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HICA has been available for approximately a decade in the dietary supplement world, with certain users claiming it to be extremely effective, while others find it to be not as impressive.

While the debate continues on the effectiveness of this ingredient, there is scientific data which shows it does currently hold potential as an effective muscle builder or anti-catabolic agent.

What it does

Sutdies show HICA can increase lean body mass, reduce muscle soreness, and increase overall body weight[1].

How it works

HICA is a metabolite of the BCAA known as l-leucine. When we take in leucine, it follows one of two pathways, converting into KIC or HMB. From there KIC can convert into HICA. There may be benefit in consuming HICA, thereby bypassing the leucine -> KIC -> HICA conversion, as higher HICA levels may be possible via direct consumption.

Until more research is performed, the only true info regarding HICA we have is that it should help increase anabolism and reduce muscle wasting/catabolism via increased levels of muscle protein synthesis and mTOR.


The one human study on this compound shows benefits at 1,500mg/day split into three doses of 500mg. Due to the lack of data; this does not guarantee that’s the ideal dose of this compound. It is however still suggested to use this as a starting point for dosing.