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Alpha-Hydroxy-isocaproic acid (HICA) (a.k.a leucic acid) is a product of leucine metabolism and it occurs naturally in many fermented protein products (like cheese, wine, and soy sauce). Recent clinical evidence has shown that HICA is a potent anticatabolic (protein sparing) supplement and it is thought these anticatabolic effects are a result of HICA's ability to reduce the effect of enzymes that break down muscle tissue.

In a recent placebo controlled study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition researchers reported that 4 weeks HICA supplementation combined with strength training resulted in a 0.66 lb gain in lean body mass (LBM), with no change reported in the placebo group. Subjects who took HICA also reported significant decreases in muscle soreness during recovery. However, despite improvements in lean mass, muscular strength and performance did not differ among groups.

If you are interested in using HICA take 1.5 grams per day split into 3 doses of 500g and take with meals.

Mero AA, Ojala T, Hulmi JJ, Puurtinen R, Karila TA, Seppälä T. Effects of alfa-hydroxy-isocaproic acid on body composition, DOMS and performance in athletes. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Jan 5;7:1.