109.59.5
Nutricost389.59.59.59.5
Optimum Nutrition37.59109.59
MRM Nutrition36.599.599
TOP PICK

1. BULKSUPPLEMENTS HMB

BULKSUPPLEMENTS HMB

Starting our list and our top pick for the best HMB supplement available is from Bulk Supplements. This is a simple, straightforward HMB supplement available in package sizes ranging from only 100g all the way to 5kg. 

In terms of dose, this is a powder supplement so it may be slightly trickier to get accurate doses than it would be with a capsule-based supplement. We recommend using a food scale or measuring spoons to get an accurate dose of 3g. 

As mentioned, this is the only product on our list to come in a wide variety of package sizes (100g-5kg). This makes it ideal for both buying in bulk, and for just giving it a try. This is also a solid single-ingredient supplement if you want pure HMB without any unnecessary filler ingredients. 

Finally, we’ve decided to provide the price per serving for the small 100g package, as this is equivalent to most of the other products on our list. This works out to about ~$0.50 per serving. Just keep in mind that if you buy larger package sizes, you can get Bulk Supplements HMB for much cheaper.

39.5 EXPERT SCORE

Bulk Supplements’ HMB powder allows precise dosing, offers diverse package sizes for bulk or trial use, and stands as a pure, single-ingredient option without unnecessary fillers.


Price per 3g of HMB:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per 3g of HMB:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Very cheap when bought in bulk
  • Simple, single-ingredient supplement
  • Different package sizes will suit different needs

Could be better:

  • May be difficult to dose accurately
  • Doesn’t contain any additional Vitamin D
RUNNER-UP (WITH VITAMIN D)

2. Life Extension Wellness Code

Life Extension Wellness Code

The runner-up for our list is Life Extensions’ Wellness Code supplement. This is the first HMB and Vitamin D3 supplement we’ll be covering. The inclusion of Vitamin D is great alongside HMB as it is beneficial for overall health and wellness. 

Like Bulk Supplements, this is one of only 2 powder-based supplements we’ll be covering. Life Extension will be slightly easier to dose as it comes with a scoop for a perfect 3g dose of HMB every time. However, the label is somewhat unclear, so you may need to take a slightly higher dose

You can expect an additional 25mcg of Vitamin D in each serving, which is 125% of the recommended daily value. Vitamin D has numerous benefits, including improved bone health, muscle strength, and improved disease prevention. This makes it a beneficial addition here and makes extra supplementation with Vitamin D unnecessary given daily use of this supplement. 

While this isn’t a single-ingredient supplement like Bulk Supplements, it only contains some natural additives such as stevia extract, and maltodextrin. 

Finally, this is a notably more expensive supplement when compared to the top option on our list at ~$0.83 per serving. While this may not be the best option for using HMB long-term given the small package size, it’s still a great choice for trying it out.

39 EXPERT SCORE

Life Extension's Wellness Code, our second choice, combines HMB and Vitamin D3 in a convenient powder form with natural additives, suitable for experimentation.


Price per 3g of HMB:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per 3g of HMB:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • High dose of Vitamin D in each serving
  • Easy to dose with the provided scoop
  • No unnecessary artificial filler ingredients

Could be better:

  • Only comes in a relatively small package size
  • Contains several extra ingredients which may be deemed unnecessary

3. ALLMAX HMB

ALLMAX HMB

Next on our list is the first Capsule-Based supplement we’ll be covering from ALLMAX. Offering an even simpler way to get an effective dose of HMB, the rest of our list will be made up of capsule-based supplements. 

Each serving of ALLMAX’s supplement contains an effective 3g of HMB. This is split up between 4 capsules, which is a fairly standard serving size compared to the other capsule-based products on our list. 

ALLMAX HMB instagram
Photo by @sheena_weel

This is a simple supplement, meaning it doesn’t contain any additional ingredients other than those that make up the capsule. It’s worth noting this is also the only vegan-friendly capsule on our list! Similar to Life Extension, it also only comes in a relatively small 30-serving package. 

In terms of price, ALLMAX falls in between Bulk Supplements and Life Extension. While this isn’t the cheapest capsule-based supplement, it’s still a solid high-quality pick if you want to try HMB.

38.5 EXPERT SCORE

ALLMAX's HMB supplement is a straightforward, vegan-friendly capsule option, offering an effective dose without additional ingredients, making it a solid choice for trying HMB.


Price per 3g of HMB:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per 3g of HMB:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Simple, straightforward formula
  • GMP-Certified and Quality Tested
  • Dosed at 3g per serving

Could be better:

  • Doesn’t contain any additional Vitamin D
  • Capsules may not be as convenient as powder for some

4. Nutricost HMB

Nutricost HMB
  • HMB Form: Capsules
  • Suited for Vegans: No
  • Price per Serving (3g): ~$0.51
  • Servings per Package (3g): 20
  • Recommended By AthletesPaul Maile, Max Tooley, Amari Whiting

Up next is the cheapest capsule-based supplement on our list from Nutricost. Another simple supplement, let’s see how this stacks up to ALLMAX and the 2 powder-based options. 

In terms of dose, Nutricost suggests a very small dose of 2 capsules which contains 1g of HMB. Instead, we recommend a significantly larger dose of 6 capsules to reach 3g of HMB. Even with this significantly larger serving size, Nutricost’s product is still fairly affordable. 

Similar to ALLMAX, Nutricost’s only additional ingredients come in the form of capsule ingredients. With that being said, this product contains gelatin, meaning it is not vegan-friendly. Also, considering the high serving size to reach 3g of HMB, this product only contains 20 servings. 

With this being said, the small amount of servings combined with the low price point make Nutricost ideal for those just looking to try HMB. Each 3g serving will cost you about ~$0.51.

38 EXPERT SCORE

Nutricost's HMB supplement is an economical capsule option, suitable for trying HMB with a larger serving size, although it contains gelatin and offers a limited number of servings per container.


Price per 3g of HMB:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per 3g of HMB:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Most affordable capsule-based supplement on our list
  • GMP-Compliant and Third-Party Tested
  • Basic formula

Could be better:

  • High 6-capsule serving size for an effective dose
  • Not Vegan-Friendly
  • Small amount of 3g doses per package

5. Optimum Nutrition HMB

Optimum Nutrition HMB

Next on our list is an HMB product from one of the most iconic supplement brands of all time, Optimum Nutrition. Overall, while this is a solid, simple HMB product, it’s up to you if it’s worth nearly 3 times as much as some of the other products on our list.

This product is properly dosed at 3g of HMB per serving. This is also split over 3 capsules, which is slightly lower when compared to the other capsule-based supplements we’ve covered so far. 

The only other ingredients in this product are gelatin, and magnesium stearate which make up the capsule. Of course because of the presence of gelatin, this product isn’t suitable for vegans. There are 30 servings per package, which is fairly standard for our list. 

In terms of price, this is easily the most expensive product we’ve covered so far at ~$1.34 per serving. Although Optimum is a solidly established brand, it’s up to you if you’re willing to pay this much for a basic HMB supplement.

37.5 EXPERT SCORE

Optimum Nutrition's HMB supplement, from a top brand, provides a simple dose in 3 capsules with minimal ingredients, albeit at a higher cost than other options on our list.


Price per 3g of HMB:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per 3g of HMB:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Dosed at 3g per serving
  • Comes from a reputable, high-quality brand
  • Simple formula with no unnecessary additives
  • Reasonably sized 3g dose of 3 capsules

Could be better:

  • Not vegan-friendly
  • High price point
VITAMIN D INCLUDED

6. MRM Nutrition HMB

MRM Nutrition HMB

Closing off our list is MRM’s HMB supplement, which is the only option aside from Life Extension to contain a solid amount of Vitamin D. Let’s take a closer look. 

First, keep in mind this supplement is dosed fairly low with only 1g of HMB per capsule. We recommend taking 3 capsules for a more recommended dose. With this higher dose, you’ll also be getting a solid 90% of the recommended DV for Vitamin D.

MRM Nutrition HMB instagram
Photo by @team_myhmb

Beyond the added Vitamin D and a bit of the branched-chain amino acid Leucine, the only extra ingredients are part of the capsule formula. As with most of the capsule-based supplements on our list, there is gelatin in the formula, making this product unsuitable for vegans. This product also has a fairly low amount of servings per package with only 20 full servings in each bottle. 

Although very slightly cheaper than Optimum’s product, MRM is still quite pricey at ~$1.32. Although it may not be an established brand as Optimum, you are arguably getting a more complete supplement for your money with the inclusion of Vitamin D.

36.5 EXPERT SCORE

MRM Nutrition's HMB supplement, with added Vitamin D, suggests a 3-capsule dose for effectiveness, featuring minimal ingredients at a slightly lower cost than Optimum's product.


Price per 3g of HMB:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per 3g of HMB:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Includes Vitamin D
  • Simple, capsule-based formula
  • Includes Leucine as well

Could be better:

  • Doesn’t come from a very well-known brand
  • Not vegan-friendly
  • Low amount of servings per package

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What Is HMB?

HMB stands for Beta-Hydroxy Beta-Methylbutyrate and is most commonly sold in the form of Calcium HMB. HMB is formed in the body when the amino acid Leucine breaks down. Because of its relationship to Leucine which is plentiful in our muscles, it’s thought that HMB may help with strength and muscle mass. 

However, current research on HMB is inconsistent at best, making it difficult to fully recommend this supplement. While there are studies that correlate the use of HMB with increased muscle mass, especially in untrained individuals beginning training.

However, a more complete meta-analysis found that although HMB increases Total Body Mass, it does not necessarily appear to be linked to increases in strength or fat-free mass, or decreases in fat mass. 

Overall, as we’ll be covering more below, there are some cases where HMB supplementation may be beneficial. However, if you’re an experienced lifter, there probably isn’t much reason to use this supplement.

HMB Powder Review

In What Cases Can HMB Be of Some Benefit?

The main reason HMB appears to be beneficial as a supplement is because of its anticatabolic role in the body. Essentially, HMB supplementation appears to help prevent muscle protein breakdown in those who would otherwise be losing muscle mass, such as older people with sarcopenia

Beyond using HMB as a supplementary treatment for certain illnesses and again, are there any cases where it can be used by healthy young people? We believe the 2 cases where HMB may be of some benefit is in the case of suboptimal protein intake, or during periods of significantly increased training volume and intensity. 

✅ Suboptimal Protein Intake

First, likely because HMB has anticatabolic properties, it appears to be beneficial for building fat-free mass when protein intake is suboptimal.

Another meta-analysis on HMB found that the most positive effects from HMB were found in athletes eating low amounts of protein. However, HMB appears to be less effective with higher protein intake. 

Because we know adequate protein intake is one of the main prerequisites for muscle growth, we can assume you’re probably better off eating more protein as opposed to taking HMB.

People with suboptimal protein intake are likely better off using protein powder, with HMB supplementation likely having less total effects on muscle growth than a high-protein diet. 

Snatch Exercise

✅ Significantly Increased Training Volume and Intensity

In one study on HMB’s effects during an “overreaching cycle”, or a period of highly intense training, supplementation was found to help maintain a higher level of performance compared to a placebo.

It’s worth noting this supplement used HMB Free Acid as opposed to Calcium HMB, which may produce slightly different effects.

However, given that HMB appears to have a more significant effect on untrained athletes beginning resistance training, there does appear to be some notable correlation between HMB supplementation and improved performance during periods of especially high stimulus.  

With both this point and the above point about protein, it appears HMB mainly works to improve results in suboptimal training conditions because of its anticatabolic properties.

As a result, those eating and training properly likely won’t see many results from HMB, as they are already maintaining a routine conducive to muscle growth.

Man Taking HMB Capsule

How to Choose the Best HMB Supplement?

If you’ve decided you want to try an HMB supplement, there are a few things you should look for before deciding on any given product. We recommend paying attention to the brand, the dose of HMB, as well as any added nutrients. 

1. Choose a Product From a Well-Known Brand

First, and perhaps most importantly, is to only buy HMB from a trustworthy, well-known brand. Because the supplement industry is full of brands that prioritize profit over quality, we recommend looking for brands that have a longstanding good reputation. 

Not only do well-established brands typically demonstrate better quality through their third-party certifications and quality testing measures, they are often able to offer their products at a better price as well!

2. Consider the Actual Dosage of HMB per Serving

Next, be sure you understand how much HMB you’re getting per serving. Most research uses a 3g dose of HMB per day, although effects have been shown with as little as 1.5g per day. Be sure to double-check the nutrition label to understand how much HMB you’re getting in each serving. 

3. Pay Attention to Added Nutrients

Finally, 2 of the supplements on our list contain added Vitamin D. While this will be beneficial for most people, understand that Vitamin D is dosed rather high in these supplements. As a result, if you’re already supplementing with high doses of Vitamin D, you may want to cease this to ensure you’re not exceeding the UL of 4,000 IU per day. 

Otherwise, especially if you’re not already supplementing with Vitamin D, getting some extra through an HMB supplement will likely be beneficial to your overall health!

HMB Supplement in Bottle

How to Use HMB?

Once you’ve decided on which HMB supplement is right for you, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when using this supplement. Namely, how much to take and when to take it!

1. Take 3g of HMB per Day

First, as mentioned throughout this article, the most-researched dose of HMB is 3g/day. While some studies show positive effects with as low as 1.5g/day, the consensus across research is that 3g/day is the most-researched dose for HMB to have any significant effects on strength and lean body mass.  

2. Split the Total Daily Amount Into 3 Doses of 1g Each

It’s also suggested that HMB should be taken across multiple servings throughout the day to optimize retention in the muscles. It appears that splitting a 3g serving into 3 separate 1g doses is ideal for retention in the muscles. 

Because of the anti-catabolic effects of HMB, splitting into 3 doses may be ideal to maintain more steady plasma levels. So, if you want to get the most out of an HMB supplement, be sure to take it in smaller doses throughout the day!

Female Weightlifting Training

Is HMB Really Worth It?

Overall, based on the conflicting research surrounding the use of HMB, it’s likely unnecessary for most athletes. While it appears to be somehow effective during periods of low protein intake and especially high training volume, neither of these conditions is likely ideal for optimal muscle growth – with or without the use of HMB.

Especially with adequate protein intake – specifically leucine, which helps drive muscle protein synthesis – and a more moderate training regime, HMB’s effects will be minimal at best. 

With that being said, if you’re interested in trying HMB it does appear to be very well tolerated and safe. So, there aren’t any real downsides to trying it out. Although you should temper your expectations, there is some research to suggest it may have a small effect on muscle growth and fat loss. 

While there are likely supplements that will serve you better, if you’re interested in HMB it may be worth a shot. 

HMB Powder for Mass Gain Review

FAQ

Do Bodybuilders Use HMB?

It’s unlikely that most bodybuilders use HMB as part of their supplement stack. With HMB appearing to have the most effect during periods of suboptimal nutrition and training, it’s unlikely that serious bodybuilders would see much benefit from the use of HMB.  

With that being said, there may be some bodybuilders who use HMB as part of their supplement stack, it’s just unlikely it has much of a significant effect. 

Does HMB Work Like Steroids?

No, at best HMB appears to have moderate effects on muscle mass, mainly in periods of low protein intake and very high training volume. Steroids on the other hand have the power to drastically change someone’s physique and strength in a matter of weeks, along with many very serious health risks. 

Understand that any supplement brand claiming their product has the properties of a “natural steroid” is simply lying to you as a marketing tactic. Remember, especially in the supplement industry, if something seems too good to be true – it probably is. 

Is It Safe to Take HMB Every Day?

Yes, HMB does appear to be very well tolerated in the majority of people. While it doesn’t appear to be especially effective in building muscle or strength, it is considered very safe. With that being said, if you’re concerned about the potential side effects of HMB, consult with your doctor before beginning use. 

Conclusion

Overall, considering all the evidence on HMB for muscle growth, it’s difficult to recommend for experienced lifters who already have their diet and training dialed in. While it does appear to be most beneficial for those with suboptimal protein intake training with especially high volume, these people are likely better off fixing their diet and exercise routine rather than relying on HMB. 

With that being said, HMB does appear to be completely safe, so there’s no real downside to trying it out. Just keep in mind that any potential effects will likely be minimal at best. 

If you want to give HMB a try, we recommend buying from a high-quality, reputable brand like BULKSUPPLEMENTS.

Have you ever tried an HMB supplement for bodybuilding? Did you learn anything new about HMB from this article? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References

  1. The Nutrition Source, “Vitamin D,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Heatlh https://www.hsph.harvard.edu /nutritionsource/vitamin-d/ (Accessed Nov. 29)
  2. Department of Surgery, “Hydroxymethyl Butyrate (HMB)” NYU Grossman School of Medicine, https://froemkelab.med.nyu.edu /surgery/content?ChunkIID=21551 (Accessed Nov. 29)
  3. Hickson M. Nutritional interventions in sarcopenia: a critical review. Proc Nutr Soc. Nov;74(4):378-86. (2015). 
  4. Chad M. Kerksick, et. al, “ISSN exercise & sports nutrition review update: research & recommendations” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 
  5. Volume 15, - Issue 1 Article 38 (2018).
  6. Josephine S Jakubowski, et. al, “Supplementation with the Leucine Metabolite β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) does not Improve Resistance Exercise-Induced Changes in Body Composition or Strength in Young Subjects: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” Nutrients, May 23;12(5):1523. (2020).
  7. Giulia Guerrini, et. al, “HMB,” Examine.com https://examine.com/ supplements/hmb/ (Accessed Nov. 29)
  8. Wilson JM, et. al, “The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Eur J Appl Physiol. Jun;114(6):1217-27. (2014).
  9. Matthew D Vulovich, et. al, “β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) kinetics and the influence of glucose ingestion in humans,” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Volume 12, Issue 11, November, Pages 631-639 (2001).

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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.

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Camila Parente Santos

Author: Camila Parente Santos
Sports Nutritionist

Experience: 7 years

Camila has worked as a Nutritionist for 7 years. In addition to being a nutritionist, she is an amateur weightlifting athlete for 2 years. Camila has experience at Flamengo’s football base and in a food supplement company and currently provides services at a clinic. At the moment she is coursing a postgraduate study in Sports Nutrition.

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Jacek Szymanowski

Reviewed by: Jacek Szymanowski

Certified Nutritionist,
M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology
Performance architect
,
Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Experience: 20 years

With over 30 years of fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, and expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, Jacek offers a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology, Jacek remains at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that his coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.

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