Although there are many studies showing the isolated effect of creatine monohydrate (CrM) and β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (HMB), it is not clear what effect they have when they are combined. The main purpose of this systematic review was to determine the efficacy of mixing CrM plus HMB in comparison with their isolated effects on sports performance, body composition, exercise induced markers of muscle damage, and anabolic-catabolic hormones. This systematic review was carried out in accordance with PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement guidelines and the PICOS model, for the definition of the inclusion criteria. Studies were found by searching PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science (WOS), and Scopus electronic databases from inception to July 3rd 2019. Methodological quality and risk of bias were assessed by two authors independently, and disagreements were resolved by third-party evaluation, in accordance with the Cochrane Collaboration Guidelines samples. The literature was examined regarding the effects of the combination of CrM plus HMB on sport performance using several outcome variables (athletic performance, body composition, markers of muscle damage, and hormone status). This systematic review included six articles that investigated the effects of CrM plus HMB on sport performance (two on strength performance, showing improvements in one of them; three on anaerobic performance, presenting enhancements in two of them; and one on aerobic performance, not presenting improvements), body composition (three on body mass, showing improvements in one of them; two on fat free mass, presenting increases in one of them; and two on fat mass, showing decreases in one of them) and markers of muscle damage and hormone status (four on markers of muscle damage and one on anabolic-catabolic hormones, not showing benefits in any of them). In summary, the combination of 3-10 g/day of CrM plus 3 g/day of HMB for 1-6 weeks could produce potential positive effects on sport performance (strength and anaerobic performance) and for 4 weeks on body composition (increasing fat free mass and decreasing fat mass). However, this combination seems to not show positive effects relating to markers of exercise-induced muscle damage and anabolic-catabolic hormones.
Keywords: aerobic; anaerobic; body composition; muscle recovery; sport nutrition.