It’s not about how much muscle you build, it’s about how much muscle you can keep. That’s why an Iranian study on methylsulfonylmethane, better known as MSM, is interesting.
MSM has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and has been shown to improve joint health. In this study, a daily dose of MSM reduced the amount of muscle damage that occurred in an intensive cardio session. The group who took pre-workout MSM had less protein carbonyl in their blood—a sign of protein oxidation—than the group who drank only water before the workout. Each subject was given 100 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight. This is a pretty big dose considering most studies show that 3,000 milligrams of MSM imparts its other benefits.
Still, if you’re doing a lot of HIIT in order to lean out, MSM might help you save your hard-earned muscle.