The Effects of Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate on Body Composition in Trained MMA Fighters

Main Article Content

Jose Rojas
Tobin Silver
Jose Antonio
Corey Peacock


HMB, MMA, Weight Cut, Rapid Weight Loss, Lean Body Mass


Introduction: Nutrition plays an important role for mixed martial art (MMA) athletes preparing for competition. Additionally, nutritional supplements are widely used by athletes preparing for competition. Among the various nutritional supplements used by MMA athletes, β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) is one supplement that may have positive effects on body composition during a fight camp.

Methods: The current study examined 16 healthy, male professional MMA fighters (29.0±3.5 yrs.; 178.5± 7.8 cm). Participants completed a randomized, double-blinded, two group [HMB versus Placebo (Cellulose)] by two-time point [Pre-, Post-], mixed study. The study consisted of subjects supplementing HMB (3g daily) or placebo in conjunction with MMA training over a 6-week period. Supplementation was consumed after each morning training session and first thing in the morning on non-training days. Body composition was assessed via InBody770® (InBody UK, United Kingdom) for both pre- and post-intervention. 

Results: There were no significant (p = 0.471) differences between HMB and Placebo (Table 2) following the 6-weeks of training for weight (HMB Pre- 84.6±10.8kg, Post- 84.1±11.6kg; Placebo Pre- 87.9±14.2kg, Post- 87.9±13.5kg). There were also no significant (p = 0.095) differences for skeletal muscle mass (SMM) (HMB Pre- 42.3±5.4kg, Post- 41.8±5.1kg; Placebo Pre- 44.2±9.0kg, Post- 44.6±8.8kg). No significant (p = 0.655) differences existed for fat mass (HMB Pre- 11.3±2.5kg, Post- 11.2±3.8kg; Placebo Pre- 11.0±4.9, Post- 11.2±3.6). Lastly, no differences (p = 0.641) existed for body fat % (HMB Pre- 13.3±2.5%, Post- 13.2±3.4%; Placebo Pre- 12.8±6.4%, Post- 12.3±6.6%).

Conclusion: Based on the results, the use of HMB to improve body composition in trained MMA fighters is not supported. There was also no significant difference in skeletal muscle mass during the six weeks. 

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