Higenamine, also known as Norcoclaurine, has become quite popular in recent years as a fat-burning and energy supplement. It can be found in hundreds of multi-ingredient supplements, from fat-burners to pre-workouts.
Still, there isn’t much reliable information out there about this unique substance. Most of what you’ll find on the internet regarding Higenamine is dreamed up in the mind of supplement company owners who claim that it has a ton of amazing qualities.
Mostly, Higenamine is believed to:
- Burns Fat
- Increase Oxygen Utilization
- Boost Mental Energy
Needless to say, some of these claims hold more weight — from a scientific perspective — than others. But we’ll get to that (and more) later. First, let’s talk about what exactly Higenamine is and where it comes from.
What Is Higenamine?
Higenamine is a naturally occuring molecule found in a variety of different plants, mostly indigenous to parts of Asia, including the Sacred Lotus flower.
Other plants in which Higenamine has been found (and may be extracted from) include:
- Magnolia salicifolia
- Argemone mexicana
- Aconite Root
- Coptis japonica
- Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata
All of these species have been shown to possess Higenamine at some level, although the amount may vary significantly from species to species.
Given it’s prevalence in nature, it should come as no surprise that Higenamine, in the form of a plant extract, has been used throughout the medicine systems of various different cultures.
For example, Nelumbo Nucifera (also known as Sacred Lotus, Chinese Water Lily, and Indian Lotus) has been used for centuries in India, Egypt, and China for a variety of purposes, some cooking-related and some medicinal.
In one form or another, Higenamine has an extensive history of use throughout systems of traditional medicine.
These days, however, you can find it in a ton of supplements, mostly geared toward energy. High stim pre-workouts and fat-burners are among the most common types of supplements to use Higenamine.
How Does Higenamine Work?
As you can see, Higenamine supplementation caused a notable increase in Free Fatty Acids and Glycerol, a clear indication of fat-breakdown.
While further studies (perhaps testing the impact of Higenamine on long-term body composition) would be nice, we can certainly conclude that Higenamine is an effective fat-burner.
It works the same way as other beta-receptor agonists such as Synephrine and Ephedrine…
Beta-Receptors, Alpha-Receptors, And Fat-Loss
The body has two primary types of receptors that regulate fat-loss:
As depicted above, each of these receptors is comprised of subtypes.
Beta-receptors have 3 subtypes and alpha-receptors have 2 subtypes. Both beta-2 and beta-3 receptors induce Lipolysis (fat-breakdown) and can therefore function as fat-burners, but too much stimulation of beta-3-receptors can have unwanted side effects such as tremors.
Fortunately, Higenamine is a beta-2-receptor agonist which means it doesn’t interact with the beta-3-receptor to the degree that it would cause any unwanted side effects.
Obviously, it’s still possibly to experience some stimulant-related side effects–and we’ll talk about those a little later–but it’s much less likely with beta-2-receptor agonist.
That’s why you’ll see beta-2-agonist used as fat-burning ingredients mostly.
Okay, let’s get back to beta-receptors vs. alpha receptors…
You can think of beta-receptors and alpha receptors as to sides of a metabolic switch that must work in tandem in order to regulate fat-loss.
Beta-receptors initiate (or “turn on”) Lipolysis (the break-down on fat) while alpha-receptors signal the body to stop it.
You see, we humans evolved in harsh conditions. Always hunting, collecting. Constantly on the go looking for that next food supply or fresh water source. So, our bodies evolved these receptors to regulate the process of fat breakdown (Lipolysis) in order for us to use stored fat as a fuel source but not run out completely.
After all, if you’re body fat percentage drops too low (2-3%) for too long, you’ll die. Everybody needs SOME fat, it’s just that these days many of us are finding that we have A LOT MORE than we need.
Our early ancestors probably never envisioned a day when their bodies would accumulate TOO MUCH fat! They probably wished their bodies could store more, especially when Winter came.
But let’s just face it…We’re not them and most of us want to lose some fat.
That’s where tweaking these receptors with fat-loss supplements (such as Higenamine) comes in. You want to activate (agonize) beta-receptors while blocking (antagonizing) alpha receptors.
Is Higenamine Like Synephrine?
Although the fat-loss benefits of Higenamine are often compared to that of Ephedrine and Synephrine, it’s chemical structure is actually pretty distinct.
Below are the basic chemical structures of Synephrine and Ephedrine:
It doesn’t take an organic chemist to see that, while Synephrine and Ephedrine are certainly VERY similar in terms of both structure and function, the chemical structure of Higenamine is far different from either of them.
The notion that it is simply a “chemical relative” of Ephedrine (or Synephrine) isn’t just an over-simplification…It’s not true at all.
They are too entirely separate substances which just happen to share a physiological mechanism of action. That’s actually good news since it means stacking Higenamine with Synephrine isn’t redundant and may actually be quite effective for fat-loss.
Extracts Vs. Synthetic: Which Is Best?
Higenamine is most commonly found in the form of plant extracts (such as Nelumbo nucifera) which are allegedly standardized for Higenamine content.
In reality, many of these extracts contain an unknown amount of Higenamine. Some also contain other biologically active compounds that aren’t listed on the label. Some of these unlisted chemical compounds can potentially interact with Higenamine or each other and produce different (possibly negative) effects.
For that reason, it’s better to use Higenamine HCl.
Higenamine HCl is simply Higenamine bonded with Hydrochloric Acid (HCl). It’s about 98% Higenamine by weight and the rest would be the HCl portion (which you have a ton of already in your stomach).
That way, you know exactly how much Higenamine you’re actually taking. Extracts just aren’t reliable most of the time, regardless of what the label claims.
Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult for Third Party Testing labs to test for Higenamine content in the form of an extract. Methods exist which allow them to test for Higenamine in the form of Higenamine HCl though, so it’s probably best to just stick with that.
Stacking Higenamine For Better Results
You see, while beta-receptor agonists stimulate Lipolysis, alpha-receptor antagonists prevent the body from stopping Lipolysis. In other words, one burns fat and one allows the body to continue to burn fat after it would normally stop.
The result? One seriously effective fat-loss stack. In fact, if you take a look at most multi-ingredient, stimulant-based fat-burning supplements, you’ll see that many of them contain both of these components in some form or another.
The most commonly seen combinations of these ingredients are:
Obviously there are a ton of different combinations of alpha-receptor antagonists and beta-receptor agonists, but you get the idea…
Often times, the fat-loss impact of these ingredients is amplified by the addition of Caffeine. Caffeine doesn’t directly impact adrenergic receptors like the molecules we discussed above, but instead acts on Adenosine receptors.
Adenosine, the target of these receptors, is kind of an “anti-stimulant”. It inhibits the central nervous system.
Antagonism of these receptors results in quite a few physiological changes, including:
- increased respiratory rate
- higher perceived energy levels
That third effect is brought on by the release of certain neurotransmitters such as Dopamine, Noradrenaline, and Acetylcholine. In addition to giving Caffeine it’s stimulant properties, triggering the release of Dopamine and Noradrenaline results in more Lipolysis.
For this reason, Caffeine is a highly effective addition to any fat-burning stack which already contains a beta-receptor agonist and an alpha-receptor antagonist. It simply amplifies the fat-burning effects.
An ultra-effective fat-burning stack would be:
- Higenamine: 25-50mg
- Rauwolscine: 1-3mg
- Caffeine: 100-300mg (depending on tolerance)
Most stimulant-heavy fat-burners contain this combination, but you can easily replicate it cheaply and efficiently by just buying the ingredients separately. This also allows for flexible dosing.
Is Higenamine Legal?
Higenamine remains legal for use in dietary supplements in most countries, including the US, Canada, and the UK. Although most of the world’s health-related governing organizations are constantly evolving, Higenamine hasn’t yet been the target of any government ban.
It is, however, banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, along with a healthy list of other beta-2-agonists. That’s only an issue if you’re a competitive athlete at a high enough level to be subject to testing.
Most athletes are not tested for Higenamine, but if you’re an athlete who is subject to testing of any kind, you should make it your business to know what you’re being tested for.
All the WADA ban means to non-athletes is that Higenamine is considered an effective enough fat-burner to be considered “unfair” for the purposes of sport. Outside of WADA, Higenamine is entirely legal.
Higenamine is dosed much like Ephedrine, around the 20-30mg range, but some products contain doses as high as 75mg. If you’ve never used Higenamine before, you’ll want to start with a lower dose, say 25 mg.
If, on the other hand, you tend to have a high stimulant tolerance, 50-75 mg may be the sweet spot. As with any fat-loss supplement, it may take some experimentation before you find your ideal dose of Higenamine, but you should always start low and go high because you DEFINITELY don’t want to start too high with a stimulant like Higenamine.
Is Higenamine Safe?
There’s nothing about Higenamine that makes it inherently dangerous, but if you take too much you’ll surely regret it. Like any powerful beta-2-agonist, Higenamine my increase your heart rate, especially when combined with other stimulants such as Caffeine.
So, you should be particularly careful when it comes to combining Higenamine with other supplements, but alone, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll experience much of a negatie reaction.
Choosing The Best Higenamine Supplement
There are a ton of supplements which contain Higenamine. Some of the most notable are:
Pre-Workouts With Higenamine
- Blackstone Labs Dust Extreme
- VMI Sports K-XR
- ANS Pre-Workout Extreme
- TLM Research Meth Lab
- RedCon1 Total War
- 5% Nutrition 5150
Fat-Burners With Higenamine
- Performax Labs OxyMax XT
- NLA (For Her) Her Thermo Energy
- MAN Sports Lean PhD
And there are plenty of others out there as well. Higenamine is one of the primary ingredients that drives stimulant-based fat-burners.
Since there is no “clinical dose” for Higenamine, the ideal dose will vary from person to person.
We all have different levels of stimulant-tolerance, so you may prefer to just get a single-ingredient Higenamine supplement so you can control the dose.
If that’s the case, check out:
Singular Sport Higenamine
Singular Sport Higenamine is a product I created after doing a ton of research and realizing there was no single-ingredient form of Higenamine.
I was confused as to why such a sought after stimulant wouldn’t be available in isolated form.
So, I made my own!
Singular Sport Higenamine contains nothing but pure Higenamine Hcl, with no other active ingredients. The capsules are 25mg each, making dosing extremely flexible.
You can easily add it to your current pre-workout supplement for an energy boost or toss it in your current fat-burner to amplify the effects.
I personally like to take one capsule with about 200mg of Caffeine before I workout. The energy and focus is intense though, so if you’re not used to Caffeine I would start with a lower dose (like 100mg maybe).
Like all Singular Sport products, Singular Sport Higenamine
Is Third Party Tested
Contains No Fillers Or Artificial Dyes
Is Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly
So, if you’re looking for a single-ingredient Higenamine supplement you can actually trust, you found it!
The Bottom Line On Higenamine
Higenamine is a naturally occurring, safe, highly effective fat-loss supplement which should be considered by anyone looking to burn fat and it provides a nice energy boost as well.
It shares a similar mechanism as Synephrine and Ephedrine (beta-receptor agonist) and stacks especially well with other fat-loss supplements such as Rauwolscine (an alpha-receptor antagonist).