Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review — What Does HMB Do?

This creatine monohydrate also includes hydroxy methylbutyrate, which can help with muscle retention.

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Transparent Labs Creatine HMB is 5,000mg of creatine monohydrate per serving, plus an additional dose of hydroxy methylbutyrate (HMB). Creatine is very strongly linked with increased strength, power output, and muscle size, and there are even some links to mental performance. HMB can help you retain muscle, which makes this an especially useful creatine supplement for both the average Joe or Jane aiming to preserve muscle, and performance athletes alike. Plus, this product comes in seven different flavors, as well as an unflavored option, which is a lot of variety for a supplement product.

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 go the extra mile to offer certificates of analysis and composition on their site. In addition to testing their products, they never use artificial sweeteners or colors. If you’re keen on building muscle, and are looking for a trustworthy creatine supplement to help, Transparent Labs Creatine HMB may be for you. 

Main Takeaways

  • Transparent Labs Creatine HMB contains 5,000mg of creatine monohydrate, which is the most well-studied type of creatine on the market.
  • This supp also adds in 1,500mg (1.5g) of HMB, which can help you retain the muscle that creatine may help you build.
  • You’ll find seven different flavors to choose from here, as well as an unflavored option, which is more variety than most creatine supplements on the market.
Transparent Labs Creatine HMB
Transparent Labs Creatine HMB
Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

We like that this product includes hydroxymethyl butyrate, the main metabolite in leucine that prevents muscle protein breakdown. Plus, the blue raspberry flavor is tasty, and the blend contains no artificial sweeteners.

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Highlights

Creatine monohydrate is the most common form of creatine you’ll find across the market, and Transparent Labs Creatine HMB contains the 5g dosage per serving we like to see. Plus, this product also boasts 1,500mg of HMB, which is a metabolite in leucine that can help you retain muscle.

In addition to the two main ingredients, you’ll find some black pepper extract in this supp, which may help your body absorb the ingredients better. There are seven flavors and an unflavored option, so you will have many varieties to choose from if you tire of one flavor. However, you will find that this product does cost a little more than other plain creatine monohydrates — due to the addition of HMB — so if you’re shopping on a budget, you’ll want to consider this.

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

  • If you’re looking for a creatine monohydrate, Transparent Labs Creatine HMB comes through with 5,000mg of creatine monohydrate per serving. 
  • For those who want a little extra help retaining muscle, the 1,500mg of HMB here may be able to assist.
  • Anyone looking for a variety of flavors to choose from — this product comes in Hawaiian Splash, Watermelon, Blue Raspberry, Black Cherry, Orange, Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch, and an Unflavored powder. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

  • Anyone who’s allergic to black pepper will want to steer clear as there are 5mg of black pepper extract in this supp.
  • If you’re looking for a creatine hydrochloride, or another type of creatine other than a monohydrate, you’ll want to look elsewhere. 
  • For those who want a stimulant effect with their creatine, you may be better off finding a pre-workout that contains creatine and caffeine. 

Price

You can pick up a tub of 30 servings for $45, so it’s about $1.50 per serving. That’s on the expensive side for creatine monohydrate, but of course, you’re paying extra for the HMB, the Bioperine, and the wide variety of flavors to choose from — and you may very well find that cost worthwhile.

Formulation

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB is pretty straightforward — creatine monohydrate, HMB, Bioperine, and vitamin D. The HMB is what makes this creatine really stand out for its potential to help with muscle retention. We dig into the ingredients a little further below. 

Creatine

One scoop delivers five grams of creatine monohydrate, which is the most common (and least expensive) type of creatine you’ll find on the market. Transparent Labs uses Creapure®, a kind of creatine monohydrate made by a German company that’s pretty reputable as far as ensuring quality.

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Ingredients

Five grams is a fairly average dose for creatine monohydrate, 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 off. Creatine monohydrate may be harsh on the stomach for some, which is why you’ll find micronized creatine or creatine hydrochloride as alternative options. No creatine is better than the other — it just comes down to your personal sensitivity to creatine monohydrate. (1)

HMB

There are 1,500mg of HMB, as calcium hydroxy methylbutyrate monohydrate. HMB can help mediate the effects of leucine, a branched chain amino acid that’s linked to muscle protein synthesis. HMB is the main metabolite in leucine that may help prevent 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 1,500mg 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. (2)

Bioperine

The only other main ingredient is five milligrams of Bioperine®, or black pepper extract. This ingredient can help with absorption, which is especially key with creatine monohydrate since it can be harsh on the stomach for some who are sensitive to it. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D can help with muscle protein synthesis, and as a bonus, Transparent Labs included 60 percent of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin D in this supp — that’s about 12.5mcg. (3)

Flavor

This product comes in Hawaiian Splash, Watermelon, Blue Raspberry, Black Cherry, Orange, Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch, and an Unflavored powder. We tried the Blue Raspberry, which contains 800mg each of citric acid and malic acid, and 300mg of stevia.

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB Review

If we’re being honest, we weren’t crazy about the Blue Raspberry flavor — though we do like that it’s naturally flavored with stevia, malic acid, and citric acid. We mixed one scoop with 1.5 cups of water, so we’d recommend mixing it with three cups of water to help with the taste. (You could also just buy the unflavored version and mix with a beverage of your choice, or opt for another flavor.)

What to Consider Before Buying

With such a wide variety of creatine supplements on the market, it’s important to consider the type of creatine you want, along with the price, flavor, and any additional ingredients you’re looking for before deciding which product to buy. 

Type of Creatine

Creatine monohydrate is the most common and widely studied form of creatine. However, there are quite an array of types of creatine you’ll find across the market — like creatine hydrochloride, buffered creatine, micronized creatine, and liquid creatine, just to name a few. 

If you’re looking specifically for a monohydrate, you’ve found it. However, you’ll want to access your needs and sensitivities before buying. Creatine monohydrate, for instance, can be harsh on the stomach for some. If you have a particularly sensitive stomach, you may be better off with a micronized creatine (which dissolves a little more easily, so the product may not be as hard to digest). No creatine is better than the other — it all comes down to your personal preference.

Additional Ingredients

This product boasts additional HMB, Bioperine, and vitamin D. However, there are many supplements that are just creatine, and other supplements that include a variety of pre-workout ingredients. 

Generally, the more robust ingredient lists are going to be more expensive, as they can offer additional benefits on top of the potential benefits from creatine. This product’s additional HMB may be desirable for those who are really working to retain muscle mass. It’s important to decide which ingredients you’re after specifically before hitting the market — this can help immensely with narrowing down your search. 

Price

Creatine monohydrates on their own can be fairly inexpensive at around $0.50 per serving. However, if you add ingredients to the monohydrate (in this case, HMB and Bioperine), the price can increase — that’s why this product is over a dollar more per serving. The price can also increase if you’re buying a pre-workout that contains creatine, or you opt for a more easy-to-digest form of creatine, like micronized creatine or creatine hydrochloride. Decide how much you’re willing to spend on your creatine supplement, and then find a creatine that falls into that price range. 

Flavor

Many creatine supplements come as unflavored powders. This can be great if you’re adding it to another beverage or pre-workout drink. However, if you want something flavored to take on its own, you’ll want to ensure the product you are looking at offers flavor variety. This creatine comes in seven flavors and an unflavored option, so you won’t be limited in your choices here. 

Final Word

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. The Bioperine here is also a great addition in combination with creatine monohydrate, which may be a bit harsh on the stomach for some. 

With seven flavor options, an unflavored option, and a clean ingredients list, this is a great product to consider. If you can deal with the price, the HMB is an intriguing addition to a creatine supplement that makes Transparent Labs a top contender.

FAQs

Is Transparent Labs Creatine HMB hard on the stomach?

This product is a creatine monohydrate, which can cause stomach troubles for some on its own. However, Transparent Labs also includes Bioperine, which can help with absorption, potentially easing the adverse effects of creatine monohydrate.

Is Transparent Labs Creatine HMB expensive?

As far as creatine monohydrates go, yes. With the additional HMB and Bioperine, this supplement is about a dollar more per serving than many creatine monohydrates. But, you’re paying for the more robust (and clean) ingredient list here.

What does the HMB stand for in Transparent Labs Creatine HMB?

HMB, or hydroxy methylbutyrate, can help mediate the effects of leucine — HMB is the main metabolite in leucine that prevents the breakdown of muscle protein. In simpler terms, it may be able to help you retain muscle.

References

  1. Examine.com. (2018, September 27). Do i need to load creatine? Examine.com. https://examine.com/nutrition/do-i-need-to-load-creatine/.
  2. Jówko E, Ostaszewski P, Jank M, Sacharuk J, Zieniewicz A, Wilczak J, Nissen S. Creatine and beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) additively increase lean body mass and muscle strength during a weight-training program. Nutrition. 2001 Jul-Aug;17(7-8):558-66. doi: 10.1016/s0899-9007(01)00540-8. PMID: 11448573.
  3. Shuler, F. D., Wingate, M. K., Moore, G. H., & Giangarra, C. (2012). Sports health benefits of vitamin d. Sports health, 4(6), 496–501. https://doi.org/10.1177/1941738112461621

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Per Serving: $1.30
7.5

Ingredients

8.5/10

Effectiveness

9.5/10

Price

7.0/10

Taste

5.0/10

Pros

  • May be more effective at boosting strength than regular creatine
  • Nothing artificial
  • Pepper extract may help with absorption

Cons

  • May be pricey
  • Didn't like flavored version
  • Not micronized