After my first care package from XBrain I asked them for some advice. We had a chat about my needs as an athlete and they came back with some suggestions. Now, when I first contacted XBrain it was because they had Onnit products and I was keen to get a sponsor that would allow me access to these products. Naturally XBrain were keen for me to try their own brand so when they suggested HMB ad ZM-B6 I was a bit curious. I have been taking both for a couple of months now and I have noticed some benefits so I felt it was time for a review.
So during training (especially Jiu Jitsu), muscles get damaged, causing muscle protein to break down. I read that HMB, the attractively named hydroxyl beta methyl butyrate, a metabolite of leucine (a branched-chain amino acid), helps prevent protein breakdown. I knew that taking protein and amino acids as part of your supplement regime can help replace lost protein, and build more. Since Australia I have been taking BCAA's after every session, on the recommendation of a team mate (Shout out to Jimmy!). I REALLY noticed the difference from taking BCAA's. I found that my muscles were less sore and I got less little niggling muscle injuries.
According to various sources the presence of HMB signals muscle cells to preserve your existing muscle, thereby promoting additional muscle growth and faster muscle development and recovery.
I have been taking two HMB tablets before every training session for over a month, I train between 5 and 6 times a week. To my shame I have not been tracking muscle growth, which I should. However anecdotally my wife has pointed out that I have been getting bigger and a couple of training mates have mentioned that I seem stronger.
Mostly I have noticed that I am less fatigued and, barring stupid wrist injuries, I feel pretty strong. This is all without actually increasing my training or particularly working on strength and conditioning. In the run up to the British Open in May it should be interesting to see what happens as I push myself a bit harder but at the moment it is a tick for HMB.
I don't know if it is because I am a bit older or if it is just hereditary but I get restless legs. It's a REAL pain, especially at night. So I was already taking a magnesium supplement which is one of the possible ways of relieving RLS. Naturally I was pretty happy to be trying out a supplement that contained this mineral.
Zinc I knew was something that helps with your immune system, which is always good, and B6 I found out helps with the conversion of glycogen to glucose. Lost? Well it seems that glucose (one of the many sugar molecules - sucrose, fructose, lactose... yup all sugars!) is not stored in the body per se. Instead it is converted to glycogen and stored. Then when the energy in glucose is needed, mostly through aerobic or anaerobic respiration (I'm rapidly getting out of my depth), B6 helps with the conversion. Ok, once again, I am not a nutritionist, I am just curious about how things can help me improve myself feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
First and foremost I have had far fewer attacks of restless legs. Which is great. Also my energy levels are up significantly during training. Again I don't have a specific measure but I do feel like I have more energy and someone asked me what my wife was feeding me. I struggle to meaningfully measure energy however I am trying a new measurement using Heart Rate Variability (HRV) that I am hoping might give me a bit more insight. I'll let you know how that goes.
Taste: N/A (They are both pills...)
Ease of Use: 10/10
NB. One of my training partners has decided to try out these supplements so I am going to find out how he fares with them.