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What is Amino Energy drink?
Having won the 2019 Best New Product award from Convenience Store News, Essential Amin.O. Energy Plus Electrolytes Sparkling Hydration Drink (or, to be brief, Amino Energy drink) is definitely a superstar in the making.
This popular grab-and-go, ready-to-drink beverage hit nationwide distribution in its first year.
I’m not surprised, seeing that it was launched by Optimum Nutrition (ON), a giant in the sports nutrition industry. The drink is all the rage among those who prioritize fitness in their active lifestyle.
Amino Energy drink is marketed as a delicious and refreshing nutrition supplement. It’s meant to support your energy, focus, performance, and endurance all just with one drink.
But before you decide whether or not this is the drink for you, let’s take a look at what ingredients and nutrition the Amino Energy drink has to offer.
Amino Energy Drink Ingredients
A 12 fl.oz can of Amin.O. Energy Plus Electrolytes Sparkling Hydration Drink contains:
- 5 calories
- 100mg caffeine (an ideal amount, in my opinion)
- 5g amino acids (Amino Blend of L-Threonine, L-Leucine, L-Citruline, L-Theanine, Sustamine L-Alanyl, L-Glutamine, Micronized Taurine, L-Lysine Hydrochloride)
- 0g total fat
- 0g saturated fatty acids
- 1g total carbohydrate
- 0g total sugar
- 0g protein
- 100mg salt
The drink is not a significant source of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, added sugars, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium.
There are also trace amounts of:
- Carbonated water
- Natural flavors
- Artificial flavors
- Citric acid
- Malic acid
- Sodium citrate
- Potassium sorbate (preservative)
- Potassium benzoate (preservative)
- Sucralose (artificial sweetener)
- Potassium chloride
- Magnesium phosphate
- Tartaric acid (only in grape and strawberry flavors)
- Acesulfame potassium (a sweetener in grape flavor only)
How Much Caffeine Is In A Can Of Amino Energy Drink?
This simply means that the caffeine in Amino Energy comes from plant-based sources and is not synthesized.
But how about the caffeine strength in Amino Energy? How does it fare?
If you compare it to other energy drinks like C4, Bang or Raze, you’ll see that Amino Energy lies on the lighter side of the scale.
In fact, the drink is marketed as a recovery drink with a minor amount of caffeine, instead of being formulated as a full-on energy drink.
I personally felt that a can of Amino Energy was only good as a pick-me-up, but was not quite enough to get me energized for my daily gym routine.
I also think that Amino Energy is missing some important elements that are necessary for a strong energy drink. What I’m referring to here are those energy-boosting ingredients like taurine, ginseng, guarana extract, and B vitamins.
If you’re looking for a pre-workout drink, you might need something that’s more highly caffeinated to get you pumped up for a session at the gym.
The only silver lining from the lower caffeine content in an Amino Energy drink is that you’d be less likely to end up with a caffeine overdose.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the recommended maximum daily intake for caffeine is up to 400mg only.
So, although a single serving of Amino Energy only makes a quarter of this daily limit, you would still need to be careful about how much you drink each day. And that’s mainly because you’ll be consuming caffeine from the other foods in your diet too.
It’s important to keep a close watch on your caffeine intake because of the long term effects that you might face from it, such as:
- Stomach irritation
- Anxiety disorder
- Heart conditions
- High blood pressure
- Weak bones
- Loss of bladder control
So be wise about the quantity of Amino Energy drinks that you consume. The occasional one or two wouldn’t hurt, of course. It’s only if it becomes a habit that you are overly dependent on.
If you want to know if you can drink Amino Energy every day, check out this other article that I wrote that covers everything you need to know.
What is Amino Blend?
Amino Blend refers to the 5g of essential amino acids that’s included into the Amino Energy drink. Amino acids help our bodies in the development of healthy and strong muscles.
Here are the names of all eight ingredients contained in the Amino Blend:
- Sustamine L-Alanyl
- Micronized Taurine
- L-Lysine Hydrochloride
Of these eight ingredients, one of them, L-Leucine, is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA). It’s an essential amino acid that can’t be produced by your body, hence you’ll need to get it from your food sources.
BCAA is useful to our bodies in the following ways:
- Building muscle
- Preventing post-workout muscle soreness
- Speeding up recovery from illness or injury
- Preventing muscle wastage
- Treating liver disease
However, for BCAA to actually make a difference for your health, you’d have to consume it regularly, and it needs to be taken together with other amino acids. The amount of BCAA you’d need would need to be calculated based on your weight. Also, the timing of when you consume those BCAAs matter too.
I’d say it’s not really that worthwhile to rely on BCAA to achieve your fitness goals.
If you overdo your dosage, you might end up experiencing nausea, pain, and headaches as some of the side effects.
Over the long term, the consequences can be even more severe, with some research linking BCAA to life-threatening illnesses like:
I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure it’s worth all that effort just for the sake of muscles. But, of course, it’s still a decision that’s entirely up to you.
How Much Of BCAA Will I Find In Amino Energy Drink?
The amount of BCAA in Amino Energy drink has not been disclosed by ON.
I’ve scanned the drink’s product labels and searched every nook and cranny of the World Wide Web.
But nope. No luck!
We’ll just have to settle for the very uncertain statement, “5g of amino acids”.
What Amino Energy Drink Flavors Are Available?
In total, there are 10 fruity flavors for Amino Energy drink:
- Blueberry Lemonade
- Juicy Strawberry
- Green Apple
- Mango Pineapple Limeade
- Peach Bellini
- Ginger Ale
- Mix Berry Sangria
Why Are There Electrolytes In Amino Energy Drink?
The electrolytes in Amino Energy drink are there to ensure maximum hydration to replenish whatever fluids and minerals you’ve lost while sweating.
Electrolytes help your body to:
- Regulate nerve and muscle function
- Hydrate your body
- Balance blood acidity and pressure
- Rebuild damaged tissue
Each serving of Amino Energy is rich with 100mg of salt. This includes sodium citrate, magnesium phosphate, and potassium chloride.
As before, there’s not been much information provided to us about the composition of these electrolytes beyond what I’ve just mentioned.
Anyway, based on the fact that electrolytes have been added to this drink, it seems as though its purpose is to function more as a recovery drink than an energy booster.
But don’t recklessly gulp down one too many cans of Amino Energy. That may cause an electrolyte imbalance in your body, and that’s dangerous.
Just stick to a maximum of one to two cans per day and you shouldn’t encounter any health repercussions.
Are There Any Artificial Sweeteners In Amino Energy Drink?
Yes, sucralose is used as a sugar substitute in all Amino Energy drinks.
And, specifically for the grape-flavored Amino Energy drink, there’s the additional sweetener, acesulfame potassium (also known as acesulfame-K or ace-K) added into the mix too.
Sucralose is quite a popular choice amongst artificial sweeteners. It’s in most of your foods and beverages nowadays including items like diet drinks, chewing gum, gelatin, and baked goods. Unlike other sweeteners, sucralose doesn’t give you a bitter aftertaste.
Ace-K works pretty much just like sucralose, but there are some concerns as some studies have claimed that it might cause cancer and affect the development of babies during pregnancy. Yet there is still a lack of sufficient evidence to support these claims. So do take these findings with a pinch of salt.
Also, it’s been declared safe by health agencies all around the world, so there’s also that.
Is Amino Energy A Good Pre-Workout Drink?
Yes, I think Amino Energy is a good pre-workout drink.
With its Amino Blend and a decent quantity of caffeine in the drink, it will certainly help you boost your gym performance.
In addition, this drink is expected to enhance your response to resistance training, ensuring the wellbeing of your muscles and tissues throughout your workout session.
Personally, I would recommend drinking a can of Amino Energy 15-30 minutes before starting your workout.
Is Amino Energy Good For Health?
Comparing Amino Energy to other energy drinks out there, I’d say yes. I think Amino Energy would be beneficial for your health.
For me, I tend to go for energy drinks with around 50-100mg of caffeine per serving and what Amino Energy provides falls nicely within this range.
So you have the benefit of an energy boost, but without too much of a risk for a caffeine overdose.
Since it’s a zero-sugar beverage, you can avoid altogether the problem of a sugar crash after having consumed the drink. Not to mention evading the problems of dental cavities and Type 2 diabetes too.
Your calorie intake will also be very minimally impacted since Amino Energy only has 5 calories.
One thing I’m not so pleased about here though is the lack of other nutritious supplements in the ingredients list. You know, things like ginseng, taurine, or B vitamins. This makes it a rather lackluster competitor in relation to other well-known energy drinks that do contain these ingredients.
Well, the drink’s Amino Blend and electrolyte contents makes the drink unique in its own way. I do find these ingredients useful in complementing an active lifestyle like mine.
So, here’s my two cents: Amino Energy is a pretty good energy booster and/or recovery drink, assuming a light dose of caffeine is sufficient for your needs.
Does Amino Energy Work?
To answer this question, I decided to give Amino Energy drink a try for myself.
I expected that with 100mg of caffeine in a 12 fl.oz can, I would be bouncing off the gym walls in no time. But none of that happened.
I did enjoy a little perk, which I do admit was nice, but the energy boost wasn’t to the level of what you’d experience drinking C4, Bang, or Monster.
On the bright side, I didn’t experience any adverse effects from the caffeine in Amino Energy, even after hours of consumption.
I also didn’t feel any fatigue at all from drinking Amino Energy as I would after having consumed other sugar-laden energy drinks.
This zero-sugar beverage helps keep your calorie count in check too.
Amino Energy did its job as a healing potion for me. My muscles felt more relaxed and less sore even after I’d spent a good hour at the gym.
I also felt as fresh and hydrated as I did in the beginning.
All in all, there were no nasty effects from drinking Amino Energy and that’s great.
If you take into account its effectiveness, nutrition, taste, and price, Amino Energy is a great all-rounder.
I personally give this drink a 7/10.
In my opinion, the drink isn’t overpriced at all (priced around $2) and offers good value for money in comparison to other competing energy drinks.
The pleasant variety of flavors available for this lightly carbonated energy drink makes it a delight to be savored each time. You’ll never grow tired of the refreshing fruity taste. Artificial sweeteners work well for this drink, bringing out a sweet taste minus the calories.
With regard to the energy boost, you won’t be experiencing a very strong impact from this drink so adjust your expectations.
This is mostly due to the lighter dosage of caffeine in this beverage (only 100mg for a 12 fl.oz can) plus the lack of any other stimulating ingredients such as taurine, B Vitamins, or ginseng.
On the whole, I think it’s a great dietary supplement and complement to your fitness regime.
If it’s a simple pick-me-up you’re looking for, you’ll probably be able to get what you need from a can of Amino Energy drink.
You can read my full review of Amino Energy in this article that I wrote.
Where Can I Get Amino Energy And What Is Its Price?
Considering how widely sold ON’s products are throughout the US, you won’t have a hard time locating Amino Energy just about anywhere in the country.
If you live elsewhere, rest assured that ON distributes Amino Energy to more than 70 countries worldwide.
As always, you can also opt to source for Amino Energy online.
Price-wise, expect it to be in the range of around $2 or thereabouts.
Alternatives to Amino Energy drink
If you’re wondering what are some other ready-to-drink energy beverages that you can try besides Amino Energy, here’s a list of some notable ones:
For a different kind of experience, caffeine pills like Vivarin can also give you an energy boost minus the added sugar and excessive ingredients that you may not want.
There’s also caffeinated products such as Kraft’s Make it Mio that you can consider.
Powdered energy drinks also have a charm of their own. They tend to have more affordable prices and give you a greater sense of versatility in the way you enjoy your energy drink.
If you’re curious to give them a go, here are some brands you can look up:
REIZE Energy Drink (10 out of 10)
REIZE is my absolute favorite energy drink.
With its small and compact sachets, it’s really convenient to enjoy an energy boost no matter where I am or what I’m doing.
I love the flexibility that REIZE has to offer. I can mix it with any beverage that I like and even adjust the potency of my drink as desired. (General guideline is to add a sachet of REIZE to 8.4 fl.oz of liquid).
With just one 4g sachet, you’ll get 50mg of caffeine and a wholesome combination of ingredients which includes taurine, ginseng, and B Vitamins. Not only that, but you can also enjoy the energy boost without guilt as REIZE is sugar-free and only has 11 calories.
Perhaps best of all, REIZE is really affordable. It ships right to your doorstep for only about $1 per sachet.
I highly recommend giving REIZE a try to see for yourself what a great energy drink it is.
If you try it I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s actually better than Amino Energy, but see for yourself.
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