Creatine and HMB – Here’s why you should stack them!

This is apparently an uncommon supplement combination, but I think there are good reasons for stacking Creatine and HMB.

Both supplements have sturdy scientific research to their name while at the same time being among the cheapest supplements in the fitness supplementation industry.

Generally, I believe in dialing in your training and nutrition before speculating in different supplement stacks, but if those aspects are on track – the Creatine and HMB stack is something you might really want to consider implementing.

Now, I won’t delve too deep into explaining the complete creation process for Creatine and HMB, nor go too nerdy on the effects and benefits.

I’ll instead try to keep it decently shorts and to the point. But to understand why stacking these supplements, we do of course need a basic understanding of their capabilities and attributes.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid which exists in our bodies through natural means – we basically have creatine storage, and all people have a bit of creatine in this storage.

We can increase this storage through the ingestion of creatine rich foods such as meat and fish, but the amount of Creatine actually present in these foods are very low.

And so “topping” off our storage capacity of Creatine through these means is pretty much impossible. We have to add supplementation to achieve this.

What does Creatine do?

The primary function of creatine in relation to fitness goals is supplying fuel to our muscles through ATP production. This, in essence, suggests a relationship between the amount of Creatine we store, and the amount of energy our muscle can exert.

This relationship has been studied intensively, as Creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements on the market today, racking up hundreds of studies researching a plethora of different effects and benefits.

Benefits of Creatine


Creatine turned into a meme a few years ago.

It might already seem obvious, but by increasing the available energy for our muscles, studies show a very strong trend of Creatine supplementation resulting in increased power output.

In fact, more than 60 studies support this.

This effectively means that Creatine will make you lift heavier and for more repetitions. An additional benefit of this is likely increased gains in muscle mass, as you are thus able to perform more volume within the same timeframe.

Now, the actual direct effect on muscle mass by Creatine supplementation is still not quite clear, with the combined results of 20 studies suggesting a small correlation.

Apart from strength and potential muscle gains, Creatine also has strong scientific links to lower fatigue levels.

All in all, Creatine is by far the most effective supplement you can take for body recomposition purposes, be it muscle gain or weight loss. I started Creatine supplementation a year or so into my lifting career, and haven’t looked back.

The recommended daily Creatine dose is 5 grams consumed at once during the day. Some research suggests a loading phase of one week with 20-25 grams consumed daily might be beneficial.

What is HMB?

While you had probably heard a lot about Creatine, HMB is a little less common in the world of fitness, being a supplement riddled with myths and broscience.

In short, HMB is not an amino acid per se, but rather a metabolite of the amino acid Leucine. It’s basically a biproduct, that is created through Leucine oxidation.

Similarly to Creatine, HMB occurs naturally in our bodies, and once again similarly to Creatine, intake of meat and fish (As well as some fruits, like grapefruit) provides us with HMB.

And, once again (sounding like a broken record), getting sufficient amounts of HMB for its benefits through natural means is near impossible, prompting efficient supplementation.

What does HMB do?

The primary function of HMB in relation to fitness goals is the protection of muscle mass by reducing the extent of muscle protein breakdown (MPB).

It is stored inside our muscles and aids in the repairing and maintaining of muscle cells and fibers.

The recommended daily HMB dose is 3 grams split into 1 gram consumed three times a day – morning, dinner, evening.

Benefits of HMB

The benefits of HMB’s muscle sparing effects are obviously highly relevant during weight loss phases, where we attempt to minimize muscle protein breakdown rates to better preserve our lean mass.

Studies suggest a quite clear reduction in muscle damage when supplementing with HMB, and as I have covered before, muscle damage is no longer assumed to correlate with muscle growth – in fact, it might hinder it.

As a possible additional benefit, some studies indicate that there might be a small reduction in fat mass as a result of proper HMB supplementation.

Researchers have also investigated HMBs effect on muscle mass gains, but judging from a range of 8 current studies, no link has been established, so this is likely not an attribute of HMB.

Summary of Creatine and HMB benefits

Here’s a quick summary of the benefits of these two supplements.


  • Creatine increases available energy to our muscles
  • Creatine increases strength levels
  • Creatine might increase muscle mass slightly
  • Creatine lowers fatigue levels


  • HMB lowers muscle protein breakdown rates
  • HMB lowers muscle damage
  • HMB might lower fat mass slightly

Now, some of these effects are of course related to each other – such as the relationship between lower muscle protein breakdown and lower muscle damage, as is the case for HMB.

Now we have briefly covered the obvious benefits of Creatine and HMB separately – it’s time to look at why combining them is awesome!

Creatine and HMB stack 


He-man is definitely stacking Creatine with HMB!

Basically, the reasoning for combining Creatine and HMB to a stack is that the proven effects of both supplements complement each other exceedingly well.

This makes sense in theory when you consider the benefits of the two, as when treated separately, if we combine the effects of both supplements, we get a stack with the potential to;

  • Increase energy levels
  • Lower fatigue levels
  • Increase strength levels
  • Increase muscle mass
  • Lower muscle protein breakdown rates
  • Lower muscle damage
  • Potentially lower fat mass

But we don’t have to only theorize on this stack, as it has actually been put to the test in the research literature.

This study showed an additive effect on increasing muscle mass and strength levels when combining Creatine and HMB.

And this stack should provide benefits regardless of whether muscle growth of weight loss is your primary objective.

As the stack has both muscle building and muscle sparing, even potential fat loss properties – it’s perfect for any type of scenario. This is also why I supplement with Creatine and HMB stack year round.

How to best stack Creatine and HMB?

The way I have done it for a few years now is by getting in my Creatine and HMB together with my protein powder shake.

Since HMB, in particular, tastes awful (really, really, really awful), I find that adding it to my post-workout shake gets rid of the taste. I also add my creatine dose to the shake for the same reasons.

Additionally, this study suggests benefits to consuming Creatine immediately post-workout.

This means my post-workout shake usually contains these elements;

  • 40 grams of whey protein powder
  • 5 grams of Creatine
  • 1 or 3 grams of HMB*

Quite the power shake, haha.

Recall that the recommended daily intake of HMB is 3 servings of 1 gram each consumed morning, dinner and evening.

Whether you wish to follow this or not is entirely up to you, the important aspect is getting those 3 grams daily. As far as I know, there isn’t a huge benefit to splitting it up, and it can be a bit of a hassle to do so.

I will say that when 3 grams of HMB is added to a shake, it might influence the taste a bit, depending on the taste of your protein powder of course.

Best Creatine and HMB products

As usual, I will finish off with my recommendations if you are on the lookout for either Creatine, HMB or both.

These recommendations are based on a thorough research of the available products on the market, their price in relation to quantity(very important in my factoring), their nutritional labels, and last but not least their customer reviews.

Luckily for us as consumers, there’s not a whole lot of fluff surrounding neither Creatine and HMB. The basic ingredient list is very basic, and most manufacturers thus provide similar products.

This makes my researching job surprisingly easy for once, as I crosscheck price with quantity (amount of Creatine/HMB) with reviews.

Best Creatine – BulkSupplements Creatine

While Optimum Nutrition’s Creatine brand seems to be the most recommended, my definite pick is different.

I find BulkSupplements Creatine the by far best bang-for-your-buck purchase, as it has an incredibly strong price in relation to the size of the bag, while simultaneously scoring over 4.7 stars out of 5 based on more than 10500 customer reviews.

That kind of impressive, large-scale feedback is hard to argue with, and I suspect the price in conjunction with the amount of Creatine you get is the biggest reason for these amazing review numbers.

They allow you to order up to 25 kilograms at once, at which the price per gram of Creatine is all the way down to $0.01. Whether that is the right size for you, only you can decide.

But given the benefits of Creatine, I believe it should be supplemented year round, indefinitely. About 2 years ago I switched to buying my Creatine in bulks because of this, which has saved me some money.

All in all, I find this product very easy to recommend in good faith.



Best HMB Powder form – BulkSupplements Pure HMB

Now finding the best HMB supplement deal can be a little more tricky, based on one factor; whether you want powder or capsules.

My recommendation is you buy the powder. You simply get more HMB for less money, and if you add the HMB to your shake with Creatine like I do, the awful taste is gone.

If you insist on taking 1 gram of HMB morning, post-workout (with Creatine) and evening, then capsules are easier unless you have some juice or lemonade to mix the HMB powder with.

Still, I recommend powder, and once again have to recommend BulkSupplements Pure HMB. Once again there’s a discount per gram of HMB if you pick a larger bag.

The price is very good for the amount, and for the feedback, the product scores over 4.5 stars out of 5, based on more than 750 customer reviews. A good choice!



Best HMB Capsule form – NatureBell Maximum Strength HMB

For the capsule form, the main change is the price, as it’s a little more pricey. You pay a bit for the convenience of having very easy to swallow capsules on hand.

For hunting down my recommendation for the best deal, I compared capsule serving size (most products have 1 gram per capsule) with capsule amount and of course price and customer reviews.

With over 4.6 stars out of 5 based on 30+ customer reviews, NatureBells HMB has a good score, although other products have more reviews. Stil, I find that number satisfactory.

Ultimately, the real eye-catcher here is the number of capsules in relation to the price, which is at the very top of the market.



Making Creatine and HMB a part of your daily routine

I hope this post was helpful to you. I believe in making Creatine and HMB supplementation a part of your daily routine, more so than most other supplements.

There are a lot of scams and useless products in the fitness industry, but these two supplements, Creatine to a greater extent than HMB, are backed by real science.

While Creatine has been established as the most researched and most potent supplement for a long time now, I watch eagerly as more and more research is conducted on HMB.

Combining Creatine and HMB into a stack which I further stack with my post-workout protein shake has made it easy and convenient. Luckily, Creatine and HMB are also relatively cheap compared to many other flashy supplements.

Good luck on your physique journey, and thanks for reading – feel very free to share this post!

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