Proteins, often hailed as the building blocks of life, play a crucial role in maintaining and building muscle mass. While our bodies constantly metabolize proteins for repair and growth, achieving the right balance of protein synthesis and breakdown is crucial, especially as we age or encounter external stressors like illness, injury, or intense physical activity. However, simply increasing protein intake is not always the straightforward answer to combat muscle loss or promote muscle health. This is where myHMB® stands out, acting as an ideal partner to protein, particularly in the functional food and beverages markets.
The Protein Conundrum: Proteins are made up of amino acids, with some termed as “essential” since our body cannot produce them. These essential amino acids must be obtained through diet, and while our bodies do not store them, a constant daily intake is necessary. The challenge lies in the body's ability to utilize these amino acids for protein synthesis efficiently. Factors such as age and protein quality can impair this process, making it difficult to maintain muscle mass through protein intake alone. The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, a guideline which some researchers argue may not suffice for all adults.1 Nonetheless, multiple clinical trials have shown that exceeding this recommended amount does not necessarily result in improved muscle mass or strength, especially in older demographics.2
Enter myHMB®: Muscle is a dynamic tissue, constantly undergoing cycles of breakdown and rebuilding. myHMB®, a metabolite of the essential amino acid leucine, plays a critical role in this process. It helps optimize protein performance by activating key protein synthesis pathways and protecting against excessive protein breakdown. This ensures that the amino acids and proteins consumed are utilized effectively, maximizing their benefits for overall muscle health.3
Achieving an Effective HMB Level: Our bodies naturally produce HMB through the metabolism of leucine, which is found in virtually all proteins. However, the conversion rate is low, with only 5% of dietary leucine transforming into HMB. To achieve an effective amount of HMB through protein alone would require an impractical intake of protein or leucine. Direct supplementation with myHMB® becomes a practical and efficient solution, with a daily intake of 3 grams proven to maintain and improve muscle health.
myHMB® in Functional Foods and Beverages: The functional food and beverages market is rapidly growing, as consumers seek convenient ways to support their health and wellness goals. Integrating myHMB® into these products provides an innovative avenue to address muscle health and protein utilization. HMB has shown remarkable stability across various food processing methods, including extrusion, pasteurization, and heat processing. It is compatible with numerous food ingredients, making it a versatile addition to different product types. From protein bars to ready-to-drink beverages, myHMB® can be seamlessly integrated.
myHMB® emerges as an ideal partner for protein in the functional food and beverages arena, addressing the challenges of muscle loss and protein utilization. Its proven efficacy, stability across processing methods, and versatility in formulation make it a valuable ingredient for brands looking to innovate and meet the growing consumer demand for products that support muscle health. By harnessing the power of myHMB®, the functional food and beverage industry can contribute significantly to improving muscle health, especially in middle-aged and older adults, paving the way for a future where maintaining muscle mass and function is as convenient as enjoying a snack or drink.
- Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2005.
- Mittendorfer B, Klein S, Fontana L. A word of caution against excessive protein intake. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2020;16(1):59-66. doi:10.1038/s41574-019-0274-7
- Rittig N, Bach E, Thomsen HH, et al. Anabolic effects of leucine-rich whey protein, carbohydrate, and soy protein with and without β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) during fasting-induced catabolism: A human randomized crossover trial. Clin Nutr. 2017 Jun;36(3):697-705. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.05.004.