University of Tampa Gets $50,000 For Strength Supplement

The University of Tampa (UT) received a $50,000 grant to study the effects of an amino acid that could improve athletic performance.

The funds were given by Metabolic Technologies, Inc. (MTI), to help researchers at UT's Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance complete a 12-week study of the effects of a supplement on human strength and muscle mass. MTI is an Iowa-based company dedicated to the development of nutritional products.

As Jacob Wilson, associate professor of health sciences and human performance at UT explains it, HMB, otherwise known as β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyric acid, is critical in the metabolic process of converting amino acids to muscle in the human body. The supplement he and his team is working on would be created from HMB.

"Basically, we have whole proteins, chicken, beef and things like that," explains Wilson. "There's a particular amino acid in these that we think is responsible for this. And it's called leucine. We think HMB is responsible for helping to turn leucine into muscle."

Wilson says HMB assists the human body by:

1. Stimulating the actual building of muscle and how rapidly it grows;
2. Preventing muscle tissue breakdown;
3. Increasing the endurance properties of the cell.

Wilson says the study may have wide-ranging effects on athletic performance.

"If you look at performance on several different levels, it's not about just performing on one day," Wilson says. "It's about performance over several days. For some it may take 72 hours to recover from hard training. But with this [supplement] it may take them 48 hours. So think about what this does for a [baseball] pitcher. You'd be able to start faster. Think about if you're in the military, you're able to recover from hard training faster the next day."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Jacob Wilson, University of Tampa
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