Animal Cuts: A Legendary, Comprehensive Shredding Powerhouse

Update: Animal Cuts Powder is out as well!

For years, the sport of bodybuilding and Universal Nutrition have been seemingly joined at the hip Since the brand’s launch in 1983, their ethos of building a community that preaches hard work, commitment, maximizing potential, and of course, strength, has touched thousands of gym-savvy individuals. Through the years, Universal has expanded into the greater realm of sports nutrition, solidifying its place in sports like powerlifting, strongman, and even ultimate fighting. With a “universally”-applicable tenet at its core, and well-formulated supplements, Universal (as well as their sister brand Animal) is one of the more popular brands in the industry.

Fat burners meet the revolutionary “Pak” system

Animal Cuts

38 ingredients in 8 complexes. Are you ready to get cut and learn a ton along the way? Then keep reading… this Animal Cuts educational article goes well beyond just the ingredients.

They owe a piece of this popularity to their “pak system”. This was first introduced in Animal Pak, a comprehensive multivitamin that, in delivering over 60 ingredients, pushes the bounds of what multivitamins can offer. This methodology of delivering products through multiple pills/capsules proved so effective that it was ultimately used in other Animal products as well, such as Animal Greens and Animal Cuts.

A fat burner with eight complexes and tons of education below

Animal Cuts is the iconic brand’s entry into the world of fat burners, a category of products that aligns neatly with the brand’s bodybuilding origin. However, getting shredded is a goal that often surpasses the bodybuilding stage, with many people looking for that extra push to help maximize their progress in dropping body fat. When it comes to these goals, it’s difficult to find a product as ubiquitous as Animal Cuts — built with eight distinct complexes, Animal Cuts delivers arguably one of the most multifaceted, comprehensive array of effects a fat burner can. In fact, its formula has been so successful for individuals that, not only has it withstood the test of time, but it’s also getting a bit of an update, too!

Animal Logo

Are you an animal? Because this is the “Animal” way of fat burners

In this post, we’re going to cover the original Animal Cuts and all that makes it such a potent fat burner, including its eight complexes and their individual purposes. It also gives us an opportunity to learn about numerous things to consider when dieting, as each complex targets a different metabolic mechanism.

Before we get into the deep dive, make sure you’re subscribed to PricePlow for our latest Animal deals and news updates from Universal Nutrition.

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More than just a fat burner, a complete cutting formula

Taken at face value, orienting your goals around losing body fat seems relatively straightforward. You’ve probably seen the suggestions before: follow an intense training program, add some extra cardio, adhere diligently to a diet built around a slight caloric deficit with glycemic and insulin control, etc. While these principles are effective, they don’t paint the entire picture.

Animal Pak Red White and Blue Woman

As millions of American have learned, there’s far more to healthy weight loss than just “calories”

Healthy, efficient fat burning requires your attention in areas outside of just training and diet — your energy levels, hormones, mental cognition all must be kept in check, too. Taking things a step further, even something like water retention needs to be addressed, especially if the overall goal ends with a competition like a bodybuilding show. What makes this tricky is that factors necessary to dropping pounds, such as training and dieting, can actually lead to complications in these ancillary areas.

In other words, losing weight in a healthy fashion can be an intricate, sometimes difficult process. As such, supplying the body with what it needs to facilitate efficient weight loss is important. A proper training regimen and diet make up the bulk of any plan, surely, but a fat-burning supplement can offer that little extra that really makes your results “pop.” If that supplement contains ingredients that offer thermogenic aid, appetite suppression, energy, hormonal and cognitive health support, it can be a highly useful tool in your fat-loss arsenal.

Animal Cuts is one of these supplements. Using an astounding eight complexes, this comprehensive formula utilizes ingredients that cover all these areas, as well as a few more. With 38 different ingredients, Animal Cuts delivers an extensive effect through the following constructs:

  • Stimulant Complex
  • Metabolic Complex
  • Thyroid Complex
  • Water Shedding Complex
  • Nootropic Complex
  • Cortisol Inhibiting Complex
  • CCK Boosting Complex
  • Bioavailability Complex

Get ready to get Pak’d! The red pill is the stimulant complex and the blue pill is the diuretic complex

The inclusion of each individual complex is deliberate, with each serving a specific purpose in the product’s overall impact. Animal formulated each complex with careful consideration, choosing ingredients that are not only effective but synergistic as well. Let’s get to what these complexes bring to Animal Cuts and the purpose of their makeup!

Animal Cuts Ingredients

We’re going to break down Animal Cuts by complex, talking about the overall importance of each while also touching briefly on the purpose of the ingredients within each one. It’s worth noting that each complex is a proprietary blend, so we don’t know the exact contents of each individual ingredient.

  • Stimulant Complex – 750mg

    The full list of Animal Cuts Ingredients, 8 complexes and all

    When aiming to induce thermogenesis via supplementation, stimulants are often one of the first subcategories of ingredients mentioned. By definition, stimulants are constituents that upregulate some mechanism within an organism. In the case of thermogenic stimulants such as caffeine, this stimulatory action increases energy metabolism and blood pressure, in addition to increasing central nervous system activity.[1]

    Boosting the metabolic rate increases total energy expenditure, a practice that’s central to any weight loss endeavor.[2] Raising daily energy expenditure above energy intake forces the body to use stored energy to power itself — body fat represents one of the main storage systems the body uses. As such, using stimulants to increase energy and metabolic rate can be extremely useful in burning body fat.

    Animal Cuts relies mainly on caffeine as its stimulant of choice, and for good reason: caffeine is one of the most studied ingredients in sports supplements. While it provides a solid energy kick, research shows that caffeine supplementation can help increase thermogenesis, fatty acid oxidation, and appetite suppression.[3]

    There are seven fat-stimulating ingredients at work in Animal Cuts:

    • Caffeine anhydrous, one of the fastest-hitting forms of caffeine available.
    • Kola nut is a central nervous stimulant that has a significant amount of caffeine and is seen often as an additive in various foods and drinks.[4]
    • Animal Cuts PricePlow

      There has never been a fat burner that’s given us an opportunity to explore so many metabolic systems

      Guarana, a plant native to the Amazon, packs roughly four times as much caffeine as coffee beans.[5]

    • Yerba mate is a tea leaf that contains various active nutrients such as stimulants, polyphenols, and saponins. It’s been shown to increase energy expenditure and fatty acid oxidation during exercise, thanks to its caffeine content.[6]
    • Raspberry ketones, a chemical analog to the powerful stimulant synephrine, have displayed the ability to increase lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in mice,[7,8] leading scientists to suggest potential anti-obesity action in humans.[8]
    • Coleus forskohlii extract (generally extracted for forskolin) has been shown to stimulate cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels,[9] which may trigger downstream effects that could potentially help reduce weight gain.[10]
    • Evodiamine is a bioactive compound found in Evodia rutaecarpa that has displayed the ability to increase heat production and reduce fat mass in mice.[11,12] It also may inhibit preadipocyte differentiation, which would decrease the body’s ability to create new fat cells.[13]
    Caffeine Peak Power

    Higher doses of caffeine can increase peak power, which is right up Animal’s alley

    All told, the stimulant complex in Animal Cuts delivers approximately 210 milligrams of caffeine per serving in an easily identifiable red capsule. With the product’s recommended twice daily usage, a 420 milligram hit of fat-burning stimulants is pretty significant, more so if you’re getting stimulants from other sources throughout the day.

    Animal is primarily focused on packing sufficient stimulants in this product, though, and they surely provide more than enough to kick start fat-burning efforts.

  • Metabolic Complex – 750mg

    While stimulants can jumpstart the metabolism, there are other ways to promote its efficiency and Animal Cuts leverages a few here. The Metabolic Complex makes use of multiple ingredients that hold high concentrations of polyphenols, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds that may improve metabolic health:

    • Green tea leaf extract is touted for its high antioxidant profile, especially that of the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC). Powered by ECGC, green tea extract has been shown to increase thermogenesis and fat oxidation,[14] while also displaying a synergy with other ingredients in Animal Cuts, such as caffeine and guarana.[15]
    • Animal Deadlift

      Heavy lift day calls for all systems go – exactly what Animal Cuts can deliver

      Oolong tea leaf extract is a traditional Chinese tea with a long list of anecdotal uses that includes maintaining healthy body weight. In a 2003 study, females who consumed oolong tea saw energy expenditure increase by 10% two hours after consumption.[16] Researchers credit the tea’s metabolic boost to a high polymerized polyphenol content.[16]

    • Black tea leaf extract also boasts a wide array of polyphenols — including catechins and theaflavins — that, among other benefits, may be related to regulating body weight.[16,17]
    • Coffee bean extract is certainly not the “miracle supplement” it was once promoted to be, but research does suggest that it may be associated with weight loss due to its high antioxidant content.[18] One study from 2018 suggests that coffee bean extract may help fight against symptoms of metabolic dysfunction, such as high blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, and irregular lipid profiles.[19]
    • Yet another high-antioxidant tea, white tea leaf extract has been shown to increase metabolic rate and inhibit adipocyte formation, due in large part to EGCG.[20,21]

    Through multiple extracts, the metabolic complex in Animal Cuts supplies powerful antioxidants like ECGC that can improve metabolic functioning and further push this internal furnace into higher levels of energy expenditure.

  • Thyroid Complex – 350mg

    The thyroid is a hormone-producing gland that plays a major regulatory role in the body — responsible for managing many bodily processes through hormone secretion, it’s mainly known for regulating metabolic function.[22] Triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine (T4), two of the three main hormones released by the thyroid, are key in regulating metabolic rate, lipid and glucose metabolism, and fat oxidation.[22]

    Thyroid Metabolism

    An overview of thyroid hormones’ role in metabolism[23]

    Thyroid dysfunction, often defined as either hypothyroidism (underactive) or hyperthyroidism (overactive), are linked to unexplained changes in body weight and other markers of metabolic health. While hypothyroidism generally receives more attention due to it being deemed a risk factor of obesity, both issues are problematic Research suggests that untreated thyroid dysfunction isn’t linked to either weight loss or weight gain specifically, but nonetheless negatively influences metabolic health.[24]

    With respect to thyroid health and body weight, it’s not necessarily about swinging the pendulum in one direction or the other, but more so about maintaining proper functioning. Keeping the thyroid operating efficiently allows for proper metabolic health, which in turn primes the body to either put on weight or lose it in a healthy manner. Fat burning should not rely on an hyperactive thyroid (a medical issue itself), but we don’t want an underperforming thyroid to slow a diet down either.

    Olive Leaf Extract OleuropeinHydroxytyrosol Benefits

    Insulin and glucose responses to oral glucose tolerance tests and respective areas under the curve (AUC), following supplementation with placebo (gray) and olive leaf extract (black).[25]

    To keep the thyroid happy and healthy, Animal Cuts relies on three ingredients:

    • L-tyrosine is an amino acid with a variety of benefits, including supporting thyroid function.[23,26] This amino acid plays a major role in facilitating the production of T3 and T4.[26]
    • Olive leaf extract has been shown to stimulate thyroid activity in hypothyroidism models, suggesting that the extract may have a regulatory effect on the thyroid itself.[27]
    • Salvia officinalis, more commonly known as sage, is a powerful antioxidant that, in a study from 2013, was shown to modulate T3 and T4 production in rats with hypothyroidism.[28]

    Without the thyroid firing on all cylinders, any goal related to weight management is severely hindered. The gland is crucial to metabolic functioning and, as such, its health must be prioritized prior to embarking on a weight-loss endeavor. Animal Cuts provides a few ingredients that help modulate the thyroid and make that endeavor a bit less of an uphill battle.

  • Water Shedding Complex – 800mg (blue pill)

    Taking aim at the more visual side of weight loss, Animal Cuts includes a few ingredients that help shed excess water weight stored in the body. Obviously, the body needs to keep itself hydrated, but sometimes it can actually hold too much water. Some of the more common minor circumstances that can cause excess water storage include poor recovery, high sodium intake, nutritional deficiencies, and even minor hormonal issues.[29] Not only does extra water bear weight, but it also can add a bloated look to the physique — an important variable for some, such as professional bodybuilders.

    Diuretics can be leveraged to help alleviate excess water storage, encouraging the kidneys to shed additional water, sodium, and nutrients. However, this comes at a cost. When used irresponsibly, diuretics could potentially cause dehydration, nutrient imbalances, and organ issues. Natural diuretics tend to be considered safe, as they help preserve stores of key electrolytes like potassium, and can assist in the maintenance of regular functioning.[30] In the case of musculature, this can also help preserve muscle “fullness” and pump, as opposed to the muscle “flatness” and cramping that often come with losing too much water weight.

    Vitamin Shoppe Animal Cuts

    Always remember to support your favorite brands. If you don’t give feedback, nobody knows what you’re thinking, and brands do listen!

    In other words, when used strategically, natural diuretics can help yield an additional level of apparent leanness when trying to shed pounds, in addition to losing some water weight. Animal Cuts uses a few here, including:

    • Dandelion root
    • Uva ursi leaf
    • Hydrangea root
    • Buchu leaf
    • Juniper berry fruit
    • Celery seed

    These natural herbs have been shown in research to hold diuretic capabilities, with a few, particularly dandelion root, buchu leaf, and juniper berry fruit, having storied anecdotal uses within the realm of bladder and kidney activity.[31-33] Animal Cuts makes use of these six ingredients in its Water Shedding Complex to address leanness from an angle that differs from much of the label, and does so in a safe, responsible way.

  • Nootropic Complex – 500mg

    The Nootropic Complex is one of two complexes in which Animal Cuts takes aim at the mental side of weight loss. This complex focuses primarily on, well, focus. These ingredients are here to help promote brain activity and healthy brain chemistry. This complex is aimed at maintaining elevated levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a key neurotransmitter within the visceral motor system and central nervous system. As such, it helps regulate various things, such as motor function, learning, memory, motivation, and attention.

    Animal Cuts uses four nootropic ingredients to help improve brain function:

    DMAE

    DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) is a nootropic related to choline that may improve focus, mental clarity, and potentially memory.

    • Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) is a structural analogue to choline, an essential nutrient used to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that regulates a multitude of brain functions: memory, learning, and muscle function. Research suggest that while DMAE does not metabolize directly into acetylcholine,[34] it may increase free choline and stimulate cholinergic receptors,[35] thus encouraging acetylcholine production and usage.[36]
    • Cocoa powder, through a high content of flavanols, can improve brain function and cognition by increasing blood flood to the brain.[37,38]
    • Bacopa monnieri is a nootropic that is capable of improving cognition and memory,[39,40] with research crediting such an effect to enhanced neuron dendritic growth.[41] The herb may also increase levels of acetylcholine and serotonin,[42] two essential neurotransmitters.
    • Huperzine A inhibits acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine.[43] This effect leaves increased levels of acetylcholine available for use.

    Acetylcholine is an important piece of fuel for the brain, as it helps facilitate functioning and chemical signalling. Besides the obvious benefits, in terms of Animal Cuts, higher acetylcholine levels keeps you on your A-game, zoned-in on the task at hand, and persistent with your goals.

  • Cortisol Inhibiting Complex – 300mg

    Trying to lose fat is tough work. Staying committed to a diet and training plan requires a great deal of mental fortitude, which is something that we, unfortunately, don’t have an unlimited supply of. Mental strength ebbs and flows, as does levels of stress. While a response that is entirely natural, being consistently stressed out can yield a number of complications: it can impair immune health, digestive health, sleep, cognitive functioning, and, yes, even body weight.

    Not just a nootropic! Bacopa also helps alleviate stress and anxiety by significantly reducing cortisol levels in the body.[44]

    When we’re stressed, the body secretes the hormone cortisol. This is essentially the body’s fight-or-flight response, increasing levels of adrenaline perceived stressful situations. Cortisol is positively correlated with various markers of metabolic dysfunction, including obesity, insulin resistance, and high triglyceride levels.[45] At the biological level, high levels of cortisol make it difficult for the metabolism to fire correctly — a chronic fight-or-flight response puts it into “survival mode,” of sorts, which slows down metabolism and encourages energy storage, as opposed to energy expenditure.[46]

    Cortisol also encourages poor nutritional choices. The hormone not only stimulates appetite, but it also promotes cravings of nutrient-dense “comfort foods.”[47] These tend to be foods that are high in sugars, fats, or a combination of the two. They’re also the exact types of foods that can derail progress during a dieting phase. Chronic stress can also lead to the development of psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety.[47]

    In other words, being too stressed out and having too much cortisol circulating in the body is undesirable. Because it’s perhaps more unwelcomed when you’re trying to lose body weight, Animal Cuts includes four cortisol-fighting ingredients:

    Animal Pak Legacy

    How long have you been Paking it?

    • Ashwagandha root is a well-studied adaptogen that holds a variety of benefits, none more so relevant here than an ability to reduce cortisol levels, stress, and anxiety.[48]
    • Eleutherococcus senticosus is a root that may increase neuropeptide Y expression, which can help alleviate symptoms of stress.[49] Research has shown this adaptogen to be particularly useful in balancing the stress response, not necessarily just lowering it.[50]
    • The fatty acid phosphatidylserine has been shown to attenuate stress-induced cortisol secretion,[51] as well as improve brain function.[52]
    • Magnolia bark is typically cited for its ability to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression,[53] but one study from 2006 found that a supplement containing magnolia bark reduced weight gain related to stress eating.[54]

    Stress and cortisol secretion can have a significant impact on both the biological and psychological fronts. Chronically high cortisol levels not only make losing weight more difficult, but it actually encourages weight gain to a degree. This makes remaining in a relaxed state incredibly important when pursuing weight loss, which is why Animal Cuts addresses it here.

  • CCK Boosting Complex – 300mg

    Speaking of cortisol, one of its effects receives even more attention in Animal Cuts, specifically as part of the CCK Boosting Complex.

    Appetite and cravings are two intrinsically linked, natural signs by which the body communicates hunger. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these signals, and under most circumstances, they absolutely need to be trusted and listened to. That being said, there are instances when both need to be managed to some degree, such as when you’re dieting, stressed out, or both.

    Animal Pak Red White & Blue Man

    We need this shirt! Animal’s iconic branding is simply unmatched.

    Dieting requires being in a caloric deficit. The very practice means that your caloric intake is slightly below what the body needs to maintain its current weight. In effort to communicate that it wants more food, the body secretes the hormone ghrelin, which increases appetite, hunger, and promotes fat storage.[55] This increase in appetite is usually accompanied by cravings, which, as we’ve already mentioned, typically aren’t focused on the healthiest food choices. Being able to tolerate and manage ghrelin and its effects, then, becomes incredibly important when trying to adhere to a weight loss regimen.

    Animal Cuts uses three ingredients in the CCK Boosting Complex that assist in doing just that:

    • Apple pectin, which, in a 1997 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, was shown to increase satiety and decrease food intake in healthy adults.[56]
    • A compound with extensive benefits in terms of metabolic health,[57,58] cinnamon has been shown to decrease ghrelin secretion and upregulate insulin receptors, which suggest the potential to limit food intake and reduce weight gain.[57]
    • Cha-de-bugre has some support as a potential appetite suppressant,[59] but studies have generally yielded inconclusive results on this front.[60] However, the plant may offer hypolipidemic benefits,[60] which can be useful in defending against metabolic dysfunction.
  • Bioavailability Complex – 500mg

    Animal Pak Shred

    Shred.

    Though not directly yielding any specific benefits in regards to fat loss, appetite suppression, or cognition, the Bioavailability Complex holds a significance akin to the rest of this label. These ingredients are here to raise the bioavailability of everything in Animal Cuts, working to make sure the body maximizes the use of the delivered ingredients and capitalizes on their potential benefits. Animal Cuts uses ginger root, cayenne, grapefruit, quercetin, naringin, and Piper nigrum extract. These ingredients are highlighted in a comprehensive overview published in 2013 that suggest potential bioavailability-enhancing benefits.[61] Piper nigrum, or black pepper extract, in particular, is widely-used throughout sports supplements due to its potent bioavailability-boosting capabilities.[62]

Suggested Dosing

If you decide to bring Animal Cuts into your supplement regimen, Animal suggests that you take two packs per day. They also suggest taking both packs alongside food — the first upon waking, the second approximately four to six hours after. The red capsule contains the stimulants (again, 210 milligrams of caffeine per capsule), while the Shredding Complex is in the blue capsules. These are important distinctions in case you want to remove these specific complexes, or perhaps even time their intake in a custom fashion.

Animal also suggests that users follow a “three weeks on, one week off” protocol when supplementing with Animal Cuts. The one week flush allows the body to readjust following a three week cycle, and keeps you from relying too heavily on the ingredients at play here.

The Animal Health Stack

While Animal Cuts uses the brand’s signature training pack approach to tackle fat-burning, Animal applies the same methodology to products in other areas of health and fitness. We’d highly suggest looking into Animal Pak, which promotes overall health and wellness and has just been recently updated!

Animal Pak Duo

Pick up the original Animal Pak for even more micronutrients!

However, depending on your goals and supplement needs, everything in the Animal Health Stack could be a welcome addition to your regimen. You can read up on these other supplements here:

Conclusion: Support your fat-loss efforts with Animal Cuts

Losing weight and dropping body fat are goals that many individuals set, yet often find extremely challenging. Maintaining quality nutrition and training intensely are already difficult enough, and throwing in a slight caloric surplus (in addition to life’s other stressors) on top of that makes reaching these goals even more daunting.

Animal Immune Pak

Keep your immune system running strong with the Animal Immune Pak!

It’s doable, of course, but only through dedication, perseverance, and hard work. You have to fully commit yourself to the grind — prioritize your diet, optimize your recovery, do the work —day in and day out. These are values and beliefs that Universal Nutrition was founded upon and are preached by Animal. The brand’s mission is to help dedicated individuals reach their potential by offering some of the top products in the sports supplements industry.

Both the goals of Animal and the people the company aims to serve unite in Animal Cuts. A well-rounded, versatile fat-burning supplement, Animal Cuts has been used for years across the weight-trained world, from bodybuilders to daily gym-goers, to help elevate weight-loss goals and get shredded. Of course, Animal Cuts won’t do all the work for you. But if you’re a fan of Animal and what the brand preaches, you likely have no issues putting in the work yourself!

Whether you’re a professional looking to shred that last bit of fat prior to a show or just an average Joe searching for a bit of help in dropping a few pounds, introducing a thermogenic aid such as Animal Cuts can help take your fat-loss plan up a notch or two with its all-around approach.

Universal Animal Cuts – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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