Amino Energy Drink Review (Ingredients & Comparisons)

A can of Amino Energy

Amin.O. Energy (or just Amino Energy) drinks are brought to you by sports nutrition company, Optimum Nutrition. 

The company strives to provide you with high quality performance supplements that support your health and fitness goals at the gym, on the track or even at home. 

In this article, I’ll be reviewing the latest addition to the Amino Energy family: Amino Energy + Electrolytes Sparkling Drink.

If you’re curious to find out more about this refreshing, energy-boosting beverage, then this is the post for you.

Let’s get started…

What Is Amin.O. Energy Drink?

Amin.O. Energy drink seeks to offer you the convenience of energy anytime you need it. This sugar-free beverage includes both caffeine and amino acids as part of its ingredients blend in order to support your daily performance and endurance. 

It combines the benefits of an energy drink, hydration beverage, and sparkling refreshment all into a single can.

For this review, I tried the Amino Energy Plus Electrolytes Blueberry Lemonade flavor.

Who is Amino Energy Drink For?

Amino Energy drink is suitable for anyone who needs an energy boost to complement their active lifestyle.

However, if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or someone with a pre-existing health condition, this drink might not be suitable for you.

What Ingredients Will I Find In Amin.O. Energy Drink?

Ingredient label of Amino Energy drink
Ingredients list as seen on a can of Amino Energy Plus Electrolytes.

Before we dive into the details, let’s check out the ingredients in a 12 fl.oz can of Amino Energy drink.

  • 5 calories
  • 100mg caffeine (the perfect amount, in my opinion)
  • 5g amino acids (see the section on Amino Blend below for more info)
  • 0g total fat
  • 0g saturated fatty acids
  • 1g total carbohydrate
  • 0g total sugar
  • 0g protein
  • 100mg salt

It also contains 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)
  • Acesulfame potassium (a sweetener, in grape flavour only)

Generally speaking, Amin.O. Energy drink is not considered a significant source of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, added sugars, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium.

Caffeine

What’s an energy drink without a solid amount of caffeine? In the case of Amino Energy, you’ll be getting 100mg of “naturally occuring caffeine” in every can.

This simply means that the caffeine in your drink has been derived from plant-based sources.

From my experience, the 12 fl.oz Amino Energy drink didn’t really pack a punch despite its decent caffeine content. Can’t deny that I was slightly disappointed here. 

For this reason, I’d put it at the lower end of the scale in terms of its potency as an energy drink.

I’m guessing Optimum Nutrition was only trying to make a recovery drink out of Amino Energy instead of a phenomenal energy drink.

Nevertheless, you should still be careful not to consume Amino Energy excessively.

Consuming too much caffeine may have a negative impact on your health and may cause you problems like:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive issues
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Addiction
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue

In order to avoid these health issues, remember to always follow the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s recommendation of a 400mg daily caffeine limit.

It’s very unlikely that you’ll experience a caffeine overdose from just one can of Amino Energy. But while you shouldn’t worry too much over it, you still need to keep tabs of your overall caffeine consumption throughout the day, just to be on the safe side.

Sugar 

Since Amino Energy drink is sugar-free, you won’t have to worry about the risk of a sugar crash.

Artificial sweeteners

In the place of sugar, Amin.O. Energy drinks are flavored through the use of two artificial sweeteners called sucralose and acesulfame potassium (also known as acesulfame-K, ace-K or E950). There are six commonly used sugar substitutes nowadays, and both sucralose and ace-K are part of that list. 

Sucralose

Sucralose does its job well as a calorie-free sweetener because it doesn’t have any bitter aftertaste. 

Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K)

In the Amin.O. Energy range of products, you’ll see Ace-K appearing beside sucralose for the grape-flavored version of the drink. 

Just a side note though, some critics have claimed that ace-K is a cancer-triggering substance and there have been studies that blamed Ace-K for affecting the early development of babies during pregnancy.

However, there has not been enough research done in this area for us to draw any concrete conclusions and it has been declared safe by health agencies all around the world.

Acceptable Daily Intake For Artificial Sweeteners

While we’re on the topic of artificial sweeteners, I feel it’s worth mentioning here that although Amino Energy drinks are sugar-free, it doesn’t mean we can go crazy and drink as much of it as we like. 

There is still a recommended limit that we should observe when consuming products with artificial sweeteners. 

According to Diabetes Canada, the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for sucralose is 9 mg/kg body weight per day whereas for ace-K, it’s 15 mg/kg body weight per day. 

So, for example, if you weigh 50kg (110 pounds), you’d be advised to limit yourself to consuming 450mg of sucralose and 750mg of ace-K in a day.

Coffee bean in a pot
It’s good to keep a close watch over your caffeine intake to avoid the consequences of an overdose.

What Is Amino Blend?

Amino Blend plays a big part in the Amino Energy drink. (Yeah, you probably could have guessed that from the drink’s name alone.)

Each serving of Amin.O. Energy contains 5g of Amino Blend. 

Here’s a complete list of the eight amino acids included in this blend:

  • L-Threonine
  • L-Leucine (the only Branched-Chain Amino Acid, BCAA in this blend)
  • L-Citruline
  • L-Theanine
  • Sustamine L-Alanyl
  • L-Glutamine
  • Micronized taurine
  • L-Lysine Hydrochloride

Each amino acid has its own role to play in keeping your muscles strong, safe and healthy.

Note that L-Leucine is the only BCAA in the drink.

What Are BCAAs?

Let me introduce you to BCAA, just in case you aren’t familiar with it yet. 

BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acid and it consists of three essential amino acids: Leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Your body cannot make BCAAs at all, so you need to get them from your food sources.

BCAAs are mainly needed to drive the protein-building process in your muscles. 

Here are some other good things that BCAAs do for your body:

Despite these benefits of BCAA, you’ve got to be careful about the amount you take as a heavy dose of BCAA can cause nausea, pain, and headache. Also, you should avoid BCAA if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Just to caution you, there are also some studies out there linking BCAA to fatal illnesses such as these:

Just be sure to consume drinks that contain BCAAs like Amino Energy in moderation and you should be fine.

Electrolytes

Cyclist drinking in front her parked bicycle
It’s important to replenish electrolytes in your body post workout.

You’ll often see electrolytes appearing as an ingredient in sports drinks, so the fact that it’s included in Amin.O. Energy seems to suggest that Optimum Nutrition is trying to appeal to fitness lovers.

Electrolytes are helpful in supporting these bodily functions:

  • Regulating nerve and muscle function
  • Hydrating your body
  • Balancing blood acidity and pressure
  • Rebuilding damaged tissue

The reason you’d want to replenish electrolytes in your body after exercise is to avoid dehydration so you won’t face symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness and cramping
  • Headaches
  • Convulsions

So, as you can see, it’s important to keep track of your electrolyte levels at all times. It should be neither too low nor too high.

And you don’t really need to replenish that much in your body, really. Just 100mg of these mineral salts would be more than enough to do the job. 

Hence, with regards to Amino Energy, you wouldn’t need to drink that much to get the electrolytes you need. At most, what you’d get from one or two cans should suffice.

If you’d like to find out more about the purpose behind the ingredients in an energy drink, check out this post I wrote about it.

What Drink Flavors Can I Find For Amin.O. Energy Drink?

Flavor fatigue isn’t going to be an issue with Amino Energy drinks. Here’s a list of the refreshing flavors that are available for you to enjoy: 

  • Blueberry Lemonade *
  • Grape
  • Juicy Strawberry *
  • Watermelon *
  • Green Apple
  • Cherry
  • Mango Pineapple Limeade
  • Peach Bellini
  • Ginger Ale
  • Mix Berry Sangria

* These are the flavors I tried for this review.

Amino Energy flavors
No chance of flavor fatigue with the fruity range of choices available for Amino Energy drinks.

Amino Energy Drink Review

So here’s the part of my post that you’ve probably been waiting for. Let’s get down to business and see how Amino Energy fares as an energy drink. 

Taste

Just one sip of the drink and I was reminded of Jolly Rancher.

The lightly carbonated, fruity-flavored water brings thoughts of candy to mind too. Some might even find the flavors similar to Starburst taffy candy or SodaStream sparkling water.

Other than Blueberry Lemonade, I also went for Juicy Strawberry and Watermelon. Having tried them, I can see why the latter two flavors are the most popular ones.

In general, I found that the Amin.O Energy blend had its own unique flair, clearly distinguishing it from other carbonated energy drinks I’ve tasted such as Coca-Cola Energy or Bang Energy.

I found the drink to be really hydrating so it does achieve its intended effect here. 

Meanwhile, despite it being said that sucralose is many times sweeter than sugar itself, I actually didn’t find the Amino Energy very sweet at all.

In fact, I’d say the artificial sweeteners in the drink combined really well with the delicious flavors in Amin.O. Energy. I felt it actually leaves a memorable aftertaste in your mouth. Props to Amino Energy for that.

Effectiveness

For a self-proclaimed energy drink, the energy part in Amino Energy drinks was pretty much non-existent to me, based on my first-hand experience with the drink.

The label on the can says that there’s 100mg of caffeine in its 12 fl.oz drink, but I suspect there may be a printing error here. 

Well, it could be that the “naturally occurring caffeine” in the drink isn’t very strong. Or perhaps it’s due to a lack of other caffeine-rich ingredients in the mix in the way you might have been accustomed to seeing in other energy drinks. But this is purely my opinion though. 

Personally, I felt that Amino Energy really didn’t provide me with the power surge that I’d need to support my active lifestyle.

Most of the top energy drink brands out there usually have a good blend of other extra ingredients like taurine, ginseng, guarana extract, quinine and B Vitamins to give you that energy boost you are searching for. 

But in the case of Amino Energy, I really don’t see much complementary stimulants in the ingredients list. So that could explain the lack of potency in its blend. 

Bottom line, we aren’t really getting anything satisfactory here in terms of Amino Energy being an energy booster, ironically enough. 

Well, there is still a silver lining of sorts, I suppose: At least you won’t be suffering from the side effects of too much caffeine.

There were no symptoms of jitteriness, insomnia, loss of bladder control, or headaches when I tried Amino Energy.

However, I should add that I didn’t feel as tired as I did after drinking a can of Monster, Red Bull, or Celsius in the past. 

Overall, Amino Energy struck me as a very refreshing drink. I guess that’s probably due to the electrolytes in the blend.

Nutrition label of Amino Energy drink
A snapshot of the nutrition facts from a can of Amino Energy.

Price

Other than grabbing a can from your neighbourhood convenience stores or nearby supermarkets, you can order your stash of Amin.O. Energy drinks pretty easily online. 

Last I checked, a 12 fl.oz can of Amino Energy was selling for around $2. 

Amino Energy Drink vs Red Bull

Caffeine

Amino Energy drink contains 100mg of “naturally occurring caffeine” within a 12 fl.oz can, while Red Bull has 80mg of caffeine per 8.4 fl.oz.

Although Amino Energy drink contains more liquid volume, its caffeine content per fl.oz is lower than Red Bull’s by about 1mg.

Anyway, I don’t think it’s a fair game to compare the energy boost in both drinks. Red Bull contains a couple of stimulating ingredients that aren’t included in Amino Energy drink like taurine and sugar.

The little dose of micronized taurine in Amino Energy drink won’t really contribute much to this energy supplement.

Red Bull energy drink
Unlike Amino Energy, Red Bull contains other stimulating ingredients like taurine.

Sugar

Amino Energy drink is completely sugar-free, whereas Red Bull contains 27g of sugar per 8.4 fl.oz. However, Red Bull does have a sugar-free option as well.

As a substitute for sugar, Amino Energy relies on artificial sweeteners like ace-K and sucralose to give it the flavor it needs.

That’s a much healthier option than what a classic can of Red Bull has to offer.

Quite frankly, the sugar concentration in a regular can of Red Bull is way too high. 

But then you also have Red Bull Sugar-Free, which uses sucralose and ace-K as sugar substitutes too. 

In this case, you could say there wouldn’t be much difference here if you were comparing between an Amino Energy drink and a can of Red Bull Sugar-Free. 

Price

A 12 fl.oz can of Amino Energy costs around $2.10. Meanwhile, an 8.4 fl.oz can of Red Bull only costs $1.99.

On the surface, a can of Amino Energy and Red Bull seem to be almost the same in price. But each brand offers you a different volume per can.

If we were to make a comparison on a per fl.oz basis, you’ll find that Amino Energy costs $0.18 per fl.oz whereas Red Bull charges $0.24 per fl.oz.

So Amino Energy would be the cheaper option per unit of volume.

On the whole, I’d say Amino Energy has a good introductory price, giving it some advantage over the more established Red Bull brand. 

Amino Energy Drink vs Bang

Caffeine

Amino Energy drink contains 100mg of caffeine in a 12 fl.oz can, while Bang energy drink has 300mg of caffeine per 16 fl.oz.

Bang energy drink has the bigger volume here compared to Amino Energy. 

If you evaluate both options on a per fl.oz basis, it’s obvious that Bang energy drink is the one with the stronger caffeine content (8.3mg per fl.oz for Amino Energy vs. Bang’s 19mg per fl.oz).

While Bang is the better choice if you’re looking for that extra energy kick, you’re more likely to risk exceeding your daily recommended caffeine limit if you drink it.

So it really depends on what you’re after. 

If you just need a light perk, then Amino Energy might do it for you. But like I said earlier, I felt it wasn’t very effective from my own experience. 

Sugar

Both Amino Energy and Bang are sugar-free.

Bang contains two types of artificial sweeteners: sucralose and ace-K. 

For Amino Energy, most of its flavors only rely on sucralose for their flavoring. The only exception here is the grape flavor which pairs sucralose and Ace-K in its blend.

Assuming you’re drinking in moderation, it really wouldn’t matter as much which of these two sugar-free drinks you choose.

However, if you really wanted to be picky, you could opt for Amino Energy since (with the exception of grape flavor) you’d be exposed to only one artificial sweetener rather than two. 

Price

Amino Energy retails for about $2.10 per can. Bang costs around the same at $2.17 each.

Bang might be bigger in volume than Amino Energy, but pricewise, they are almost the same. 

The major distinction between the two brands lies in their caffeine content. 

If you’re looking for an instant energizer that lasts for hours, then Bang is the one for you. 

But if you prefer a lighter energy boost that also doubles as a rehydration source, then Amino Energy would suit you better.

Bang energy drink
Bang is loaded with triple the amount of caffeine found in Amino Energy.

Amino Energy Drink vs REIZE

Caffeine

Amino Energy drink contains 100mg of “naturally occurring caffeine” in a 12 fl.oz can. In comparison, REIZE has 50mg of caffeine in every 4g sachet.

Instead of making caffeine the only source of energy, REIZE turns to the 1000mg of taurine from its ingredients to give each sachet more bite.

Taurine is an organic compound that enhances your mental capabilities and ability to focus. It is known to works wonders when consumed together with caffeine.

On the other hand, Amino Energy doesn’t seem to include any extra energy-boosting ingredients, relying instead on its Amino blend to make it stand out.

Sugar

Amino Energy drink and REIZE are both completely sugar-free.

Both drinks make use of artificial sweeteners as substitutes to sugar.

You probably know by now that there’s sucralose in every can of Amino Energy, with the addition of ace-K in the grape-flavored version of the drink.

You’ll find ace-K in REIZE too, but there’s also aspartame here, which is another popular sweetener that’s often used in processed foods and drinks nowadays.

Price

Amino Energy drinks costs around $2.10 per can. REIZE costs half that price, at only about $1 per sachet.

Both Amino Energy and REIZE make great energy drink options and are each effective and healthy in their own right. 

But one advantage to REIZE is that it’s more convenient to take with you wherever you go. You can also have it freshly made, only mixing the beverage at the time you require your energy boost. 

Unlike a ready-to-drink option like Amin.O Energy, you have more flexibility with REIZE to mix your energy drink as diluted or concentrated as you like. 

Final Verdict

Essential Amino Energy Plus Electrolytes Sparkling drink is the latest instalment of the Amino Energy brand. 

I personally give the drink a 7/10 rating, and agree with the positive reviews that others have been giving the drink online.

Taking all factors into consideration (effectiveness, health impact, taste, flavor, and price), I’d say Amino Energy has set a new standard for energy drinks.

In addition, its price isn’t too far out, and it stands a good chance of competing with other well known brands within the industry.

Its wide variety of fruity flavors offers you an ideal level of sweetness. When chilled, it also has a really refreshing effect on you.

I consider Amino Energy Plus Electrolytes to be a lighter energy drink option as it’s not loaded with too much caffeine nor does it carry too many other stimulants in its blend. Nevertheless, you can count on the drink to support your overall wellness.

With electrolytes thrown into the mix, Amino Energy offers you a really hydrating beverage that’s not only a great complement to your health, but a reliable way to boost your performance as and when you need it. 

You can also check out Alpha U’s review of the Amino Energy Plus Electrolytes drink below:

Alternatives To Amin.O. Energy Drink

Here are some other ready-to-drink beverages that are similar to Amino Energy:

Powdered energy drinks are a great option to consider too:

REIZE 

REIZE sachet and drink
REIZE is rich in taurine, ginseng, and B Vitamins.

I love the fact that REIZE is rich with stimulating ingredients like taurine, ginseng, and B Vitamins. 

Enjoyed together with caffeine, it’s a really nutritious and rejuvenating blend.

REIZE is so easy to customize into the level of potency that you desire by adjusting the ratio of liquid added to the energy powder. You also have the liberty of enjoying your energy boost alongside whichever beverage you fancy.

Besides that, the fact that REIZE comes in convenient little sachets means that I can easily carry it around with me wherever I go.

At only about $1 per sachet including shipping costs, REIZE really is a steal.

Try REIZE today and you might soon agree with me that it’s better than Amino Energy.

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Marty Spargo

I started my own energy drink brand in 2014 and am passionate about educating people about energy drinks so that they can properly understand the ingredients, benefits and risks without being influenced by the marketing messages put out by some brands. You can read my full bio here.

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