ALLMAX Nutrition is entering the caffeinated aminos category of products with their much anticipated supplement titled, AminoCuts, or ACUTS. This is a division of the BCAA market that has grown over the past year with the debut Scivation’s Xtend GO and EVL’s BCAA Energy, both which top the “energy aminos” section of our Best BCAA Supplement buyer’s guide.
ALLMAX has finally revealed the label for their highly anticipated product and we’re here with the full breakdown. But can it compete with the two products we mention above in our Best-Of list?
We’ll get to it in one second, but first make sure to sign up for PricePlow alerts and check the best deal on ACUTS:
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AminoCUTS is tailored towards those who need a little extra energy during their workouts or those who are dieting down and want to preserve lean muscle mass. So without further ado…
CLA Triglyceride Powder (500mg)
CLA is one of those ingredients that a lot of diet supplements include because of its supposed weight loss benefits. The most successful study was done on the obese where they were fed much higher doses that the 500mg contained here.
Additionally, for every study showing CLA as an effective fat burning, there are two others that show inconclusive or negative results.[1,2,3,4,5]
Overall, it’s mostly a fad ingredient that we can’t get overly excited about. It is indeed a “healthy fat” that most of us do not get enough of, but we’re just not seeing enough definitive science that shows enough promise for dieters to make a big deal out of it.
Natural Caffeine (127mg)
Here’s the big energy component in AminoCUTS. This is natural caffeine standardized for 98% resulting in a total caffeine content of 125mg. Perfect for fasted morning cardio, a post-lunch jolt of energy, or as a pick me up for an extra long weights session, caffeine has been shown repeatedly to be effective for energy, focus, fat loss, and mood improvement.[6,7,8,9]
Green Coffee Bean Extract (125mg)
Here’s another ingredient like CLA that has a lot of bark and no bite. We’ve dealt with GCBE before, but in case you’re new to PricePlow, it’s one of those Dr. Oz favorite ingredients that doesn’t work as advertise. Different studies have been conducted with doses over 3x as much as is present in AminoCUTS with zero impact on weight loss.
In fact, the he one study that caused all the hoopla in the first place has been redacted, as it turns out the study was based on falsified information! Nearly the entire hype out of this ingredient was based on bold-faced lies!
GCBE isn’t completely useless though, as it does have some beneficial effects on lowering blood pressure.
Taurine is classified as a conditionally essential amino acid due to the fact that during periods of extreme duress, the body can’t produce enough to keep up with the body’s needs for it.
Taurine acts as a cell volumizer, drawing water and nutrients into the muscle cells. Studies show taurine helps reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) when paired with BCAAs and improve focus.
BCAAs are one of the most important things to look for when considering an intra workout supplement, and AminoCUTS uses a rather unique 45:30:25 ratio resulting in 326mg Leucine, 218mg Valine, and 181mg Isoleucine.
Here you get a mere 725mg of branched-chain amino acids. BCAAs are well-researched and provide a host of benefits for stimulating muscle protein synthesis, preventing catabolism, delaying fatigue and improving fat loss.[15,16,17]
However, we like to see at least a 5g dose of BCAAs in any amino acid supplement, which leads us to wonder why in the world only include 725mg of BCAAs in this product?!
Research indicates that when Alanine is combined with Glutamine (which we’ll get to further down our analysis), it increases the bioavailability of Glutamine. This will ensure glutamine isn’t prematurely broken down and absorbed in the stomach before it can make its way to your muscles and help with recovery.[18,19]
Glycine is one of the simplest amino acids and easily found in most protein-dense foods. It offers a number of benefits for those working out in regards to synthesizing muscle tissue, converting glucose into energy, and raising creatine levels in the body.
- L-Lysine HCl (300mg)
Similar to glycine, lysine is also involved in protein synthesis, particularly in building collagen together with the amino acids. There is also some evidence that it increases the effectiveness of L-arginine supplementation. This is done by slowing the movement of L-arginine from the vascular system into the muscle cells. This has two effects increasing nitric oxide levels in the body and reducing stress.[22,23]
Glutamine is the most prevalent amino acid in the body and widely regarded for its abilities to improve recovery and maintain gut health. Combining it with Alanine will ensure it makes its way to your muscles and doesn’t get broken down in your stomach prematurely.
Phenylalanine undergoes a multi-step conversion in the body, as it is first converted to Tyrosine and then converted into L-Dopa, epinephrine, norepinephrine, (3 crucial neurotransmitters in the body) which will lead to increased mood and energy.
Histidine is heavily involved in numerous metabolic reactions in the body. It indirectly enhances oxygen supply to all the various tissues and organs in the body. It’s also used as a building block for red blood cells.
Threonine is needed for the creation of glycine and serine in the body in order to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
At the end of the day, we really need to ask ourselves what we’re looking for in an energy-amino product. Do we want a solid amino acid supplement with some energy, or do we want an energy supplement with a dash of aminos?
If it’s the former you’re looking for, it’s simply coming up short for us, until someone shows us any research that 725mg of BCAAs will have any measureable effect on performance or muscle cell protection.
But if it’s the latter you’re looking for, this might get the job done if the price is right – just don’t get caught up in any hype on CLA or Green Coffee Bean Extract.
When we first started looking at what the Best BCAA Supplements were in the energy department, we decided to ‘standardize’ our value ratings on a 5g BCAA dose. We then looked at the rest of the ingredients. And unless you’re a total taurine lover (which many are), this one doesn’t make the cut for either our energy section nor or weight loss section, due to the smaller dose of BCAAs.
That’s fine, because that’s not what is being marketed here… but we’d rather have our money go into more branched chains than green coffee bean extract and CLA.
AminoCUTS is available in two delicious-sounding flavors: Pina Colada and Goji Berry Martini. These are two flavorings we rarely see in fitness supplements and have high hopes that they can deliver on taste.
ALLMAX’s latest offering to the supplement market brings a few infamous hype-based ingredients but falls short on the stuff that we typically like here. You will get a nice little pick me up from the 125mg of total caffeine in AminoCUTS, but as far as providing enough BCAAs to really power you through a workout or contain any truly beneficial fat loss ingredients, you might just be left wanting.
If you want some flavored water to sip on during the day that’s fine, but comparing it to fully-dosed BCAA supplements, AminoCUTS doesn’t make the cut for our Best BCAAs of 2015.
With all that said, the introductory prices are pretty good, but we want to see them fall further before buying it.
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- Joseph, S; Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 8 weeks does not affect body composition, lipid profile, or safety biomarkers in overweight, hyperlipidemic men.; Department of Food Science and Nutrition, and Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods; 2011
- Venkatramanan, S; Milk enriched with conjugated linoleic acid fails to alter blood lipids or body composition in moderately overweight, borderline hyperlipidemic individuals.; Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, University of Manitoba; 2010
- Wanders, A; Effect of a high intake of conjugated linoleic acid on lipoprotein levels in healthy human subjects.; Department of Health Sciences and the EMGO Institute for Health Care Research, VU University Amsterdam; 2010
- Sluijs, I; Dietary supplementation with cis-9,trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid and aortic stiffness in overweight and obese adults.; Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht; 2010
- Nazare, J; Daily intake of conjugated linoleic acid-enriched yoghurts: effects on energy metabolism and adipose tissue gene expression in healthy subjects.; Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine de Lyon; 2007
- Backhouse SH, et al. Caffeine ingestion, affect and perceived exertion during prolonged cycling. Appetite. (2011)
- Yoshida T, et al. Relationship between basal metabolic rate, thermogenic response to caffeine, and body weight loss following combined low calorie and exercise treatment in obese women. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. (1994)
- Zwyghuizen-Doorenbos A, et al. Effects of caffeine on alertness. Psychopharmacology (Berl). (1990)
- Duncan MJ, Oxford SW. The effect of caffeine ingestion on mood state and bench press performance to failure. J Strength Cond Res. (2011)
- Watanabe, T; The blood pressure-lowering effect and safety of chlorogenic acid from green coffee bean extract in essential hypertension.
- Hoffmann, E.K., I.H. Lambert, and S.F. Pedersen, Physiology of cell volume regulation in vertebrates. Physiol Rev, 2009. 89(1)
- Alford, C., H. Cox, and R. Wescott, The effects of red bull energy drink on human performance and mood. Amino Acids, 2001. 21(2)
- Consuming a supplement containing branched-chain amino acids during a resistance-training program increases lean mass, muscle strength and fat loss
- Shimomura Y, et al. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation before squat exercise and delayed-onset muscle soreness. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2010)
- Nutraceutical Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acids on Skeletal Muscle
- Harris, R; L-glutamine Absorption Is Enhanced after Ingestion of L-alanylglutamine Compared with the Free Amino Acid or Wheat Protein. Nutrition Research 32.4 (2012).
- Hoffman, J; L-alanyl-L-glutamine Ingestion Maintains Performance during a Competitive Basketball Game. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 9.1 (2012)