Whether you should take HMB with nitric oxide is not something that has been studied scientifically. As such, you may want to take the “better safe than sorry” approach and avoid taking these two supplements together.
A question that you should also be asking is whether you should be taking HMB or nitric oxide at all.
Because there is so much hype in the supplement industry, it can be difficult to determine whether or not a specific product is actually worth taking.
You will find that in many cases, there are a lot of claims made about the benefits of certain compounds, ingredients and supplements that can’t be proved scientifically.
The question is, does HMB or nitric oxide stand up to the claims made about them?
What is HMB?
According to documents filed with the FDA, HMB is ß-hydroxy-ß-methylbutyrate. Of course, to most people, this doesn’t really mean much. This is the scientific terminology for HMB.
In more general terms, HMB is the byproduct of leucine, which is an amino acid. HMB is a natural component in the human body that is derived from food as well as produced naturally from leucine.
Because leucine is created in the body from the foods that you eat, it is considered a non essential amino acid. It is not usually necessary for most people to supplement their diets with leucine or HMB.
You will find that every supplement manufacturer will claim that HMB is a heavily studied ingredient and that it has been proven to provide numerous benefits.
What you don’t see is that the majority of the studies conducted on HMB were done by the person who claims to have discovered it, Steven Nissen, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Steven Nissen is also the founder of Metabolic Technologies, Inc. (MCI), which is the facility that conducted most of the studies on HMB. Because the person who owns the patents on HMB conducted the HMB studies, it is important to judge the results of those studies accordingly.
It is important to note that despite the less than ideal studies, many people who take HMB experience a benefit.
These benefits can include:
- Protein longevity in the body
- Increased endurance
- Increased strength
- Ability to build more muscle
- Decreased healing time between workouts
- Lower blood pressure
So far, there have been no reported adverse affect with the use of HMB according to WebMD. However, it is important to note that the few studies conducted on HMB are short term, lasting no more than 8 weeks in length. There is no information regarding long term use of HMB.
What is nitric oxide?
Nitric oxide, or NO as it is often called, as the name suggests, is one part nitrogen and one part oxygen. It is found naturally in the human body but is also commonly included in supplements. NO is used in the human body to transmit messages among cells.
In addition, NO helps to signal the need for blood flow throughout the body. In terms of bodybuilding, NO is used to generate more blood flow during a workout. What this does is increase pump size. There doesn’t appear to be any other benefit when working out other than this temporary one.
According to WebMD, taking NO may help women to stay fertile longer. In addition, it may also help athletes who experience reduced blood flow to get better circulation during their workouts, which offers an overall health benefit.
According to supplement manufacturers, nitric oxide also provides:
- Increased muscle density
- Expands blood vessels
- Increases muscle endurance
- Burns fat
- Increases mental focus
There is some merit to the idea that mental focus is increased because increasing blood flow does have an impact on your ability to think clearly.
Should I be taking HMB or nitric oxide?
There is little proof supporting the use of HMB from valid sources, but there is anecdotal evidence showing the use of HMB for bodybuilders. As there is no evidence of side effects or negative impact on the health, there is certainly no reason that you shouldn’t give HMB a try.
As for nitric oxide, there are some studies that show some benefits to using NO, especially for people with reduce circulation. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies show that nitric oxide derived from arginine reduces blood pressure. This may mean that taking NO can reduce blood pressure as well.
As for the benefits of NO for weightlifters, there is no long term data showing the benefits of NO other than how it makes you feel during your workout. Many weightlifters love this benefit; whether this is a good supplement for you is really a personal decision.