Effects of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate free acid and cold water immersion on post-exercise markers of muscle damage

Adam M. Gonzalez, Jeffrey R. Stout, Adam R. Jajtner, Jeremy R. Townsend, Adam J. Wells, Kyle S. Beyer, Carleigh H. Boone, Gabriel J. Pruna, Gerald T. Mangine, Tyler M. Scanlon, Jonathan D. Bohner, Leonardo P. Oliveira, Maren S. Fragala, Jay R. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the current study was to examine the effects of cold water immersion (CWI) with and without the free acid form of β-hydroxy-β- methylbutyrate (HMB-FA) on markers of muscle damage following acute lower body resistance exercise. Forty recreationally resistance-trained men (22.3 ± 2.4 years) were randomly divided into one of the four groups: (1) Placebo (PL); (2) HMB-FA; (3) HMB-FA-CWI; (4) PL-CWI. HMB-FA groups ingested 3 g day -1 and CWI groups submersed their lower body into 10-12°C water for 10-min post-exercise. No differences between groups were observed for CK; however, PL-CWI had significantly greater elevations in myoglobin 30-min post-exercise compared to HMB-FA (p = 0.009) and PL (p = 0.005), and HMB-FA-CWI was significantly greater than HMB-FA (p = 0.046) and PL (p = 0.028). No differences between groups were observed for IL-6 and IL-10, although CRP was significantly greater 24-h post-exercise for PL-CWI compared to HMB-FA-CWI (p = 0.02) and HMB-FA (p = 0.046). Only HMB-FA-CWI showed significantly (p = 0.02) greater improvements in average power per repetition. CWI appeared to elevate myoglobin compared to other groups, while HMB-FA may have attenuated the increase in CRP when combined with CWI. Nevertheless, HMB-FA or CWI treatments did not appear to provide benefit over PL for recovery. Instead, the combination of CWI and HMB-FA improved performance recovery compared to other groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1501-1511
Number of pages11
JournalAmino Acids
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • C-reactive protein
  • Cryotherapy
  • Cytokines
  • HMB
  • Myoglobin
  • Recovery

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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