ANIMAL CUTS POWDER
Animal Cuts, is now in powder form. It is similar to the tried-and-true pill version but with a few adjustments and enhancements. A one-scoop fat burner designed to boost metabolism, expel excess water and more, Cuts Powder is the next generation.
Animal Cuts Powder is the next level when it comes to thermogenic fat burners. While most pills and powders are just loaded with stimulants to make you “feel” the product and “think” it’s working, Cuts Powder is backed by real research on ingredients that actually assist in burning fat. The product is based around our Carnitine Cutting Blend, which is comprised of Acetyl L-Carnitine and L-Carnitine Titrate, two forms of carnitine that have a proven track record in shrinking fat cells.
Cuts Powder can be used equally by women and men as your go-to weight management supplement, making it part of your daily regimen that should include a proper diet, good meal preparation habits, and daily exercise. Just like its brother product, Cuts Powder also uses a bit of herbs like Green Tea Leaf Extract and more to give your metabolism a kick in the rear as well as a water shedding complex to expel excess water weight and give the user that “shrink wrapped” look. We use two types of Tyrosine (an amino acid linked to improved focus) to make sure you stay engaged and zoned-in during your cardio and workout. Last, but certainly not least, Choline Bitartrate was included to enhance carnitine retention and make the product more effective overall. If you’re in the business of incinerating body fat, slimming down and losing some extra weight, Animal Cuts Powder is for you.
Here’s what each scoop of Animal Cuts Powder delivers:
Metabolic and Stimulant Complex
L-Carnitine Complex: 1.5g from Acetyl L-Carnitine (750mg) and L-Carnitine Tartrate (750mg)
L-carnitine is an amino acid that shuttles fatty acids into the mitochondria so that they can be oxidized and turned into energy. Stored in skeletal and cardiac muscle, carnitine helps burn fat by encouraging cells to utilize fatty acids as energy. This ability is noteworthy considering how cells typically prefer to create energy. Glucose is the body’s primary source of fuel, and though fatty acids can be used to create glucose, carbohydrates are converted into glucose at a much more efficient rate. Carnitine swings the metabolic process toward fatty acids, freeing them up for effective fat-burning.
Works best for those who are carnitine deficient or overtrained
Despite the importance of its underlying action, research studying carnitine’s potency in terms of weight loss is mixed and depends on the demographic. A meta-analysis published in a 2016 edition of Obesity Reviews analyzed nine randomized, controlled clinical trials concerned with carnitine and found that participants who supplemented with L-carnitine lost significantly more weight and had a lower body mass index (BMI) than control groups.
However, an earlier study from 2000 in which overweight volunteers combined carnitine supplementation with aerobic training for eight weeks saw no significant changes in weight or fat mass. Success seems to hinge on carnitine status – it works best for those who are deficient – and it’s worth noting that we seem to be eating less carnitine-based foods since 2000.
There are other benefits as well. A 2009 study published in Hypertension found that individuals taking 2 grams of carnitine daily for 24 weeks saw improvements in insulin sensitivity and glucose response, which are key indicators of improved metabolic health.
Works great for athletes like those on Team Animal
The amino also has usage in terms of performance and recovery, too, and this is a great reason why it’s here for Team Animal. According to a 2018 review published in Nutrients, carnitine supplementation can reduce muscle soreness, increase oxygen uptake, improve power output, enhance blood flow, and promote recovery. Such effects can be leveraged into better performance in training and faster recovery, which can help take weight-loss efforts to another level.
Animal opts for two different sources of carnitine, capitalizing on each variant’s unique capabilities. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) crosses the blood-brain barrier and provides a focus-enhancing effect,[7,8] which can help fight against the “diet fog” that sometimes sets in for people trying to lose weight. L-carnitine L-tartrate uses tartrate to enhance absorption, allowing for quicker fatty acid transport. By including both at equal 750 milligram doses, Cuts Powder delivers an effective supply of carnitine accompanied by these auxiliary benefits. Fatty acid oxidation, alongside some nootropic benefits, is a great way to start off this label.
Additional synergy with choline (see below)
Finally, we have a solid choline/carnitine combination, which brings added synergy, as choline has been shown to increase carnitine retention. That’s covered below in the choline section. Any supplement that has the “CCC” trifecta (choline + carnitine + caffeine) is going to be beneficial, in our book!
Caffeine – 200mg
Caffeine similarly toes the line between fat-burning and cognition, making for one of the most frequently-used ingredients in fat burners. We all know the mental and physical energy caffeine can deliver, but this stimulant is potent in terms of weight loss as well. Caffeine inhibits adenosine (a neurotransmitter that encourages relaxation and sleep), which not only increases alertness but also reduces appetite and increases thermal heat.[9,10]
Caffeine also stimulates cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) activity by inhibiting phosphodiesterase enzymes in muscle and fat tissues. This increases thermogenesis, encouraging the body to expend and burn more energy.[10,11]
At 200 milligrams, this dose of caffeine is certainly not on the higher end of what some of you Animals may like to see. However, it’s a solid dose that will no doubt ignite your internal engine, heating things up and providing a solid energy kick.
Metabolic Herbal Extract Blend – 150mg
Caffeine may ignite the metabolism, but Animal doesn’t stop there. Similar to what Animal Cuts Paks does, this formula makes use of multiple herbal extracts to provide even more metabolic support:
- Green tea leaf extract, commonly used for its potent antioxidant content, contains the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC). This compound lies at the center of green tea extract’s thermogenic and fatty acid oxidation capabilities. Green tea extract also has synergy with other metabolic-boosting stimulants like caffeine.
- Oolong tea leaf extract is another nutrient-rich tea that delivers a substantial amount of polyphenols and other antioxidants. In a 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that a mixture of oolong tea increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation. While the tea’s caffeine content stimulated thermogenesis, they only saw increases in fat-burning ability when a full-strength tea (a combination of polyphenols and caffeine) was used.
- Black tea leaf extract delivers an assortment of polyphenols, including catechines and theaflavins, that can regulate body weight. In a 2014 study published in Food & Function, individuals drinking three cups of black tea daily for three months saw improvements in body weight and body fat distribution compared to individuals who drank an equally-caffeinated, polyphenol-free beverage.
- Coffee bean extract has shown potency as a weight-loss agent, as well. In a 2018 edition of the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers administered 400 milligrams of coffee bean extract (CBE) or a placebo to volunteers twice daily for eight weeks. At the conclusion of the study, those given CBE had improved in multiple markers of metabolic health — fasting blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, and blood pressure — in addition to seeing reductions in waist circumference and appetite.
- White tea leaf extract uses its antioxidant capabilities to increase fat metabolism. In a 2009 study from Nutrition & Metabolism, researchers found that white tea extract increases lipolytic activity and inhibits adipogenesis in human preadipocytes. These findings suggest that this tea can be used to influence the body’s ability to create and hold fat.
Coleus forskohlii, a member of the mint family of plants, is commonly used for its forskolin content — this compound has been shown to stimulate cAMP levels and increase fat oxidation. A 2015 clinical trial published in Nutrients found that while individuals following a hypocaloric diet saw improvements in body measurements and lipid profiles, those also taking forskolin saw better improvement in insulin sensitivity than those that did not receive the herb.
This herbal extract blend delivers a wide array of catechins, polyphenols, and other antioxidants that have shown the potential to support metabolic efficiency, increase energy expenditure, and boost fat oxidation.[21,22] Forskolin (which is in the stimulant blend in Animal Cuts Paks) mimics caffeine’s metabolic activation, raising energy expenditure higher.
We only have 150 milligrams of this herbal blend here in Animal Cuts Powder, which is significantly less than that of the Paks variant. Furthermore, this blend contains six ingredients in that dose, and we’re not sure exactly how much of each herb is in it. Both of these points taken into consideration, additional metabolic support is something we’d rather have than not, so we’ll take it.
Nootropic & Thyroid Complex
Tyrosine Blend – 1g from N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (500mg) and L-Tyrosine (500mg)
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid used by the body to facilitate various processes, two of which speak to its inclusion in this Nootropic & Thyroid Complex.
We often see this amino acid used as a nootropic in pre-workouts and gaming formulas, thanks to its focus-enhancing capabilities. Tyrosine is a precursor of the catecholamine neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, which are used to signal cellular communication. Dopamine modulates focus, motor function, motivation, and cognition,[23,24] while both norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline) activate the fight-or-flight response signaled in stressful situations, elevating lipolysis and heart rate in the process.[25,26] In the short-term, activating this state can also suppress appetite. By facilitating the production of these three key neurotransmitters, tyrosine mainly helps maintain cognitive energy and mood, both of which are susceptible to faltering when dieting.
Don’t forget Tyrosine’s thyroid benefits
Tyrosine also supports thyroid health. In conjunction with the mineral iodine, tyrosine is used in the production of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), two thyroid hormones secreted by the gland in order to regulate metabolic processes throughout the body.[28,29] Keeping the thyroid running efficiently is paramount for metabolic health, making tyrosine incredibly important in this regard.
Similar to what Animal did with carnitine, this formula contains two variants of tyrosine — L-tyrosine and N-acetyl-L-tyrosine (NALT). This blend should please both sides of the debate. L-tyrosine is usually our preferred version of the amino acid, as it possesses superior bioavailability than NALT. Research has yet to support the notion that NALT can cross the blood-brain barrier due to its acetyl group, a common argument in regards to this ingredient. NALT is more water-soluble, however, which is likely why it’s included in this powdered form of Animal Cuts – for better mixability.
Each type of tyrosine comes in at an equal 500 milligrams, yielding a full 1 gram per serving. With the recommended two-servings per day, this formula delivers a 2-gram dose that has been shown to improve cognitive function.
L-Taurine – 1000mg
Taurine is a conditionally-essential amino acid, meaning that while the body can produce it independently, it does rely on proper nutrition and supplementation to ensure its availability. Based on what it can do, this is something you want to be on top of.
Its inclusion as a nootropic here is related to its relevance in the central nervous system. According to a review published in a 2019 edition of Life Sciences, taurine improves cognitive function by improving neurotransmitter signaling, reducing neuroinflammation, and enhancing synaptic function.
Taurine’s ergogenic potential can’t be ignored here, either. In a 2018 meta-analysis published in Sports Medicine, 10 peer-reviewed studies showed that taking anywhere between 1,000 milligrams to 6,000 milligrams of taurine in the short-term or long-term can improve endurance. That, alongside the potential to reduce muscle soreness, means better, more intense training sessions that can help you achieve greater levels of weight loss.
Lastly, this amino acid does influence bile production in the body, regulating bile creation in ways that can allow for effective fat metabolism. This 1,000 milligram dose puts you well on your way to keeping the body’s taurine pools full.
Choline Bitartrate – 500mg
Choline is an essential nutrient used to create acetylcholine in the brain. Sometimes referred to as the “learning neurotransmitter”, acetylcholine is used to modulate a number of processes, including motor control, cognitive sharpness, and yes, learning. Increasing levels of this neurotransmitter in the brain can increase focus and alertness, heighting mental energy both inside and outside of the gym.
Synergy with carnitine – increase carnitine retention!
The benefits above are often discussed, but what most don’t know is choline’s synergy with carnitine! Several studies have investigated the effects of pairing choline (particularly a higher 2g dose of bitartrate) alongside carnitine, finding that choline increases carnitine retention in the body, allowing for longer-lasting fat burning:
- With Animal Cuts powder, we see both of these ingredients – albeit with a lower dose of choline – and for whatever reason, the choline/carnitine combination is not used as much as you’d think, given the above research. Animal knows to include both.
Admittedly, choline bitartrate isn’t the highest-end form of choline available, raising acetylcholine levels to a lesser degree than other choline variants. However, it actually has a higher choline yield than other choline ingredients, and we enjoy the bitartrate version regardless. It is still effective, and we’re happy with 500 milligrams per serving since that’s where we start feeling the ingredient. Just note that eating eggs, meat, and fish will get you more, and work synergistically with carnitine.
Phosphatidylserine (SerinAid) – 50mg
Phospholipids are an essential group of fatty acids that protect cell membranes and neurotransmitter signaling in the central nervous system. Phosphatidylserine (PS) makes up about 15% of these lipids in the cerebral cortex, acting as a vital modulator of numerous signaling processes. This cell-functioning regulator is also found in the heart, liver, and skeletal muscle. PS is used to regulate calcium ion uptake and substrate creation, fortifying cellular integrity, and transmit messages between cells and neurons.
Science has investigated PS as a supplemental aid and have found the lipid to have significant benefits in terms of cognitive function. In a 1992 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers found that 800 milligrams of PS taken daily for 10 days significantly reduced stress responses in nine healthy men. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found in a 2010 edition of the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition found that both 100-milligram and 300-milligram doses of PS, taken daily for six months, improved memory and brain function in individuals with memory issues.
While we’ve already spoken to the importance of keeping mental energy levels high during a dieting phase, limiting the body’s exposure and response to stress is equally as important. Cortisol is the hormone secreted in stressful situations, and research has shown that chronically elevated levels of cortisol can stimulate appetite, increase cravings, and lower insulin sensitivity.[46,47] Calorie restriction itself can raise cortisol secretion, placing additional emphasis on keeping stress levels low elsewhere. PS looks to provide aid in this regard.
Animal Cuts Powder only has 50 milligrams of this stress-modulating phospholipid, coming in the form of the premium SerinAid from Chemi Nutra. Though most studies test daily doses of 300 milligrams or higher, there does seem to be some benefit with a daily 100 milligrams — and Animal’s recommended two scoops per day puts you right at that threshold.
Huperzine A (Huperzia Serrata Extract) – 100mcg
Whenever you see a choline ingredient on a label, you can expect to see huperzine A a bit further down the panel. While acetylcholine facilitates cognitive function, acetylcholinesterase is the enzyme that metabolizes it and removes it from the brain. Huperzine A inhibits acetylcholinesterase activity, with research showing that such an inhibitory effect can enhance cognitive function and learning. Huperzine A fends off the degradation of circulating acetylcholine, keeping its levels high and effects strong.
With 100 micrograms, there’s enough here to support this formula’s choline bitartrate inclusion and keep you Animals focused.
Water Shedding Complex
Dandelion Root Powder – 100mg and Uva Ursi Leaf Powder – 100mg
How long have you been Paking it?
When looking to lean out, shedding excess water weight can help achieve that clean-cut, defined look an effective diet and training regimen make possible. The body obviously needs to hold enough water to facilitate proper function, but too much water retention can actually be harmful, leading to issues like poor recovery, imbalanced electrolytes, nutritional deficiencies, and minor hormonal irregularities. Toss in the desire to look as shredded as possible, perhaps for a bodybuilding competition, and suddenly removing excess water stores from the body becomes an attractive proposition.
Dandelion root and uva ursi leaf are two natural diuretics used here to strategically decrease the body’s excess water stores. These two natural herbs have traditionally been used in applications revolving around the bladder and kidneys, with research supporting its diuretic capabilities.[52,53] Herbal diuretics are considered safe, too, as they help maintain levels of key electrolytes (such as potassium) in the body. In other words, they target excess water without removing what the body needs to properly function.
A bit less drying than Animal Cuts
While Animal Cuts Paks supplies 800 milligrams of six diuretics, the powdered version uses just 100 milligrams each of dandelion root and uva ursi leaf. Diuretics are ingredients that people like to be strategic with — so in removing the blue pill in Cuts Paks (that’s the one that has the diuretics), one can effectively time their use of diuretics for when they need it most.
However, Cuts Powder doesn’t allow for this level of customization since everything is mixed together. As such, Animal smartly uses 200 milligrams of water-shedding ingredients — an effective total that lies on the conservative side for most. And most Animals out there are athletes that need to stay hydrated anyway — if you want something more “pharmaceutical” in this regard, looking elsewhere for additional diuretics may be worthwhile.