Another Reason to Love Animal Chews

Another Reason to Love Animal Chews

Animal is a brand that needs no introduction — it’s one of the most respected names in sports nutrition. The company is known for the legendary Animal Pak, which was the first product of its kind – less a supplement than a comprehensive supplementation system, with its multitude of ingredients organized into packs based on their functions.

Animal Chews Synergy: Caffeine + Taurine!

Have you ever dug into the synergy between caffeine and taurine, which is in many pre-workout supplements and Animal Energy Chews? The new research is beyond impressive!

But Animal’s been crushing it with their new chewable tablets. Their line of chews has been a huge hit with a growing market of consumers who have what we call “powder fatigue”:

Animal Chews – One For Every Purpose

You can read our coverage of the Animal Chews here:

But what’s great is that these unique products give us a chance to talk about other areas of science, such as when we talked about including some chews as a part of your glycogen reload stack.

But there’s another topic we’ve been wanting to talk about in the synergy of these chews: taurine and caffeine.

What if We Combined All Three of Those Chews?

Looking over our previous articles about Animal Chews, we wondered: would the three Animal Chews products, combined, make a good stack?

We think the answer is yes! And of the reasons why is because we can boost both taurine and caffeine, two ingredients that are extremely synergistic with each other when diving deep into the research.

To find out why, read on – but first, check the PricePlow news and deals:

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PricePlow Recommendations: How To Take the Animal Chew Stack

First, let’s talk about how this stack should be used.

Animal Creatine Chews Glycogen Reload

What better way to start your post-workout glycogen reload than 5 grams of creatine monohydrate and 4 grams of carbohydrates in Animal Creatine Chews? In this article, we explain why the choice of sucrose and dextrose is a great one for Animal athletes.

Question number one is, as always, how to divide up the doses. Well, the point of chews is simplicity. So, rather than trying to optimize their effects by dividing doses, let’s start from the assumption that we want to keep things simple by taking all three of these chews in the same serving, just once a day.

With that out of the way, the next obvious question is: when should we take our three-chrew stack?

Finally, what doses should we use? Of course, you can’t go wrong with the recommended doses, but advanced supplement users may wish to adjust doses upward or downward based on their specific goals. In multi-ingredient formulas, though, especially stimulant-containing ones, there’s usually an ingredient that sets an upper limit on how many doses you should take in a single sitting, or even a single day. Let’s talk about where that limit is for each of these three products.

A nice little bonus is that all three products use 4 chewable tablets per serving, which definitely keeps the math simple as well.

  • Animal Recovery Chews

    Animal Recover & Restore Performance Chews

    We asked for more chewable tablets from Animal, and we got them! This time, a delicious post-workout option in Animal Recover & Restore Performance Chews

    This is a formula that you could easily 4x (take 16 chews per serving).

    Recommended dose: 4-16 chews/day.

    Animal Recover & Restore Performance Chews Ingredients

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  • Animal Creatine Chews

    While 5 grams/day of creatine is the standard maintenance dose, we’re all familiar with the loading phase, which entails taking extra creatine during the first few weeks of supplementation in order to rapidly achieve muscle creatine saturation. Usually, the loading phase is done with somewhere around 20-25 grams of creatine per day.

    Universal Nutrition Animal Creatine Chews

    Universal Nutrition’s Animal Creatine Chews bring a fun and simple way to get creatine in – and they’ve got us hooked!

    So can we use the Animal Creatine Chews for the loading phase? The answer here is a little tricky, and it’s because of AstraGin. While the European Food Safety Authority observed no adverse effects of AstraGin supplementation at doses as high as 100 mg per kilogram of body weight per day, the statistical techniques used to assess food safety have placed the recommended upper limit of AstraGin intake at 35 mg per day.[4] We’ve of course seen doses go higher to 50 milligrams per supplement, but if sticking to the book for global compliance, we have to be a bit careful.

    So we’re comfortable with getting 10 grams of creatine out of two servings per day, but if you want to do more aggressive creatine loading, pair the 1-2 servings of Animal Creatine Chews with Animal Creatine XL powder or Animal Micronized Creatine Monohydrate powder or to get the extra 15-20 grams.

    Is the creatine “loading phase” really necessary?

    Strictly speaking, you don’t need to do a loading dose. While peer-reviewed research has confirmed that loading doses do help individuals achieve creatine saturation faster, the standard 5 gram/day dose is still big enough for that to happen eventually.[5] Also, eat plenty of red meat.

    Recommended dose: 4-8 chews/day.

    Animal Creatine Chews Ingredients

    Carbs and creatine in a delicious chewable “candy” form factor – what more can you ask for?!

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  • Animal Energy Chews

    Not interested in taking a pre-workout like Animal Primal or Animal Fury? Then here’s one where we can definitely recommend double-dosing.

    Animal Energy Performance Chews Highlights

    Of course, there’s one very important caveat to this recommendation – Animal Energy Chews contain 100 mg of caffeine per 4 chew serving, which means that your decision to double the dose or not must be made in consideration of your individual caffeine tolerance, and in consultation with your physician.

    But if you can handle it, this is a formula that’s practically screaming to be double-dosed, or maybe even triple-dosed. And with that, we’re going to get some really interesting benefits.

    Taurine’s researched benefits go beyond 1-gram doses!

    First, the effects of taurine have been shown to be dose-dependent in a wide range of disease models and study designs, including diabetic rats and hypothyroid rats.[6,7] In humans, doses ranging from 1 gram/day to 6 grams/day have been used safely, and show some incredible effects on endurance.[8]

    We often see taurine at 1 gram, and when digging into the research, we start to want even more. The ingredient’s not expensive, doesn’t taste awful, and has some fantastic benefits at even higher doses, as we’ll see.

    But first, let’s get into caffeine.

    High-dose caffeine’s benefits for strength

    High Dose Caffeine Performance

    Known since 1991, very high dose caffeine can seriously boost performance.[9] As you can see, it’s quite variable amongst users – future research would show that caffeine’s effects depend on your genotype.

    Funnily enough, the caffeine is actually one of the biggest reasons why we’d strongly consider upping the dose on Animal Energy Chews. That’s because caffeine can dose-dependently improve various aspects of athletic performance. And different bodyweight-based doses have different benefits.

    Starting at 3 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight, we see some minor athletic performance gains – mostly aerobic endurance and athletic performance (i.e. cycling and tennis).[10-12]

    If you weigh 200 pounds, equivalent to 99 kilos, then a triple dose of Animal Energy Chews (3 servings of 4 chewables for 12 chewables in total) would get you to the 3 mg/kg threshold on its own.

    For advanced users: 5+ mg/kg caffeine

    It’s once you get past 5 mg/kg caffeine, though, that the real magic happens. In this dose range, peer-reviewed research clearly indicates that caffeine can have a substantial effect on anaerobic capacities like overall strength and top-end power, in addition to a larger boost to the aerobic side of things.[9,13-24]

    Now, unfortunately, if you weigh 200 lbs or 99 kilos, then the triple dose of 12 chewables won’t quite get you to 5 mg/kg – 12 chewables contain 300 mg caffeine, while the 5 mg/kg threshold for a 200 lb person is 450 mg. In fact, you’d have to weigh 132 lb or less for 12 chewables to get you past 5 mg/kg.

    So, if you weigh 132 lbs or more, you have a couple main options:

    1. Take a quadruple or quintuple dose (16-20 chewables) of Animal Energy Chews per serving – while 400 mg doses of caffeine are routinely used by supplement formulators, this gets you 4 grams of tyrosine and 4 grams of taurine, which is definitely past the high end of what we see in supplements.

      Animal Energy Performance Chews

      So, is it safe? Most likely, but it’s a little tricky. A peer-reviewed study from 2019 argues that one should not exceed 3 grams of taurine per day,[25] but the European Food Safety Authority has proposed that intakes of up to 6 grams/day are safe,[26] and a 2008 research review claims that humans can safely take up to 10 grams/day.[6]

    2. Combine a 1.5x dose (6 chewables) of Animal Energy Chews with some other caffeine source, Animal Primal or Animal Fury being the obvious contenders here.

      If you weigh 200 pounds, a 6-chewable serving of Animal Energy Chews plus a full serving of Animal Primal would get you to the 450 mg (5 mg/kg) threshold.

      However, this leaves you at a total of 2.5 grams of taurine, less than option 1 above.

    Both options are fun, but we think getting up to 3 grams per day of taurine may be the next big thing. Why? Keep reading, and we’ll get to the new research below.

    Long story short, if you’re an advanced user, taking a serving of Primal and two servings of Animal Chews could get you both 6mg/kg caffeine and 3 grams of taurine. Just what we’re going to cover below.

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The Real Beauty: Synergistic Effects

What’s really cool is that some of the ingredients in this interact with each other in a positive way, for synergistic effects.

  • Taurine and Caffeine – A Winning Combination

    Being that they’re moderate in caffeine but higher in taurine, Animal Energy Chews gives us an interesting opportunity. We can easily get 300 mg caffeine and 3 grams (3,000 mg) of taurine per day.

    Unleash Your Primal

    Unleash Your Primal… at 5 or more mg/kg caffeine!

    To understand what’s so cool about this, we need to turn to a 2022 study that looked at the synergistic effects of taurine and caffeine. In this study, 20 elite male boxers with an average age of 22 were divided into four groups in a double-blind, randomized crossover study. Crossover study means the subjects served as their own controls – they took all treatment conditions with a washout period between treatments.[27]

    A series of mental and physical tests were performed after the Wingate Anaerobic Test. The idea behind this design is that, since the Wingate test is very demanding and exhaustive, the researchers could assess the ability of caffeine and taurine to mitigate mental and physical fatigue post-workout.

    Here were the four treatment conditions:

    1. CAF (6 mg/kg of caffeine)
    2. TAU (3 g single dose of taurine)
    3. CAF*TAU (co-ingestion of 3 g single dose of taurine and 6 mg/kg of caffeine)
    4. PLA (300 mg maltodextrin)

    Now you can probably already see why we’re recommending the bigger doses of caffeine and taurine – again, if you weigh 200 lbs or ~100 kg, you need 600 mg of caffeine to reach the dose used in this study. You’ll only get half of that from the PricePlow Super Tasty And Convenient Animal Chews stack, but Animal Primal can make up the difference. And you will get the full clinical dose of 3 grams taurine used in this study!

    After each treatment, the boxers completed a series of mental and physical tests. The results were stunning – caffeine+taurine (CAF*TAU) caused serious improvements in both mental and physical performance, compared to caffeine or taurine in isolation.

    Caffeine Taurine Synergy

    At 6mg/kg bodyweight caffeine and 3g total taurine, peak power and average power are significantly increased. Even lactate trended in the right direction![27]

    Significantly Increased peak power

    For example, we can see that CAF*TAU caused a 6% increase in peak power compared to caffeine alone, and 11% compared to taurine alone – even though caffeine and taurine both outperformed the placebo.

    Endurance athletes can rejoice, too, because when it comes to average power, we see 3% and 5% increases over caffeine and taurine, respectively.

    Reduced Lactate?!

    There’s a lot of data in this chart – too much to summarize without being tedious – but the key to understanding it all is the effect that each treatment condition had on lactate. Buildup of lactate causes fatigue, so anything that clears lactate faster is going to have a potentially beneficial effect on performance and recovery – and that’s exactly what we see in the boxer study. At the end of the exercise test, the CAF*TAU was associated with 9% less lactate than TAU and 11% less lactate than CAF![28]

    Reduced rate of perceived exertion

    Unsurprisingly, rated perceived exertion (RPE) was also lowest in the CAF*TAU group, showing that this combination made the subjects more resistant to exercise induced fatigue.

    Not just physical fatigue, either – they did better mentally as well.

    Caffeine Taurine Synergy: Accuracy & Reaction Time

    When it came to reaction time and mental accuracy, CAF*TAU absolutely crushed CAF, TAU, and the placebo.[27]

    The subjects also did a reaction time and mental accuracy test, and the graphs of those results speak for themselves – CAF*TAU absolutely destroyed CAF, TAU, and PLA when it came to post-workout mental performance.

    This is a study that we haven’t yet covered on PricePlow, and we were thrilled to find it. There is clear synergy between caffeine and taurine, and these weren’t rookie athletes — they were elite boxers!

  • AstraGin for more increased gut support / absorption

    Meanwhile, AstraGin is a patented bioavailability enhancing ingredient,[29-33] claimed to increase the body’s ability to absorb other ingredients — especially amino acids — that it’s paired with. Since the Animal Creatine Chews contain a dose inside, stacking them in with the Recovery Chews and Energy Chews potentially makes all three formulas work better!

Summing Up: The PricePlow Recommended Animal Chew Stack

So, putting it all together, here are the doses we’d recommend for the PricePlow Official Animal Chew Stack:

Animal Recover & Restore Performance Chews Active Ingredients

  1. Animal Recovery Chews: 4-16 chewables
  2. Animal Creatine Chews: 4-8 chewables
  3. Animal Energy Chews: If taken alone, 12 chewables or less, depending on individual caffeine tolerance (this means 300 mg of caffeine or less from these chews).

    If taken with another caffeine source, do the math and consider where your caffeine and taurine will land. We like the idea of a scoop of Primal and whatever added Energy Chews you feel comfortable with.

How/When to Take

Here’s how we’d use the Super Convenient Animal Chew Stack:

  1. Get all the Animal Chews organized when you’re getting ready to go to the gym.
  2. Take Animal Energy Chews 30-60 minutes before your workout.
  3. Take Animal Recovery Chews immediately after your workout
  4. Take Animal Creatine Chews whenever you like, but the AstraGin may be best to take pre-workout. You can consider splitting the dose pre- and post-workout as well.

However, if you wanted to keep things really simple, you could just take all three Animal Chews products immediately before your workout. The only real downside to this is that the glutamine in the Recovery Chews might be slightly more effective post-exercise than pre-exercise.[34] And we prefer to savor the flavor and enjoy some chews post-workout.

Conclusion: Taurine and Caffeine are King

When it comes to supplements, all that measuring and mixing really adds up, and if taking a lot of supplements daily, it can definitely wear you down. Pills are a little more convenient, but of course, swallowing tons of pills gets tiresome too. As a response to this problem, in recent years, the Animal brand has released a lot of chewable supplements.

Animal Energy Performance Chews Benefits

The “Animal Chews stack” isn’t just tasty and convenient – it’s also got some serious firepower behind it, especially when it comes to caffeine and taurine.

There’s been a lot of talk on social media about taurine somehow “canceling out” caffeine’s beneficial effects. As you can see from the study we reviewed, this is not true at all. Caffeine’s ergogenic mechanisms of action – phosphodiesterase inhibition, with a consequent rise in cAMP and increased cellular metabolism, plus adenosine antagonism for anti-fatigue effects – have absolutely nothing to do with taurine’s GABAergic behavior,[35] which produces the sense of calm and “takes the edge off” the subjective experience of caffeination.

And while Animal Energy Chews are touted for their energy (from caffeine), they actually make for an incredible taurine booster that will improve the caffeine-to-taurine ratio of other pre-workouts. And that may be exactly what we need!!

All in all, a very cool stack. Just be careful as you dial the caffeine dose up – use conservative judgment and enjoy the workout.

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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.

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