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HMB stands for beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate and KIC for alpha-ketoisocaproate. Both are derivatives of the essential amino acid leucine. HMB has been found in some studies to be anti-catabolic and lead to increases in lean body mass. KIC has also been shown to be anti-catabolic in several different types of catabolic clinical states. The combination of both HMB and KIC on signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle soreness was investigated in a recent study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Healthy, non-weight trained men performed a bout of heavy resistance training designed to cause muscle damage on two separate occasions. Two weeks prior to the bout of resistance exercise, subjects ingested 3 g HMB and 0.3 g KIC per day or a placebo. The workout resulted in significant muscle soreness and markers of damage including strength loss and elevated levels of damage markers (creatine kinase) in the blood. Supplementation with HMB and KIC resulted in a lower creatine kinase response, less strength loss, less swelling, and less delayed muscle soreness compared to placebo. The results provide evidence that HMB and KIC can reduce the severity of exercise-induced muscle damage in untrained men.

van Someren K, Edwards AJ, Howatson G. Supplementation with B-methylbutyrate (HMB) and a-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC) reduces signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage in man. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 5:4, 2005.