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HICA-MAX™ is a powerful, non-hormonal, natural stimulator of muscle growth. Its chewables contain 100% pharmaceutical-grade leucic acid, also known as alpha-hydroxy-isocaproic acid (HICA) – a natural metabolite of the branched chain amino acid, leucine.
HICA-MAX™ works by increasing protein synthesis (anabolism), and decreasing muscle protein breakdown (catabolism). Its mode of action has been suggested as an independent mTOR signal transducer, which is a “cell-signaler” for muscle protein synthesis. Leucic acid also interrupts muscle protein breakdown by activating nuclear factor kappa B and inhibiting caspase-8. It may also activate IGF-1, a growth factor that helps age-related decreases in your body’s growth hormone output.
Unlike prohormones or anabolic steroids, HICA-MAX™ activates ¬anabolic and anti-catabolic pathways without directly affecting your body’s hormonal balance. HICA-MAX™ gives you maximum muscle growth without negative side effects, and you’ll never have to cycle off of it.
HICA-Max™ is one of the newest additions to the Labrada Nutrition line, and presents a new pathway to supporting muscle growth for everyone, male and female, pushing muscle to the point of breakdown during vigorous weight lifting session or power workouts. HICA-Max™ is designed to work in a catabolic environment. Recreational lifters easing through a simple circuit or group fitness class are unlikely to find benefit. Heavy lifters will benefit from this novel ingredient.
The active ingredient in HICA-Max™ is L-α-hydroxyisocaproic acid, abbreviated to HICA. Chemical nomenclature, (the system that defines proper naming of chemicals) recognizes other names for HICA, including 2-Hydroxy-4-methylpentanoic acid, 2-Hydroxy-4-methylvaleric acid, and leucic acid. HICA is a metabolite, or degradation product of leucine, the essential branched chain amino acid. The conversion rate of leucine to HICA is very small, so taking lots of leucine will not provide effective levels of HICA.
To review, proteins, including skeletal muscle contractile protein, are composed of chains of amino acids. In skeletal muscle, there are two proteins that are involved with the actual contraction and relaxation that you know best as “flexing.” These are actin and myosin. In these proteins, branched chain amino acids are present in much higher concentration than other proteins. Branched chain amino acids include: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
In addition to being a structural amino acid, leucine also has “hormone-like” properties; isoleucine and valine do not appear to, at least to a measurable degree. Leucine is a significant stimulator of the anabolic pathway that is a vital part of building new muscle called mTOR. When mTOR is activated, it turns on the muscle building machinery in muscle cells. Normally, leucine is not present in the muscle cell in its “free” form. Rather, it is rapidly incorporated into proteins. Certain other amino acids – namely glutamine, alanine, and taurine, are present in concentrations that are much higher. Free leucine is present in significant quantities during two conditions, after eating and during muscle breakdown, (also called proteolysis). Proteolysis is a consequence of the mechanical stresses of exercise, and changes in the acidity of the cell. The “anabolic” effect of leucine appears to peak out at 0.135 g/kg/day. Mega-dosing may add additional benefits, but it appears to require about 20 grams in a single serving.
Knowing that, it should be no surprise that the metabolites of leucine have a physiologic effect as well. Metabolites are new chemicals created as leucine is degraded. Leucine trades off the NH2 (amine group) to replenish the muscle’s pool of glutamine and alanine, becoming α-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC). KIC can be further metabolized to form HMB, a supplement which can be quite beneficial to aging adults by supporting lean mass retention, but has not shown convincing evidence of efficacy in young adult athletes.
A different pathway in the leucine degradation pathway produces the hydroxy-analog of KIC, L-α-hydroxyisocaproic acid (HICA). HICA has not been studied to the extent that KIC has, let alone leucine. Therefore, much of its promise is predicated upon research that is not directly related to muscle growth or body composition support.
It is known that leucine consumed orally, either in a meal or as a supplement, passes through the liver with little loss to the BCAT enzyme that degrades it to KIC. As KIC is the precursor to HICA, therefore leucine supplementation is not a direct method of providing HICA.
The primary leucine pool is in skeletal muscle. This tissue is one that can functionally undergo catabolism, as opposed to other tissue which are generally homeostatic (in a balance, neither growing or breaking down). During starvation, stress, or extreme exercise, the contractile proteins can breakdown and release amino acids. As the BCAAs are in high percentage in contractile protein, this “floods” the muscle cell with free BCAAs, especially leucine. Here is where the majority of KIC and HICA and produced. KIC can be shuttled to the mitochondria of the muscle for energy (ATP) production, but not to a major degree. Instead, it is degraded down to acetoacetate, a ketone body. Think of the ketogenic diets, this is what is released to induce ketosis (from several amino acids, not just leucine). KIC can also be a donor carbon base to regenerate glutamine and alanine which are needed to promote other cell functions.
KIC has a double bonded oxygen (=O) in place of the amine group (NH2) which is tightly bound to the rest of the molecule. HICA instead has a hydroxyl group (OH) which can be more easily removed. HICA is not just another form of KIC or leucine. Leucine, and to a greater degree KIC, increase the release of insulin during a meal, and increase the cell response to insulin relative to its anabolic signaling. HICA does not appear to have these properties.
Instead, HICA appears to be effective in binding the waste buildup that occurs during proteolysis (protein breakdown) during catabolic events, like exercise and starvation. Most people are familiar with lactic acid. It is produced when the muscle outworks the oxygen supply. Normally pyruvate (pyruvic acid) is shuttled to the mitochondria to be burned for additional calories. However, when oxygen is low relative to the work being done, pyruvate is turned into lactate (lactic acid). This is the fatiguing burn felt during longer sprints or higher rep sets. HICA absorbs some of the acid (H+ or hydrogen ions), reducing the effect of lowering the pH (or making more acid) the inside of the muscle cell. When the pH drops much below normal, the muscle cell stop producing ATP and “burns out” until given time to recover.
Another waste product produced a catabolic event is ammonia (NH4+). Ammonia is a waste product in nearly all creatures. Birds excrete it as uric acid; mammals, including humans, convert it into urea which is a major component of urine. However, ammonia is nitrogen-rich (the N in NH4+), so for those seeking to achieve a positive nitrogen balance (the original measure of anabolic steroids effects on the metabolism), it seeks wasteful to “piss it away.” In fact, it is not necessary to do so as long as the body can use it to build high-value molecules, such as leucine. Reducing the “ammonia strain” is an active area of research, as it is a factor leading to peripheral fatigue. Reducing acid build up in the cell, and ammonia buildup in the blood allows for longer, high intensity work.
Remember, HICA is leucine that has had the NH2 replaced with an OH. Thankfully, that is not an irreversible process. Transaminase and reaminase enzymes can attached an NH2 in place of the OH, creating leucine. Thus, HICA can also serve as a leucine precursor. Nearly thirty years ago, people with failing kidney function were placed on low-nitrogen diets, but often suffered from relative protein deficiency (protein being the main source of nitrogen in the diet). Patents were acquired relating to the use of keto- and hydroxyl-analogs (metabolites) of amino acids to supplement the protein intake of kidney failure patients. This improved lean mass retention and nitrogen balance for this group of people. Normally, this is not an issue for most, but during catabolic breakdown, the loss of leucine can be more quickly replaced. HICA can also be oxidized to create KIC, possibly providing some the of effects of that agent.
There are questions about where HICA performs its actions. It is taken up by the MCT transporter, so it should be bioavailable orally. Type 2 muscle fibers, or slow-twitch fibers, may take in HICA more readily. This is due to their greater aerobic capacity. Type 2 fibers are packed with mitochondria which use oxygen to create energy. Type 1 or fast-twitch fibers are explosive and burn up pre-made ATP, fatigue, and then create more quickly.
If HICA gets into the muscle cell, it can reduce acid buildup, allowing for longer periods of high-intensity activity before the muscle cell fatigues due to IMP-buildup and decreased acetyl-CoA. Binding ammonia also reduced fatigue and offers a new pool of leucine for muscle repair, and possibly mTOR activation. In the bloodstream, clearing the circulation of waste products (lactate and ammonia) slows the progression of fatigue.
As to how HICA may increase lean mass, it appears to be a function of maintaining the muscle cell in a functioning state by neutralizing the waste products created during high-intensity exercise, and keeping cellular energetic mechanisms functioning during recovery. Also, providing a reserve pool of leucine is always beneficial. HICA is likely short-lived in the body, so it would be best taken 20 minutes prior to a workout.
HICA is a metabolite of leucine, via KIC. However, leucine supplementation does not elevate blood levels of HICA. Therefore, HICA supplementation is necessary to achieve efficacious levels in muscles.
HICA binds H+ (acid) which builds up in the muscle cell as work exceeds the aerobic threshold (e.g. high-intensity lifting, sprinting).
HICA binds ammonia (NH4+) which builds up in the blood and creates fatigue.
HICA can be reaminated, providing a pool of leucine for post-workout recovery and cell-signaling.
|HICA (Leucic Acid)||500mg||*|
|Sugar Alcohol (as xylitol)||1.5g||*|
Other Ingredients: Xylitol, Natural & Artificial Flavoring, Malic Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Stearic Acid, Citric Acid, Silicon, Sucralose, FD& C Red #40 lake, FD & C Blue #2 lake, FD& C Yellow # 6 lake.
*Daily value not established.
Recommended Use: Take 1 chewable tablet, 3 times daily on an empty stomach. Take one dose immediately after exercise.
Up to 150 lbs.....3 tablets per day
151- 200 lbs.....4 tablets per day
Over 200 lbs.....5 tablets per day
There is no need to cycle off HICA-MAX™.
Safe and extremely effective for all athletes.
The recovery time and level of muscle soreness I experience has been greatly altered. I feel less sore and am able to hit the gym harder and harder. Adding Hica-Max to my routine has definitely helped me reach my goal of gaining 3 pounds per week, which is saying a lot for someone who started out at only 107 pounds! Great product.
I am on my 3rd order of HICA-MAX. I have gained about 4 pounds and get great pumps. My friends notice a difference in my build also. Great product!!!!
I've been using Hica-max along with humano growth and bcaa power. I am really impressed with these supplements. I've noticed a little muscle growth along with ripped abs in the two months on these supplements. I've tried a lot of other stuff and not been very impressed with them, but I really like what I'm seeing with Labrada products. I will continue to use these products.
I’ve been taking HICA-Max for almost 2 weeks. It smells great and tastes even better! Since starting HICA-Mas, my endurance has improved and the overall intensity of my workouts has increased. I’ve been able to lift more and feel great! Absolutely love this product and will purchase again!
Is Only been a Week and half using this Product and I already start to see the Results Hica-Max Works Great and I will stick with it! It taste Very Good Too.
This is simply the mother of all supplements. I have gained size and my strength has gone through the roof. I strongly recommend that HICA-MAX be a must-have for any and all looking to achieve greatness!
After taking this 4x per day for about 3 weeks (based on my current weight), I have seen gains in not only lean muscle mass (about 1.5 lbs), but also a much more deeper look in definition and the "pop" of the muscle. This is a must in your Labrada supplement stack!
Well I tried these different flavors but my son took the rest and is taking them daily. LOL. He says they work great. So I guess I'll stick with the super charge.
I've tried just about everything to gain weight with little results. Then I started taking four Hica-Max tablets a day and guess what,I actually gained 2.5 Lb's In 2 weeks and have kept In on. Great tasting,easy to take and and will crave a sugar fix In an Instant.Thank you guys and gals there at Labrada Nutrition. Class act company with phenomenal products.
I'm loving this product after 2 weeks of use. Flavors explode in your mouth. I take 4 (due to my weight)of these with my pre-workout and then I'm off to the gym. After two weeks my 1RM bench has gone up from 275 to 285. I dead lift 5x10 225 with ease. Basically my strength is going up. If your looking for a clean and trusted product for boosted strength and muscle endurance definitely give this product a try!
I like the product very much can see the difference in three weeks and plan to keep using it and reordering when I finish this order.
It has help gain so much more muscle and i wouldn't trade it for any other product.
Great product, put in the work, with this the results are explosive.
It really Works!!
Excellent stuff! DOMS is all but gone and definitely builds muscle. Thanks Lee for all your great products. I tell a lot of people about your products in bee cave.
This is such a great product. I started seeing results within 2 weeks.
from first serving of HICA-MAX i was anticipating a great experience with the product, delicious, economical, and fun to take, recommended in the Cross-Fit goal area, i can feel the difference in my Cross-Fit training using HICA-MAX, thanks alot, love it.
If you want to get stronger, bigger, and leaner, you MUST take HICA before & after your workout. The recovery time over consistent dosages of HICA after 3 weeks is unreal. Personally, I believe that's the edge that you will acquire with this supplement. You can literally rip the weight room apart today and feel ready to rip it apart all over again tomorrow and; hence, put together one spectacular session after another.
I've gone through about 2, maybe 3, orders of HICA because it really helps with DOMS and I've noticed gains in strength AND muscle definition! I take 3 a day, morning, mid-day & night but one b/f my workout and one after. I look forward to eating them, it's like getting your sweet fix
Hica-Max is great! I have only been using it for about 2 weeks now, but i have already noticed a big change! I have way more energy and stamina during my workout and my weight gains are going up very well! Excellent product, will be buying more for sure!!
I have been using HICA-Max for about three weeks without any other major changes to my diet. I feel my strength is up and have increased my weights in the gym. Love how they taste just like Sweet Tarts!
A friend from mine turned me on to HICA Max about a month ago. HICA max is so easy to take and tastes really good. I take 2 pre-workout and 2 post-workout. Over the past month, I can definitely notice a decrease in my post-workout fatigue plus I can see a nice increase in strength. Normally don't leave reviews on products but this is a DEFINITE must for your workout regime. Thanks!
I have been taking HICA-Max for about three weeks and I have gained 3 pounds without any other major changes to my diet. I don't feel as fatigued as I usually do despite increasing my workload in the gym. The taste can't be beat...reminds me of Sweet Tarts!
Hica Max has provided a gateway for me to train everyday without sacrificing one workout for the other. I can train everyday without the soreness in my muscles allowing me to do multiple workouts on upper body and you can guarantee that 100% effort will be giving from one day to the next. I workout very hard and before HICA I was sore every single day. Although it felt good and increased my ego it was not allowing me to give 100% in the gym from one day to the next. If you are serious about building a strong, hard, muscular physique than don't waste anytime. Ensure HICA is part of your stack
I ordered these for my husband who has taken them before and after workouts for the last month, and his bench press has gone up 40 pounds in one month! He's begging me to order more. I take them too and can definitely tell that I have more sustained energy during my workouts. We'll definitely order this product again!
I've been only using this for a little less than a month and I have made gains in bench by 15 lbs. I can feel the extra pump every time I take my 3 chewables after my workout. I highly recommend this product.
Hica Max is definitly an amazing supplement you can add to your stack. When I used my 2 first tubs of HicaMax. I put on 1,5Kgs of lean mass without even changing my diet, nor my training routine that much. Another thing I noticed ,is that this supplement help reducing the DOMS , when i use HICA, I'm not as sore as when I dont take it after a workout. If you are like me and love eating sweets, Hica Max can be helpful . It tastes great,almost like a regular candy. So after my meals, when I want to eat something sweet ,I have a tablet of HIca Max ,and it helps reducing my craving, It helps me stick to my diet and keep my "lean body" :)
I have tried many supplements over the years and this is one of the best. I take 4 in the morning as soon as I wake up, I keep them next to my bed! I find because this product is an leucic acid its gets into my system very quickly and gets my body out of its catabolic state. Forgo the shake first thing in the morning and try HICA Max fist!!! They don't taste bad and I have seen some great results. I have even noticed a difference in my strength. I would recommend this product to anyone looking to speed up their metabolism and put on some size and stength!
I just recently bought my first container of HICA-MAX and I was absolutely astonished. I was able to go from training only 5 days a week to everyday! And not only that, but while I was training I felt incredible! I could not only go up in weight, but also in reps! I'm on my second container now and I have had such quick gains in size density etc. that I started to get asked if I was on any steroids, I simply showed the container of HICA-MAX to my gym manager and then he quickly became a lover of HICA-MAX! And even on top of all these things HICA-MAX didn't just make me feel better while I was training, but even throughout the day I felt just as hard and dense as I did while I was training! I've got to say Labrada, you really have me blown away with this new product.
I bought 2 tubs a few months ago. Not really knowing much about it I contacted Zach on bb.com who really helped me out with a personal plan just for me. The customer services were really helpful and are there to guide people in reaching their goals I've never seen such dedication from a company! #Greatcompany Hica-Max gets it done. I've been beastin it on the bench and just don't get sore. I added over 10 pounds on my bench and I gained 5lb since I started and my waist is smaller. Gotta put the work in though. Lift heavy to the MAX!
I have been taking HICA-MAX for month now and I can truly say that this product is amazing! I am 46 years old and dieting down to get body bodyfat off doing HIT cardo and giant sets on weights. I feel not as sore as I use to be and I am recuperating faster then I was before taking HICA-MAX. I am also gaining more size on this product while cutting fat. It seems to good to be true for a natural supplement like HICA-MAX but it does work. I did what Lee told me to do and take 2 HICA WITH BCCA before your workout and 2 HICA after the workout. Then he told me to take them on my off days with meals 1,3 and 5. If anyone is frustrated with not building muscle then I would "highly" recommend HICA-MAX to your suppplement procol. After what I saw in the first two weeks I order 7 more bottles from Lee site. The rate I am growing I will have to buy new shirts to sport my bigger guns.
For me the second day after a hard training session is usually the worst for soreness, however after taking HICA-MAX that day is diminished enough to where I can workout without having to deal with sore muscles. I feel stronger and more energetic, because HICA has accelerated my recovery time. This is yet another product from Labrada that I will always have on hand!
I started a stack of Humanogrowth x4 pills at night and Hica 5 tabs a day, 3 after workout, 1 in the morning and 1 at night, that's all I've changed and I am getting stronger and bigger, it's really hard to say exactly what is doing what, but there's no doubt, this concoction is working, every week another 1-2lbs on the scale with no increase in fat according to the calipers and I'm also recovering better. I'm seriously sceptical about "natural " supplements having much impact but I just can't argue with what seems to be happening, my diet has stayed indentical but I'm more pumped, harder, more lean mass, has to be the Hica, what's more interesting is I was already taking 5g Leucine with my protein shakes for months but this is having an effect past that. Sort of feel addicted to these two supplements now, the only other thing I have been taking is a Zinc supp, because I found I was deficient but that's for health nothing else. I guess I'm convinced, going to keep ordering while I'm training hard, it just does seem to work.
"Hey, Lee. I got to try the Hica-Max and after a few days I can already tell a difference not only in my recovery but also in my energy levels when I go to train. This is my first bottle of Hica-MAX but I assure you it will not be my last. Thank you."Roger "ROCK" Lockridge, CPT Writer, Bodybuilding.com & Iron Man Magazine IFA Certified Personal Trainer Support Coordinator, Child and Youth Advocacy Center
I just wanted to share my own personal experience with HICA Max. I can't believe the difference this product makes in reducing DOMS!! It has decreased my muscle soreness FAR greater than any other product I've ever tried in the past. Its almost too good to be true. I'm purposely trying to "kill" the muscles and still feeling almost no soreness. 3 tabs right after my workout or 3 tabs on an empty stomach on non training days. That's all. Fantastic so far. Thanks for this amazing product. Sincerely, James
I have been taking the HiCA-Max for 4 months now and I can tell you this for sure...it WORKS. This is a great supplement that I will continue to use year round. I increased my lean mass and my overall strength, but I really feel a new energy and vitality. I'm 46 years old but I feel like 26 and as the father of an active four year old I couldn?t be happier. On my training day I take 2 before my "Super Charge" and 2 after. On non-training days I take 3 during the day 30 minutes before each meal. As a Cancer survivor I'm very conscious of what supplements I take and Labrada's Nutrition is my number 1 supplement choice. Thanks to you Lee and your team I still have my "Pump"!! Martin Bolduc
• I am very impressed with your product HICA-MAX I have been taking it for several months now and I have noticed a big difference in muscle growth and weight loss I have lost 18 lbs since April and my arms are getting where I want them! You have a great product here and I will continue to use it! Ralph Garcia Jr. BM1 USNAVY (Ret)
I had to send you this because the results are REAL. I have to say this Hica Max works! You say in your video "it literally turns a switch in your body", with me it seriously has. It doesn't hurt that I work out everyday with a former Mr. Universe but since I've been taking Hica Max, my muscle size has been increasing almost daily. It's been very noticeable to where people are asking me what I'm on. I'm certainly not the biggest guy so my growth in muscle has been very obvious. Anyway, I figured I would let you know how I've had great success with this product and I've been telling everyone I know! Thanks for coming out with this amazing product! Matthew Torneo
Hello. I would like to let you know that. For the last 8 weeks I have been using hica max. And the results were nothing short of amazing. I. Started using it @ a bw of. 225. And decided. To do a local bb show. @ 40 yrs old. I had my bf tested. @ 12.8 % @ the beginning in a bod pod. The day of the md state I was 4% @ 218. Please contact me for a more details. I also just laced 3rd @ the ifbb north american heavyweight. andrew sarmast
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