Hey guys so I just recently recovered from a shoulder injury that prevented me from doing upper body exercises for 8 weeks. Of course when I got the news a huge concern of mine was the gains I'd be losing during this time. Luckily for me, my Nutrition professor happens to be the dietician for the Texans and was able to give me a bit of advice that I thought I'd pass on to the community.
The first thing that she recommended to me was an HMB supplement. β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyric acid, also known as β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate, is naturally produced in the body and is essential for muscle repair. When supplemented, its proven to accelerate protein synthesis and slow down the process of muscle breakdown. Now there are numerous HMB products out on the market and when I asked if there was a difference in quality among them, she assured me that the quality of HMB does vary. Her #1 recommendation was Juven, a blend of HMB, L-Arginine and L-Glutamine. She said it has worked wonders for athletes of the program in the past - only drawback is the price. Considering the recommended dosage of HMB is 3g/day for recovering athletes, two packets of Juven/day is recommended. With the price of the product, I was looking for a way to circumvent the cost in a way that was just as effective.
What I ended up doing was purchasing an HMB supplement from GNC, and purchasing the two amino acids separately. Purchasing the ingredients saved me a ton of money and I'd say I was thoroughly impressed with the results. I took 3g HMB and 14g total of each amino acid daily. Obviously I wouldn't say that I retained 100% of my muscle mass after the 8 weeks, but I can say I held onto more than I had initially anticipated. Only real downside to the process was the taste of the amino acids, they were pretty bitter. I found it most effective to throw them in with a protein shake or smoothie to mask the bitterness.
Also important to note if your injury is bone related as mine was: for bone healing its important that you get enough calcium calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K.
Would strongly recommend this for anyone needing to take an extended amount of time off from lifting who is concerned about losing muscle. Hope you found this helpful!