It's time for me to review another supplement and today I am going to examine HICA-MAX by Labrada.
HICA_MAX is sold as a "Muscle Growth Stimulator". It is a fruity flavored chewable Leucic Acid (a-hydroxy-isocaproic acid). 1 tablet contains 500 mg of the acid and it is dosed at three tablets per day. HICA-MAX contains 1.5 grams of Xylitol (a sugar alcohol) that also gives it 1.5 gms of total carbs per tablet.
Here is what HICA-MAX proports:
HICA-MAX™ is a powerful non-hormonal, natural stimulator of muscle growth. HICA-MAX™ 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 mechanism 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. As a hard training athlete, HICA-MAX™ can help you: * Create explosive gains in muscle and strength faster than ever before, without the negative side effects of non FDA approved supplements or non FDA approved supplement. * Rapidly accelerate recovery from workouts, so you can train more often. * Reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) allowing you to train harder.1 Unlike non FDA approved supplement or hypertrophic non FDA approved supplements, HICA-MAX? activates hypertrophic and anti-catabolic pathways without directly affecting your body's hormonal balance. HICA-MAX? gives you maximum muscle growth without negative side effects! You don't have to cycle off HICA-MAX?. Just three HICA-MAX™ tablets is an efficacious daily dose of what may be the most powerful non-non FDA approved supplemental muscle growth stimulator in existence! HICA-MAX? comes in 4 delicious, sugar-free flavors. HICA-MAX™ offers the most cost-effective solution to accelerating muscle growth gains in the gym while also reducing muscle soreness from super-charged workouts!
I am going to rate this supplement four ways:
Taste: 8/10. I loved the taste of these tablets which is good because it allowed me to double and triple dose them in hopes of seeing some results. They taste like off brand sweet tarts of sorts.
Dose: 8/10 again because, if indeed three tablets affect you, they are easy to take and do not require water to wash them down so dosing is easy and convenient.
Effectiveness: 4/10. I tried three after leg day to run them through the paces - no impact. I tried five the next day for triceps day - no effects. I tried every way I could to see if there was any lack of DOMS or soreness and there wasn't. I tried to gauge or note an increase in muscle mass, strength, or anything that I could remotely attribute to HICA-MAX and I denoted absolutely noting. I am being generous with a 4/10 rating because perhaps I overlooked some obscure benefit and I REALLY want it to work.
Value: 4/10. I got these on a buy one get one free so I have another complete, unopened canister (they are about the size and shaped of a PWO canister like Jack3d) that I will 'enjoy' PCT as a snack.... seriously. Heck, maybe they will work... but I digress. I am only assigning a value to these in hopes that I didn't pay $20 for some slightly awkward (but good) sweet tart like chewable. I wish I could say these work and have some value but honestly I did not notice any impact whatsoever on my health, workouts, well being, or condition whatsoever.
In summary, I was actually quite excited to try this product and was hopeful that I would see some benefit from it because they are a good tasting and easy to enjoy supplement; however, the reality is that I saw no benefit at all from taking single, double, even triple doses of this product. I take a very well balanced and plentiful supply of amino acids and perhaps the HICA-MAX was lost in the mix but I would have to say to keep your hard earned money in your pocket on this supplement and buy some D-Pol and L-Glutamine for a little muscle help and some soreness relief.
Better yet, buy some Epsom salt and some chicken breasts.