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The Science Behind It: Clear Muscle

If you’re serious about your training and getting the best muscle-building and strength results, you’ve probably got a tub of whey protein and a container of creatine in your kitchen cupboard at home. With products like these, you’re off to a great start, as both whey protein and creatine have been extensively researched over the last two decades and they’ve been shown to be very effective supplements when it comes to supporting serious muscle gains.
MuscleTech Staff
MuscleTech Staff

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If you’re serious about your training and getting the best muscle-building and strength results, you’ve probably got a tub of whey protein and a container of creatine in your kitchen cupboard at home. With products like these, you’re off to a great start, as both whey protein and creatine have been extensively researched over the last two decades and they’ve been shown to be very effective supplements when it comes to supporting serious muscle gains. You may have even tried amino acid products such as branched-chain amino acids or essential amino acids to give you an added edge in the gym. Nevertheless, did you know that there’s another product that you should definitely try if you haven’t done so already. It’s called CLEAR MUSCLE and it delivers a key ingredient known as BetaTOR® HMB-Free Acid.  CLEAR MUSCLE is scientifically engineered to help maximize muscle recovery, from your tough workouts, which can lead to incredible gains in strength, performance, and lean mass with hard training.

WHAT IS HMB?

HMB stands for beta‑hydroxy‑beta‑methyl-butyrate, which is a metabolite or break-down product of the amino acid L-leucine. Scientific research has shown that of the three branched-chain amino acids (i.e., L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine), it’s L-leucine that turns on the key muscle-building switch in the body called mTOR (short for mechanistic target of rapamycin, which is just a fancy name for the key muscle-building switch in the body).1,2 So, it stands to reason that a metabolite of L-leucine could also hold promising results for your gains. Interestingly, HMB can be found naturally in small quantities in grapefruit, alfalfa, and even catfish.3 HMB is also naturally synthesized in the human body from the L-leucine in the protein we eat and is thought to be involved in muscle protein synthesis.4 As such, many athletes and bodybuilders around the world have been using it as a dietary supplement to support muscle recovery and enhance performance. In fact, HMB has been around in the sports nutrition industry for many years, and it was first studied way back in 1996 in humans as a potential muscle builder. Since its introduction, many studies have shown HMB to have promising muscle-recovery benefits.4 Even though HMB is naturally made in the body from the leucine you get in the protein you eat, for you to get enough HMB naturally made in your body to equal a full daily dose of HMB as found in CLEAR MUSCLE (i.e., 3 grams of HMB-Free Acid per day), you’d have to consume enormous amounts of protein. Indeed, as emphasized in the International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand on HMB, it is estimated you’d need to consume 600 grams of whey protein to yield 3 grams of HMB naturally.4 As you can clearly see, that’s just not practical. That is why CLEAR MUSCLE is the best and most convenient way to get a clinically validated dose of HMB.

WHAT IS BetaTOR® HMB-FREE ACID IN CLEAR MUSCLE?

Originally when HMB was first released to the supplement industry over two decades ago it was in the form of a white powdery substance you had to mix in water, just like creatine monohydrate. This white crystalline powder comprises a salt whereby HMB is bound to calcium, forming a calcium-salt of HMB (HMB-Ca). To this day the powder format continues to be a popular delivery method found in some recovery powder-based supplements. However, in a quest to bring to market the next-generation format of HMB, the researchers at Team MuscleTech headquarters have been working tirelessly with the key supplier of HMB to formulate a product that delivers a novel form of HMB, called HMB-Free Acid (HMB-FA), which goes by the brand name BetaTOR®. This is a newer, more innovative form of HMB that’s not bound to calcium as a salt. Rather BetaTOR® is the pure, free acid form of HMB, and since it is not bound to any calcium, it is inherently in a liquid state. Therefore, it can be developed into products that are delivered in rapid liquid-capsules or liquid softgel-capsules for optimal results, as in the current products, CLEAR MUSCLE and CLEAR MUSCLE NEXT GEN, respectively.

HMB-FREE ACID MORE BIOAVAILABLE AND FASTER DELIVERY THAN TRADITIONAL HMB-CALCIUM POWDER

One benefit of this liquid form of HMB-FA is that research shows superior bioavailability with faster uptake into the body than HMB in the powdered format. This was scientifically verified, in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, where researchers compared the absorption of HMB-FA to regular HMB-Ca.5 They did this by giving test subjects a serving of HMB-FA or a serving of HMB-Ca, and then measured the absorption levels of HMB in the blood after each serving over a three-hour period. Astonishingly, the results showed that the liquid HMB-FA had significantly better absorption compared to HMB-Ca. The researchers showed that there was essentially a doubling of peak blood plasma levels in one-fourth the time (30 vs. 120 minutes) when subjects took the HMB-FA compared with when given HMB-Ca. The researchers concluded that HMB-FA resulted in quicker and greater plasma concentrations and improved bioavailability to tissues in the body.5 See Figure 1. (below) which shows the HMB levels in the blood plasma after a single serving of either HMB-FA vs. HMB-Ca. Notice how the HMB blood plasma concentration peaks faster (within 30 minutes) for the HMB-FA whereas it takes up to two hours for levels to reach maximum for the HMB-Ca serving. You can clearly see the benefits of delivering HMB in the form of a rapid dispersion liquid free acid as found in CLEAR MUSCLE. CLEAR MUSCLE is formulated to be taken 3 times per day, with each serving delivering 1 gram of HMB-FA. On your workout days you take 1 serving 30 minutes before you train, so that within 30 minutes you’ll reach peak plasma levels in your body, just in time for the HMB-FA to go to work during your training.

FIGURE 1. ABSORPTION PROFILE FOR HMB-FA vs. HMB-Ca.

CLEAR MUSCLE – OPTIMIZES MUSCLE RECOVERY

Besides providing a superior absorption profile with better bioavailability than regular HMB-Ca, BetaTOR® HMB-FA as found in CLEAR MUSCLE has many benefits to professional athletes and everyday trainers alike. This includes helping your muscles recover after your hard workouts, as well as facilitating more muscle and strength gains over time, with ongoing use as part of your training and supplement regimen. Whereas a supplement like creatine works to promote muscular energy to support your lifting ability and strength in the gym, HMB-FA works to facilitate optimum recovery from your training by supporting your muscles’ adaptive response to your workouts.4 In fact, in a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers investigated the effects of HMB-FA supplementation on muscle damage in male resistance trained athletes, as well as the effects on perceived recovery following  high-volume resistance training, centered around heavy compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, and bench press.6 The scientists found that HMB-FA supplementation significantly blunted the rise in creatine kinase levels (a marker of muscle damage) and protein breakdown following a workout compared to the placebo group. Moreover, HMB-FA improved the subjects’ perceived recovery score, suggesting that HMB-FA enhanced recovery.6 This means that while taking CLEAR MUSCLE, you’ll be able to get back to your training sooner after your workouts, as you improve recovery.

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CLEAR MUSCLE UNIQUE DUAL ACTION FORMULA – DECREASE MUSCLE PROTEIN BREAKDOWN WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY INCREASING MUSCLE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS

The key ingredient BetaTOR® HMB-FA in CLEAR MUSCLE has a unique mechanism of action. It works by activating the muscle-building machinery within the muscle cells that directly stimulates protein synthesis and growth, known as the mTOR pathway (mechanistic target of rapamycin). This makes it somewhat like L-leucine, which has also been shown to turn on mTOR and promote muscle growth.7 Of course, this isn’t too surprising, as HMB is a metabolite of L-leucine, after all. However, what’s special about HMB is that not only does it turn on muscle protein synthesis, furthermore it also has the ability to simultaneously help prevent muscle protein breakdown at the molecular level. It does this by attenuating the activity of the key muscle breakdown pathway known as the ubiquitin proteosome proteolytic pathway.7 In fact, in one clinical study on HMB-FA published in The Journal of Physiology, researchers administered to healthy recreationally active male subjects the amount of HMB-FA as found in approximately a full daily serving of CLEAR MUSCLE. Then they used an elaborate analytical tracer method, to be able to analyze the acute effects of HMB-FA on muscle anabolism and catabolism. Upon analysis of the results, the researchers noted that the HMB-FA was able to increase protein synthesis by 70% and reduced muscle breakdown by nearly 58%.7

As an analogy if you think of your muscles as a kitchen sink, the level of water in the sink (analogous to the level of muscle protein in your muscles) is governed by two processes that are continuously happening at the same time. Firstly, muscle anabolic growth processes (analogous to a faucet pouring water into the sink), and secondly, muscle catabolic breakdown processes (analogous to the drain in the sink). You can think of HMB’s action as turning on the faucet with more force, while at the same time helping to block the drain of the sink. The net effect of this process results in more water entering the sink than being drained, causing the level of water in the sink to rise. Of course, in your muscles this results in a net accumulation of myofibrillar protein and not water per se. This triggers some serious gains in size and strength of your muscles, especially if you train extra hard.

FIGURE 2. VISUAL ANALOGY OF THE MECHANISM OF ACTION OF BETATOR® HMB-FA

This dual action ultimately also contributes to some major strength and lean muscle gains so long as you consume enough protein to act as building blocks for muscle. This was validated in the same study mentioned above, published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.6 In this study researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial where they gave one group of well-trained male athletes the HMB-FA found in CLEAR MUSCLE while another second group received a placebo. Both groups participated in a hardcore 12-week training regimen consisting of 3 to 5 days of weightlifting per week. At the end of the study, the results were staggering – subjects using the HMB-FA gained 16.3 lbs. of muscle in 12 weeks, whereas the placebo group gained 4.6 lbs. of muscle. (See FIGURE 3.)

These results exceed the lean muscle gains that are typically seen in research conducted on protein, creatine, branched-chain amino acids, or any other recent performance-enhancing supplement. This is not only a testament to the power of HMB-FA as found in CLEAR MUSCLE, but also attributable to the intensity of the training regimen the subjects followed.  In fact, the training program was designed to push the human body as far as it can go in terms of training intensity, to capitalize on the recovery boosting effects of HMB-FA. In other words, there are very few studies out there where the study subjects were encouraged to push themselves to that level of intensity while using a supplement. While the HMB-FA group experienced incredible results, even the placebo group, who trained with maximum intensity and consumed adequate protein gained 4.6 lbs. of muscle, which is impressive in and of itself. This just goes to show that HMB-FA results are commensurate or proportional to how hard you train in the gym. The harder you train, it seems the more you can capitalize on the effectiveness of HMB-FA and reap the muscle-building and strength benefits. In fact, the subjects in the same 12-week study who were on HMB-FA, got significantly stronger when tested on maximum weight lifted on the bench press, deadlift, and squat. Their combined strength increased by over 170 lbs. from the initial testing 12 weeks earlier, which was significantly more than the placebo group who gained 55.8 lbs. on their combination lift.6 (See FIGURE 3.)

Figure 3. Muscle & Strength Gains on HMB-FA

CLEAR MUSCLE SUPPORTS GAINS IN POTENTIAL ATHLETIC CAPACITY – PEAK POWER & JUMP POWER

Not only did the subjects in the 12-week study gain a significant amount of lean body mass and strength while using HMB-FA with their rigorous training program, compared to the placebo group, they also significantly improved other parameters associated with athletic capacity.

In the 12-week study, researchers measured power using a modified Wingate peak power cycling test as well as through the vertical jump test.  Over the 12-week study, HMB-FA supplementation resulted in an 18% increase in Wingate power compared with only a 12% increase in placebo-supplemented participants.  Furthermore, HMB-FA supplementation also increased Vertical Jump power by 19% while placebo-supplemented participants only saw a 12% increase.6 Vertical Jump power is a measure of the explosive power of muscle contraction. So as an athlete training with weights, you can imagine how improving both cycling power and jump power could translate to improved muscle performance in your game.

CLEAR MUSCLE SUPPORTS AEROBIC TRAINING

With results this promising, and almost hard to believe, you can bet your bottom dollar that the original HMB-FA research has garnered the attention of others in the scientific and athletic communities. As a result of the interest by many in the field of sports nutrition, over the years many more studies on HMB-FA have been conducted and published in several prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals and it’s worthy to note that the results of the new research have corroborated the original studies on HMB-FA. In fact, to date there are over a dozen clinical studies published attesting to the muscle recovery and performance enhancing effects of HMB-FA, and the science even shows that there’s other benefits to using this amazing ingredient, including supporting aerobic training. For example, in a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, active college-aged men and women on HMB-FA during a 4-week period significantly improved markers of aerobic fitness when doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) using cycling intervals, compared to subjects using a placebo. This study supports the use of HIIT in combination with HMB-FA to improve aerobic fitness in college age men and women. The researchers concluded that their data suggest that the addition of HMB-FA to training may result in greater changes in VO2peak and Ventilatory Threshold than HIIT alone.8

CLEAR MUSCLE MILITARY GRADE PERFORMANCE

HMB-FA has also been put to the test by actual military soldiers in a clinical study published in the journal, Nutrition Research. In this trial, researchers studied two groups of elite male combat soldiers who were put through the wringer of rigorous military training, with one group taking HMB-FA and the other group taking a placebo over a period of 23 days. During the final week of supplementation, soldiers participated in extreme physical training, which included night navigation of 6 to 8 hours across difficult terrain carrying heavy loads combined with sleep deprivation. In summary, the researchers noted that the results of their study provides evidence that HMB-FA supplementation may attenuate TNF-alpha levels in the blood (a biochemical marker associated with muscle breakdown) in response to high intense military training, and even help maintain muscle quality in combat soldiers.9

 CONCLUSION CLEAR MUSCLE IS THE CLEAR CHOICE FOR ATHLETES AND TRAINERS

While HMB powder has been around in the sports nutrition industry now for over two decades, with countless users around the world benefiting from the muscle recovery power of every serving, Team MuscleTech has worked with the key supplier of the compound to develop CLEAR MUSCLE, a novel delivery format comprising BetaTOR® HMB- REE ACID. BetaTOR® HMB-FA is backed by over a dozen clinical trials, which demonstrate increased bioavailability and absorption leading to improvements in muscle recovery from heavy training. This has been shown to trigger some serious gains in lean body mass and strength, as well as improvements in muscle power and performance. Athletes who’ve supplemented with BetaTOR® HMB-FA have reported improvements in perceived recovery.6,11 This means that athletes felt like they could get back into the gym or back to their training faster using HMB-FA. Finally, HMB-FA has been shown to support aerobic training and it’s been put to the test by combat soldiers and been shown to improve quality of muscle under grueling military training.8,9 As time goes on you can be certain that more studies will be conducted on HMB-FA to add to the burgeoning list of studies testifying to the effectiveness of the key ingredient in CLEAR MUSCLE. But you don’t have to wait. Get your hands on some CLEAR MUSCLE today and put it to the test yourself. Because seeing is believing, and you’ve definitely got to try it to experience the power for yourself.

REFERENCES:

1. Greiwe et al., 2001.  American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism 281(3):E466-71.

2.    Kimball & Jefferson., 2001. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care.

   4(1):39-43.

3. Szcześniak et al., 2015. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition. 99(3):405-17 

4. Wilson et al., 2013. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.10:6

5. Fuller et al., 2011. British Journal of Nutrition. 105(3):367-72.

6. Wilson et al., 2014. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 114:1217–1227.

7. Wilkinson et al., 2013.  The Journal of Physiology. 591(11): 2911–2923.

8. Robinson et al., 2014. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 11:16.

9. Hoffman et al. 2016. Nutrition Research. 36(6):553-63.

10.  Townsend et al., 2013. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2013; 115(8):1173-82.

11.  Wilson et al., 2013. British Journal of Nutrition. 110(3):538-44.

12.  Gonzalez et al., 2014. Amino Acids. 46(6):1501-11.

13.  Gonzalez et al., 2014. American Journal of Physiology Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 306(7):R483-9.

14.  Fuller et al., 2015. British Journal of Nutrition. 114:1403–1409.

15.  Townsend et al., 2015. International Journal of Endocrinology. 856708.

16.  Lowery et al., 2016. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 30(7):1843-54

17.  Correia et al. 2018. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 43(7):691-696.