Reviews

ANS Performance Rave: An Evidence-Based Review

Rave is the latest energy supplement from ANS Performance, the brand behind such favorites as Dilate and Ritual.

Although there appeared to be some initial speculation that Rave was another pre-workout, it now looks like ANS is reaching for a much broader audience…

ANS Performance Rave

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Claims

ANS promises a long list of benefits for RAVE including:

  • Energy with no crash
  • Enhanced memory/cognition
  • Enhanced mind-muscle connection

The product is promoted not only as a pre-workout, but also for gamers, workoholics, and (as ANS puts it), anyone who wants to #TurnItUp.  So lets take a look at the ingredients and see whats going on here…

ANS Rave Ingredients

RAVE contains a truly unique blend of stimulant and non-stimulant ingredients, some of which have a good amount of research behind them and some which are not-so well-researched (but still potentially effective)…

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid which is unique in that it possesses antioxidant properties that make it useful for a variety of things.  Typically, when you come across Taurine in a pre-workout, its meant to improve recovery or enhance endurance, the latter of which doesn’t have much support currently.

In RAVE, however, it appears ANS is more concerned with the potential Nootropic nature of Taurine.  Unfortunately, there isn’t much research in that area.  Just some preliminary studies in mice which indicate Taurine may have some anti-anxiety properties.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Carnitine, another amino acid with antioxidant properties, has been studied for everything from fat-loss (ineffective), recovery (effective), and—what ANS appears to be concerned with—promoting optimal cognitive function.

Molecules suspected of improving the way our brains function (memory, attention, reaction time,etc.) are often referred to as “Nootropics”.  Most supplements marketed as Nootropics don’t work at all…but Carnitine may have something to it.

Carnitine—usually used in the form of Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) due to enhanced absorption—has been shown to improve memory and other measures of cognitive function in elderly subjects (rats and people) but it hasn’t been studied much in healthy individuals.

This doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.  This just means there is no hard evidence in humans.  All the preliminary evidence suggests, at the very least, that ALCAR may be useful as a Nootropic, so it makes sense for ANS to use in RAVE.

N-Acetyl-Tyrosine

N-Aceyl-Tyrosine is (allegedly) a more bioavailable form of Tyrosine, an amino acid that serves as a precsursor to Dopamine and Noradrenaline.  These two neurotransmitters play vital roles in brain functions such as concentration, reaction time, and memory formation.

In instances of acute stress (such as cold exposure), Tyrosine supplementation has been shown to preserve brain function.  Since Tyrosine is needed to produce Dopamine and Noradrenaline, supplementation simply maintains adequate Tyrosine reserves for these two neurotransmitters become depleted (in times of stress).

Since Tyrosine is found in high amounts in various sources of dietary protein, it is believed the be the reason why a high protein diet may enhance cognitive function.

Ultimately, while Tyrosine isn’t necessarily a “Nootropic” in the sense that it improves brain function outright, it can certainly promote optimal brain function and therefore worth considering for some individuals.

Choline Bitartrate

Choline Bitartrate is a (not so bioavailable) source of Choline, a precursor to the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine which is heavily involved in learning and memory formation, not to mention muscle contraction.

Anything that increases Acetylcholine in the brain should theoretically improve certain aspects of cognitive function, but this has only been observed with more bioavailable forms such as Citicoline and Alpha GPC.  In fact, Choline Bitartate has failed to do so when studied.

Choline Bitartrate, especially at a dose this low (150mg), probably doesn’t do much for the RAVE formula.

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane (also known as Yamabushitake) is a unique mushroom which contains a diverse range of potentially beneficial compounds.  Of interest to ANS, is preliminary research which indicates Lion’s Mane can enhance cognitive function.

At this time, it has only been studied in mice and humans experiencing cognitive decline (elderly or demented), but there is certainly a good amount of preliminary support.

ANS is really excited about this ingredient.  It seems to be the most emphasized ingredient in the brand’s marketing of RAVE, but for now, we need to see some more studies before making conclusions.

It’s an interesting ingredient which deserves further study.

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is a potent inhibitor of the enzyme Acetylcholinesterase which is chiefly responsible for degrading the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine–involved in various aspects of cognitive function.

Like most potentially nootropic compounds, Huperzine A has been studied mostly in elderly and demented subjects, but has shown much promise.  It may very well be useful in humans for the purpose of improving memory and other aspects of cognitive function.

In the context of RAVE, it’s a good fit.

Caffeine

Caffeine triggers the release of a group of neurotransmitters called Catecholamines—a group which includes Dopamine and Noradrenaline—which bring about a sense of energy and mental focus in most individuals.

Tolerance varies from person to person but the 175mg dose of Caffeine found in ANS RAVE should make the average (non-caffeine addicted) person feel noticeably more alert and focused.

Theanine

Theanine is a unique non-dietary amino acid which has been shown to reduce anxiety, improve cognitive function, as well as synergistically enhance the benefits of Caffeine.

We discuss this relationship—between Caffeine and Theanine—in this article.

Ultimately, any supplement that contains Caffeine could benefit from Theanine.  There’s no reason NOT to use it, only a bunch of research in its favor.

Kigelia Africana (Sausage Tree)

Kigelia africana, also known as Sausage Tree, is indigenous to various parts of African and Central Asia and hasn’t been studied much in the world of Western Medicine. One study indicates that it may be a stimulant, possibly stronger than Caffeine, but the subjects this study were mice.

We’re going to need a human study or two before Sausage Tree extract will see any kind of wide adoption, but there may be something to it.

Infinergy

Infinergy is simply a more slowly absorbed form of Caffeine—distributed by Creative Compounds—which allegedly reduces the likelihood of a crash.

Since RAVE contains just 25mg per serving, it probably doesn’t make much of a difference, other than bringing the total Caffeine content to 200mg per serving.

Higenamine

Higenamine is a beta-adrenergic receptor agonist and central nervous stimulant that may enhance mood and mental function.  It’s used in a lot of pre-workouts these days, but there isn’t much research on its stimulant properties.

It’s worth mentioning that Higenamine should also burn fat (though again, it hasn’t been studied much).

Rave Ingredient Takeaway

Rave contains a unique array of stimulant and non-stimulant ingredients, most of which are supposed to support/enhance some aspect of Cognitive function.  Think of it like a nootropic-based pre-workout supplement that you could also take before studying for an exam or doing your taxes!

Is Rave Safe?

Most of the ingredients in RAVE have been studied extensively and deemed entirely safe, but it does also contain some under-researched ingredients which should be considered somewhat speculative in terms of efficacy, but don’t appear to be dangerous in any sense.

RAVE seems safe if you follow the directions.

Where To Buy RAVE

Rave is available at:

Generally speaking, ANS Performance supplements are available at a much wider range of retailers so either the company is switching up its business model a little or retailers just haven’t received it yet.

The Bottom Line

RAVE has what it takes to enhance certain aspects of cognitive function (energy, focus, attention, possible memory).  This is partially stimulant driven but the formula also has plenty of non-stimulant ingredients which serve their purpose so it is by no means “stimulant dependent”.

If you’re interested in some type of unique, nootropic-like energy supplement that is not overwhelmingly stimulant-heavy but does provide a nice boost of energy, give RAVE a try.

If you’re looking for a pre-workout supplement that is clinically dosed and well-balanced in terms of energy/focus/performance, take a look at our Best Pre Workout Supplements list for some recommendations.

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