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Looking for an effective creatine supplement, but know which one to buy?
Transparent Labs claims that their Creatine HMB supplement contains ingredients at clinically effective dosages and combines creatine monohydrate and β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HBM) is capable of enhancing strength, increase endurance, decrease fat mass, and prevent lean muscle loss.
However, is that really the case? To understand whether or not their supplement is beneficial and optimal for training, we have looked at the ingredients and dosages alongside the respective scientific literature to figure out if their supplement truly does what it claims.
Feel free to read the full review on Creatine HMB if you want to learn more about it.
Is Transparent Labs Legitimate?
Transparent Labs is a Utah-based supplement company and as the name suggests, they’re really invested in making fully transparent products.
This essentially means that Transparent Labs does not use proprietary blends and they even offer certificates of analysis and composition on their site.
It is a highly trustworthy brand, not only because they, like most brands, third-party test their products to ensure the content within their supplements is safe and effective, but because they are quite scientific-driven when it comes to choosing the ingredients (and dosages) to include in their products.
Creatine HMB Ingredients
Creatine HMB comes with 30 servings per container, so once you get a single canister, you get enough servings for one month.
One scoop – yes, Creatine HMB includes a scoop – contains 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, 2 grams of B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate, and 5 micrograms of Bioperine, which is black pepper extract.
Creatine Monohydrate (Creatine)
Creatine is a natural molecule found in our body that is naturally used during exercise, and it didn’t take long before research discovered it to be an effective performance-enhancing compound.
According to a large number of studies, it appears that creatine supplementation increases muscle availability of creatine and phosphocreatine and can acutely increase exercise capacity and training adaptations in adolescents, young adults, and older individuals. (Kreider et al., 2017)
Creatine supplementation has been shown to positively impact performance across a range of sports, especially in short-period, intermittent/recurrent high-intensity activities. There is evidence that creatine can increase power, repeated sprinting ability, maximal strength, and muscle mass. (Dorrel et al., 2016) (Kreider et al., 2017)
|Potential benefits of creatine supplementation in athletes.|
There is a consensus that creatine is an effective nutritional aid for athletes and exercisers alike.
For older adults as well, creatine supplementation in conjunction with resistance training appears to have similar benefits; resulting in greater increases in muscle mass, which translates into greater strength of both the upper and lower body. (Chillibeck et al., 2017)
Supplementation will be insignificant in producing the desired results without an appropriate training stimulus, such as resistance training.
B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate (HMB)
HMB (short for β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate) is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine.
HMB seems to be the main metabolite of leucine that more effectively prevents the breakdown of muscle protein, and is more potent than leucine on a gram per gram basis at attenuating the rate of muscle protein breakdown.
Transparent Labs included HMB to work in conjunction with creatine – one acts as a catabolic agent and induces muscle protein synthesis, while the other acts as an anti-catabolic agent and prevents muscle protein breakdown.
Theoretically, this combination should work, but a lot of the human trials on HMB are not properly structured to assess its effects.
HMB looks like an interesting option HMB to reduce muscle wasting during periods where muscle atrophy is accelerated (cachexia, AIDS, bedrest) and should work in athletes on a calorie-restricted diet but its effects are not fully established yet.
Bioperine is a patented extract obtained from black pepper fruits, and it’s basically an ingredient that provides piperine, the bioactive ingredient in black pepper.
Piperine inhibits drug detoxifying enzymes, thus increases the bioavailability of any compound which would normally be attacked by said enzymes.
For this reason, when it is ingested alongside supplements it can increase the absorption of the compounds within them, which in this particular case are creatine and HMB.
Is Creatine Supplementation Effective For Vegans?
Creatine comes mainly from meat and fish, so vegetarians have a low intake of this component. It is difficult for a vegetarian/vegan athlete to increase creatine intake without using supplementation. (Dorrel et al., 2016)
Creatine concentrations in the blood (plasma, serum, and red blood cells) of vegetarians seem lower than omnivores. The same seems to happen in some muscles, but not in the brain. Creatine concentrations in the brain seem to be similar between vegetarians and omnivores, but this has only been evaluated in two studies. (Kaviani et al., 2020)
Given that creatine and phosphocreatine concentrations may be lower in the muscle of vegetarians, there is a good possibility that creatine supplementation could improve creatine and phosphocreatine concentrations, and potentially improve exercise performance and recovery in vegetarians. (Kaviani et al., 2020) (Kreider et al., 2017)
In fact, there are already studies showing that creatine supplementation in vegetarians is effective in increasing creatine and phosphocreatine levels to the point that vegetarians can achieve higher levels after supplementation, than omnivores.
This difference does not seem to transfer to exercise performance, since creatine supplementation has the ability to increase performance in both vegetarians and omnivores. The number and quality of studies on this topic are quite limited. (Kaviani et al., 2020)
How Much Does Creatine HMB Cost?
A tub of creatine with 30 servings costs $39, which means it’s $1.30 per scoop.
However, you can decide to buy in bulk and decrease that price: 2 tubs will cost $34 each, but if you order 3 tubs, you can further decrease the price to $29 each.
That’s on the expensive side for a creatine supplement, which usually costs closer to 20 or 30 cents a scoop, but you’re paying extra for the HMB and the Bioperine, so you may find the cost worth it.
What Does Creatine HMB Taste Like?
Creatine HMB comes in three different flavors: black cherry, orange, and strawberry lemonade.
They used to have an unflavored option, but ever since the product was revamped – two more flavors were added, the packaging was altered, and the unflavored option disappeared.
Transparent Labs’ Creatine Monohydrate HMB is not as affordable as most creatine options on the market, but it contains high-quality Creapure, which is essentially pure creatine monohydrate – a form of creatine that is proven to be quite safe and effective.
Additionally, it has no artificial ingredients, and it contains both HMB and Bioperine, which can maximize the benefits of consuming creatine.
Editor’s note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The content of our articles is not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always best to speak with your doctor or a certified medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise routine, or trying a new supplement.