Effect of beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate on the onset of blood lactate accumulation and V(O)(2) peak in endurance-trained cyclists

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Vukovich, Matthew D.
Dreifort, Geri D.

Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association. 2001 Nov; 15(4): 491-7.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation on maximal oxygen consumption (.V(O)(2)peak) and the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) in endurance-trained cyclists. Eight cyclists randomly (double blind) completed 3 2-week supplementation periods (HMB, 3g.day(-1); leucine [LEU], 3g.day(-1); placebo [CON], 3g.day(-1)) followed by a 2-week washout period. Testing consisted of a graded cycle ergometry test to measure .V(O)(2)peak and OBLA, the .V(O)(2) at 2 mM blood lactate. .V(O)(2)peak was unaffected by HMB (4.0 +/- 1.4%), LEU (-1.9 +/- 1.3%), and CON (-2.6 +/- 2.6%). HMB resulted in a greater time to reach .V(O)(2)peak, whereas LEU and CON did not affect this time (HMB, 3.6 +/- 1.5 min, LEU, -1.2 +/- 1.5 min; CON, -3.6 +/- 3.5 min). Lactate accumulation peak was unaffected by supplementation (HMB, 8.1 +/- 1.1 mM; LEU, 6.2 +/- 0.8 mM; CON, 7.5 +/- 1.3 mM). OBLA increased with HMB (9.1 +/- 2.4%) and LEU (2.1 +/- 1.5%), but not in the CON trial (0.75 +/- 2.1%). Blood glucose was significantly greater during the HMB trial compared with the LEU trial. It is concluded that HMB supplementation may have positive affects on performance by increasing the onset of blood lactate accumulation; however, the mechanism is unknown.

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