Perhaps you’ve been on the lookout for a BCAA supplement which goes the extra mile. Well, this Animal Spiked Aminos review should help you in that regard.
About Animal Spiked Aminos
Animal Spiked Aminos is the manufacturer’s “Anabolic Aminos ‘spiked’ with energy, focus, and clarity,” per its official website. Formula notes:
- Impressive formulation. Clearly, this is more than just a BCAA supplement.
- Solid EAA profile. Boasts of eight of the nine essential amino acids.
- Bad transparency. Manufacturer doesn’t break down the individual ingredient amounts.
Animal Spiked Aminos Supplement Facts (Blue Raspberry, 210 grams)
|Serving Size: 1 Scoop (∼7 g)
Servings Per Container: 30
|Nutrient||Amount Per Serving||% Daily Value|
|Amino Blend with Sustamine™||5,000 mg||**|
|[Instant BCAA (L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine), L-Taurine, Citrulline Malate, L-Glutamine, L-Lysine HCl, L-Arginine HCl, DL-Methionine, L-Phenylalanine, L-Threonine, L-Histidine, L-Carnitine Tartrate, Betaine, L-Alanyl L-Glutamine]|
|Spiked Energy Blend||160 mg||**|
|[Caffeine Anhydrous (125 mg), Coffee Bean Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract]|
|OTHER INGREDIENTS: Citric acid, malic acid, natural and artificial blue raspberry flavor, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, FD&C Blue #1.|
|Directions: Mix one scoop Spiked Aminos in 6-8 oz. of your beverage of choice. Spiked Aminos can be used any time you need energy or aminos. For maximum energy and amino intake, you can use up to 3 servings before training.|
Make no mistake about it: branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are among the most versatile bodybuilding supplements on the market. Let’s rattle off their key benefits:
- Increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and longevity
- Ramp up fat burning
- Support hormone balance during rigorous exercise
- Increase performance and keep fatigue at bay
- Ward off delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
- Preserve hard-earned muscle mass
- Regulate blood sugar levels
Long story short, BCAAs help you remain in an anabolic state in and out of the gym. Their other impressive fitness benefits aren’t so shabby, either. We’re sure you’ll reap all of these when you supplement with EVLUTION NUTRITION LEAN BCAA, which combines BCAAs and thermogenic components which help you muscle up and lean out.
Another noteworthy BCAA product is BlackMarket RECOVERY AMINO, whose 4.5 grams of l-leucine per serving is the most we’ve seen in a BCAA supplement. We’re sure it’ll help you pack on some serious muscle mass.
Now, let’s see if Animal Spiked Aminos does them one better. The manufacturer dubs it its “Anabolic Aminos ‘spiked’ with energy, focus, and clarity,” per its official website. This is one of the most unique bodybuilding supplement descriptions we’ve seen to date. Using the word “spiked” for a beverage usually has a negative connotation, but this one refers to a heap of fitness benefits. We like that.
We get the feeling Animal Spiked Aminos has one of the most unique BCAA formulations around. We’re excited, to say the least.
Amino Blend With Sustamine, 5,000 milligrams
Animal Spiked Aminos’ Amino Blend With Sustamine takes up five grams per seven-gram serving. Here, you’ll find eight of the nine essential amino acids (EAA) and several other time-tested bodybuilding ingredients. Some BCAA products such as MuscleTech Platinum Amino + Energy also boast of an impressive EAA profile, but fizzled out on the other intangibles. Let’s cross our fingers Animal Spiked Aminos doesn’t.
Unfortunately, this supplement doesn’t get off to a good start – the Amino Blend With Sustamine is a shady proprietary blend (the manufacturer fails to break down each individual ingredient amount). That doesn’t bode well for customers at all. Universal Nutrition Products (such as Universal Nutrition Animal Pump) have a tendency to use deceiving proprietary blends. It turns out Amino Spiked Aminos is no exception. That’s a shame.
Of course, you’ll find the three BCAAs in the Amino Blend With Sustamine: l-leucine, l-isoleucine, and l-valine. You can’t go wrong with l-leucine – this is the most anabolic amino acid which helps kickstart the muscle protein synthesis process. It also helps preserve muscle mass, ward off inflammation, and boost fat loss. Simply put, it’s more than just a muscle-growing amino acid.
As for l-isoleucine, it helps increase endurance, repair muscle tissue, regulate blood sugar levels, produce hemoglobin, and maintain a positive nitrogen balance. For its part, l-valine also helps increase endurance and repair muscle tissue. Plus, it helps grow muscle mass, regulate the nervous system, enhance cognitive function, improve sleep quality, quell anxiety, and suppress appetite.
We’re also stoked Animal Spiked Aminos has l-taurine, a bona fide virtuoso:
- Keeps stress levels in check
- Increases fat loss
- Ramps up testosterone levels
- Increases exercise performance and shorten recovery time
- Improves cardiovascular function and sleep quality
- Boosts brain health
When taurine joins forces with BCAAs good things happen. More specifically, this combination helps shorten exercise recovery time. According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s November 6, 2013 issue (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov), “A combination of 3.2 grams of BCAAs and 2.0 grams of taurine, three times a day, for two weeks prior to and three days after exercise may be a useful nutritional strategy for attenuating exercise-induced DOMS and muscle damage.”
That’s great and all, but you don’t know how much taurine and BCAAs you’re getting when you supplement with Animal Spiked Aminos. For all you know, the manufacturer didn’t include enough to help shorten your recovery time. That’s one of the downsides of shady proprietary blends.
Nonetheless, we love the inclusion of eight of the nine essential amino acids (EAAs). Among their combined health benefits include boost calcium absorption, maintain a positive nitrogen balance, improve renal function, increase energy levels, and produce red and white blood cells.
The American Journal of Physiology’s official website also says, “Ingestion of six grams of EAAs alone stimulates muscle protein synthesis after resistance exercise.” If you want to muscle up, you must supplement with essential amino acids. It’s that simple.
Bear in mind the body doesn’t synthesize EAAs. You must obtain them from whole foods and supplementation. Animal Spiked Aminos strong EAA profile is one of its key advantages.
It gets better: Animal Spiked Aminos has two serious nitric oxide boosters in l-arginine HCl and citrulline malate. L-citrulline is a non-essential amino acid precursor to l-arginine. Both help increase blood flow, improve nutrient uptake, promote healthy blood pressure levels, and ramp up vasodilation.
The key difference: l-citrulline has better absorption properties than l-arginine. That’s the reason why the manufacturer bonded Animal Spiked Aminos’ l-arginine component to hydrochloric acid – to improve its bioavailability. We give that move a thumbs up.
As for citrulline malate, it’s l-citrulline bonded to malic acid. You’ll not only increase your nitric oxide levels and muscle pumps, but you’ll also increase your exercise endurance. The bottom line: “Oral supplementation with a combination of l-citrulline and l-arginine rapidly increases plasma l-arginine concentration and enhances N.O. (nitric oxide) bioavailability,” per Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications’ November 7, 2014 issue (via ScienceDirect.com). You’ll get these from Animal Spiked Aminos, and then some.
Another key ingredient of the Amino Blend With Sustamine is l-carnitine tartrate, which is the fat-burning compound l-carnitine bonded to tartaric acid. It “increases fatty acid oxidation and reduces purine catabolism and free radical formation, which may prevent exercise fatigue, muscle weakness, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, and hyperlipoproteinemia,” per the National Cancer Institute’s official website.
Any time a bodybuilding supplement ingredient provides important fitness benefits and some much-needed free free-radical protection, consider it a great bonus. That’s exactly what l-carnitine tartrate can do for you. We love its inclusion in Animal Spiked Aminos.
Next up is betaine, an amino acid and natural ingredient of beets which helps boost cardiovascular function, boost digestion, and increase exercise performance, muscle mass, and strength.
The proof is in the pudding: “Six weeks of betaine supplementation improved body composition, muscle size, work capacity, attenuated a rise in HCTL (homocysteine thiolactone), tended to improve power (but not strength) in resistance-trained men,” per the Journal of International Sports Nutrition’s August 22, 2013 issue (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov).
The Amino Blend With Sustamine also has l-alanyl l-glutamine. This refers to a dipeptide molecule of glutamine and alanine which helps increase endurance levels and boost electrolyte absorption. Some studies suggest l-alanyl l-glutamine does increase exercise performance, particularly endurance exercise such as basketball.
We say l-alanyl l-glutamine should complement Animal Spiked Aminos’ BCAA and betaine components perfectly. If you’re running low on energy, taking this supplement should help perk you up. Besides, not too many BCAA supplements have l-alanyl l-glutamine: better take advantage of the opportunity.
For its part, l-glutamine is one of the most popular supplements which date back to the Golden Era of Bodybuilding. It helps preserve muscle mass, improve gut function, increase human growth hormone (HGH) levels, enhance focus, improve athletic performance, and boost metabolism. We love its inclusion in Animal Spiked Aminos.
We were right: Animal Spiked Aminos’ formulation is unique, to say the least. The Amino Blend With Sustamine should help you achieve your fitness goals and bust through those plateaus. Too bad we’ll never know the precise ingredient amounts, though.
Spiked Energy Blend, 160 milligrams
Animal Spiked Aminos also has a Spiked Energy Blend, which takes up 160 milligrams per scoop. The first component is caffeine anhydrous, which is worth 125 milligrams per serving. This is the pure, powdered form of caffeine which has several important benefits:
- Increases energy levels
- Boost fat loss and liver function
- Improves physical performance
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Wards off free radicals
These are great and all, but caffeine is also a double-edged sword: it may also cause a spike-crash effect, nervousness, jitters, and sleeplessness in some individuals. Animal Spiked Aminos’ caffeine content is roughly equal to one cup of brewed coffee, which isn’t all that bad.
As for coffee bean extract, is is a by-product of green (unroasted) coffee beans, a rich source of chlorogenic acid (which is where it gets its supposed weight-loss benefits). However, the journal Gastroenterology Research and Practice’s August 31, 2010 issue (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov) says this effect “is small, and the clinical relevance of this effect is uncertain.”
The final key ingredient of the Spiked Energy Blend is green tea leaf extract, which helps keep free radicals at bay, improve heart and brain health, speed up weight loss, regulate blood sugar levels, increase exercise performance, and boost liver function. While studies have shown green tea leaf extract may increase fat loss at rest and during exercise, findings have been inconsistent, per Advances in Nutrition’s March 6, 2013 issue (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov).
Nonetheless, we’re positive Animal Spiked Aminos’ Spiked Energy Blend will make an impact on your performance at the gym and your lifestyle. Too bad the manufacturer had to resort to another deceiving proprietary blend.
Let’s check out the formula ingredients:
Amino Blend With Sustamine, 5,000 mg
- L-leucine: the most anabolic amino acid which helps kickstart the muscle protein synthesis process, preserve muscle mass, ward off inflammation, and boost fat loss.
- L-isoleucine: The BCAA which helps increase endurance, repair muscle tissue, maintain a positive nitrogen balance, produce hemoglobin, and promote healthy blood sugar levels.
- L-valine: The BCAA which helps increase endurance and muscle mass, repair muscle tissue, boost brain function, improve sleep quality, quell anxiety, and suppress appetite.
- L-taurine: A versatile amino acid which helps ward off oxidative stress, shorten recovery time, increase testosterone levels and fat loss, improve sleep quality, and improve cardiovascular function.
- Citrulline malate: This ingredient is the non-essential amino acid l-citrulline bonded to malic acid. L-citrulline helps increase vasodilation, muscle pumps, and blood flow. For its part, malic acid helps increase exercise endurance.
- L-glutamine: This alpha amino acid helps preserve muscle mass, improve gut health, ramp up human growth hormone (HGH) levels, enhance focus, improve athletic performance, and ramp up metabolism.
- L-lysine HCL: An EAA which helps regulate immunity and play a key role in the formation of collagen and muscle tissue.
- L-arginine HCl: An alpha amino acid which helps increase nitric oxide levels, muscle pumps, vasodilation, and blood flow. Because of L-arginine’s poor absorption properties, the manufacturer bonded it to hydrochloric acid to improve its bioavailability.
- DL-methionine: An EAA which helps the body eliminate fats and produce taurine and cysteine. Methionine also helps produce glutathione, a powerful antioxidant.
- L-phenylalanine: An EAA which acts as a precursor to the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine.
- L-threonine: An EAA which helps maintain the body’s proper protein balance. It also acts as a precursor to the amino acids serine and glycine. Finally, l-threonine helps process fatty acids and boost liver function.
- L-histidine: This EAA acts as a precursor to hemoglobin, ferritin, glutamate, and histamine. L-histidine helps increase energy levels, regulate blood pH, and facilitate wound healing.
- L-carnitine tartrate: This compound is l-carnitine bonded to tartaric acid. Simply known as LCLT, this component helps increase fat burning, ramp up energy levels, and keep free radicals at bay.
- Betaine: This amino acid and natural ingredient of beets helps boost improve heart health, regulate digestion, and increase exercise performance, muscle mass, and strength.
- L-alanyl l-glutamine: A dipeptide molecule of glutamine and alanine which helps boost endurance and electrolyte absorption. It also helps increase exercise performance.
Spiked Energy Blend, 160 mg
- Caffeine anhydrous (125 mg): The pure, powdered form of caffeine which helps increase energy levels, boost fat loss, ward off free radicals, regulate liver function, improve exercise performance, and promote healthy blood sugar levels. However, too much caffeine may also produce a spike-crash effect, jitters, nervousness, and sleeplessness in some individuals.
- Coffee bean extract: A by-product of green coffee beans which helps increase weight loss. However, studies maintain this effect is minimal.
- Green tea extract: An ingredient which helps ward off free radicals, boost heart and brain health, increase fat burning and exercise performance, regulate blood sugar levels, and improve kidney function.
The manufacturer dubs Animal Spiked Aminos the “Anabolic Aminos ‘spiked’ with energy, focus, and clarity,” per its official website. After a thorough analysis, we say that claim is legit. The impressive ingredients speak for themselves.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) have impressive benefits – they help increase muscle protein synthesis, shorten recovery time, boost fat loss, and ward off fatigue, among other things. When you throw in key ingredients such as betaine, taurine, glutamine, l-arginine hydrochloride, and citrulline malate, great things happen. More specifically, better heart health, improved muscle mass preservation, and increased endurance, vasodilation, blood flow, and muscle pumps happen.
Like we said, essential amino acids (EAAs) also give you a heap of benefits such as improved calcium absorption, a positive nitrogen balance, better kidney function, and increased energy levels. When you supplement with Animal Spiked Aminos, you get a solid eight of the nine EAAs. Bear in mind the body doesn’t synthesize these. This product provides you with an impressive EAA arsenal.
If you need a stronger kick, the Spiked Energy Blend’s caffeine anhydrous component should get you going. We’re confident it’ll help ramp up your energy levels, increase exercise performance, keep free radicals at bay, regulate blood sugar levels, and improve liver function. Don’t go overboard, though: too much may result in a spike-crash effect, jitters, nervousness, and sleeplessness.
All in all, we say Animal Spiked Aminos has a solid formulation. This supplements BCAA and other key components should help you achieve your fitness goals and bust through your plateaus at the gym.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer ruined a good thing by displaying hideous transparency – it resorts to two shady proprietary blends. Customers don’t know the precise ingredient amounts. That spells trouble. Universal Nutrition has a penchant for using proprietary blends. Sadly, the trend continues with Animal Spiked Aminos.
Another disturbing trend is the company’s tendency to include fillers or dirty ingredients. Animal Spiked Aminos’ Blue Raspberry flavor has FD&C Blue No. 1, an artificial food coloring which produces several side effects.
This product also has sucralose, an artificial sweetener which has links to obesity and the like. Stevia, a natural alternative which helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels, would have been the better option.
Finally, Animal Spiked Aminos doesn’t enjoy the stellar reputation of other big-name BCAA supplements such as GAT Sport FLEXX BCAAs and Amino Charger Hydration. It’s a new product, so give it some time to gain traction. Unfortunately, with its bad transparency and filler content, that may be nothing more than a pipe dream.
The takeaway: had the manufacturer displayed better transparency and featured a cleaner ingredient profile, Animal Spiked Aminos would have been a major player in the BCAA supplement category. It’s too bad it has several glaring flaws which hold it back in a big way.
Animal Spiked Aminos Benefits
“You can use Animal Spiked Aminos any time during the day when you need a boost. As a training supplement, Animal Spiked Aminos can help before the workout (energy/focus), during the workout (performance/ergogenic), and even after the workout (recovery). Using Animal Spiked Aminos may help support optimal exercise performance, hydration, and immune health,” per its official website.
Who Takes It?
The manufacturer intended Animal Spiked Aminos for healthy and active individuals who are at least 18 years of age who want to increase muscle mass, endurance, muscle pumps, blood flow, and fat loss; shorten recovery time, and achieve their daily fitness goals.
Any Side Effects?
Animal Spiked Aminos contains 125 milligrams of caffeine anhydrous, an ingredient which may cause a spike-crash effect, jitters, nervousness, and sleeplessness in some individuals.
This supplement also has sucralose, an artificial sweetener which has ties to obesity. Finally, it also has artificial food colorings such as FD&C Blue No. 1 which have certain side effects.
If these, or any other ingredient, make you feel doubtful, please consult your physician before buying Animal Spiked Aminos.
The manufacturer also issues a warning:
Animal Spiked Aminos Review Summary
- Impressive formulation. Clearly, this is more – much more – than a BCAA supplement.
- Time-tested ingredients. BCAAs, taurine, glutamine, betaine, and citrulline malate, to be precise.
- Solid EAA profile. Boasts of eight of the nine essential amino acids.
- Flavor options. Comes in Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, and Orange Mango flavors.
- Bad transparency. Manufacturer doesn’t break down individual ingredient amounts.
- Fillers. Contains sucralose and artificial food colorings which have side effects.
- Caffeine content. Double-edged sword which may produce a spike-crash effect, jitters, nervousness, and sleeplessness.
- Unknown reputation. Not as known as other big-name BCAA supplements.
Pricing & Where to Buy
- 1 210-gram container (30-Day Supply): $19.99
- Available online and in retail
Final Word on Animal Spiked Aminos
We can aptly sum up Animal Spiked Aminos in two words: seriously flawed. We like its upside and ingredient content, but bad transparency, fillers, caffeine content, and an unknown reputation got in the way.
You can still try Animal Spiked Aminos if you like. However, your best bet is to pass up on this one until the manufacturer gets its act together with a cleaner formulation. If not, you can always resort to better BCAA supplements such as GAT Sport Flex BCAAs or EVLUTION NUTRITION LEAN BCAA.