Transparent Labs is a Utah-based supplement company and as the name suggests, they’re really invested in making transparent products. They don’t have any proprietary blends and they even offer certificates of analysis and composition on their site.
In addition to that, they never use artificial sweeteners or colors. So what’s in Transparent Labs Creatine HMB?
Creatine HMB Ingredients
One scoop — and the bag comes with a scoop, which is great — delivers 5 grams of creatine monohydrate. Transparent Labs uses Creapure®, a kind of creatine monohydrate made by a German company that’s pretty reputable as far as ensuring quality.
Then there are 2 grams of HMB, as calcium hydroxymethylbutyrate monohydrate. I’ll discuss the effects of this in the next section.
The only other main ingredient is 5 milligrams of Bioperine®, or black pepper extract.
This product comes in unflavored or in Blue Raspberry flavor. We tried the flavored kind, so it also contains a gram of “blue raspberry flavor,” 800mg each of citric acid and malic acid, and 300mg of stevia.
Creatine HMB Benefits and Effectiveness
Each serving provides 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, the most common and widely studied form of creatine. Creatine is very strongly linked with increased strength, power output, and muscle size, and there are even some links to mental performance. Five or ten grams per day is a pretty standard dose, though some folks like to load with 20 to 25 grams a day for a week, 5 grams a day for four weeks, then a week or two’s break.
As for the HMB, it mediates the effects of leucine, a branched chain amino acid that’s linked to muscle protein synthesis. HMB is the main metabolite in leucine that prevents the breakdown of muscle protein. It looks like it’s more effective than leucine at preventing muscle breakdown but less effective at spurring muscle protein synthesis, so it’s anti-catabolic rather than anabolic. This means you could take Creatine HMB in lieu of a BCAA supplement if the main reason you take a BCAA is to retain muscle. The dosage of 2 grams seems pretty effective.
Why combine creatine and HMB? There’s some evidence that it’s better for strength gains than taking either supplement on its own, with one study suggesting that taking both of them results in about 30 percent more strength gains. More research is needed, but it’s pretty promising.
As for the Bioperine, black pepper extract appears to help supplements absorb more effectively, which is why it’s often included in prescription medications. Studies suggest you should take 10 or 20mg as opposed to the 5mg included in Creatine HMB, but it probably still has some effect.
Creatine HMB Price
You can pick up a bag of 30 servings for $39, so it’s $1.30 per scoop. That price decreases if you order more bags: two bags come to $34 each, three bags are $29 each.
That’s on the expensive side for creatine, which usually costs closer to 20 or 30 cents a scoop, but of course you’re paying extra for the HMB and the Bioperine, so you may find the cost worth it.
Creatine HMB Taste
It comes in unflavored and Blue Raspberry flavors. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t crazy about the flavor of Blue Raspberry, even though it’s naturally flavored with stevia, malic acid, citric acid, and “blue raspberry flavor.” I mixed one scoop with 1.5 cups of water, so I’d recommend mixing it with 3 cups of water to help with the taste. (You could also just buy the unflavored version and mix with a beverage of your choice.)
Transparent Labs’ Creatine HMB contains high quality Creapure creatine monohydrate, it has no artificial ingredients, and there’s some seriously interesting research supporting the inclusion of HMB as far as strength and muscle retention go. If you can deal with the price, it’s a really interesting approach to creatine supplementation.