Active8 Supplement Articles

Benefits of HICA

Jul 20, 2016 | by: Team A8

Do you know how many amino acid and BCAA supplements are out there? I don't think you can count them. However, as amino acids are basic and yet very important supplements (especially BCAAs) supplementation helps increase lean mass and performance, you definitely want to find the right product that works every time.


I have tried a multitude of BCAA supplements from different companies, and I must say that my favorite product is Magnum HI-5 (high five). I love it for 3 big reasons:
  1. 2:1:1 BCAA ratio (2000mg of Leucine, 1000mg of Isoleucine, and 1000mg of Valine)
  2. Excellent anti-fatigue ingredient profile
  3. HICA (DL-Alpha-Hydroxy-Isocaproic Acid)

First of all, many research and studies show that the 2:1:1 ratio is most effective in muscle growth and performance. Secondly, HI-5's Anti-Fatigue Formula contains natural endurance-supporting ingredients such as Rhodiola Rosea Root, Astragalus, Cordyceps Extract, and Beet Root Extract.

What is HICA? And Why?

The biggest factor in making this product unique and effective is HICA. I believe it is pronounced "hee-kah". (Correct me if I'm wrong here) What is HICA? It is a metabolite of Leucine, the most important branch chain amino acid to support anabolic signalling and stimulate protein synthesis. Then the next logical question is: Why didn't they just put Leucine instead of its metabolite? Why bother going an extra process? Well, here is why. Leucine is converted into HICA when metabolized in the body. However, the conversion from Leucine does not yield enough HICA to provide meaningful benefits. HICA is known to be very effective in aiding recovery, and that's why Magnum has thrown this game-changing ingredient into the mix.

HICA Benefits

We don't have a significant amount of studies and research to validate the effectiveness of HICA. There is a 4-week study done in Norway to investigate the effects of HICA supplementation. 15 healthy male soccer player volunteered for the 4-week double-blind study during an intense training period. Results? The HICA supplementation significantly increased body weight and whole lean body mass while fat mass remained constant. Also, taking HICA decreased the whole body DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) when compared to placebo.

cvmLet me share with you my own anecdotal experience, too. I used to take a different BCAA supplement, and it worked very well in that it provided great energy and endurance and it helped me gain lean muscle. But after taking the HI5 (since the beginning of August), I noticed that the product gave me all of the above AND unbelievable reduction in muscle soreness. It's almost non-existent. You probably won't believe me 100%, but I hate lying and the truth is revealed through numerous reviews and tests anyway. I can honestly say that this product is very effective in providing endurance and reduction in muscle soreness, thus helping you to intensify your training even more.

What about taste? To be honest, it could be better. Active8 has 2 flavors - Fruit Punch and Blue Raspberry. Fruit Punch with a mango kicker is not the best thing in the world, but definitely tolerable, and after numerous workouts the flavor didn't bother me at all. I have yet to try the Blue Raspberry, so I will report back and let you know what I think.

So, if you are looking for a high-quality BCAA supplement which will help you increase lean body mass, reduce DOMS, and increase exercise capacity, consider taking Magnum HI-5. Give it a whirl, and you won't be disappointed. 

References: Effects of alfa-hydroxy-isocaproic acid on body composition, DOMS and performance in athlete: Journal of the international society of sports nutrition