Optimum Nutrition made a pretty special BCAA supplement when they developed Essential Amino Energy.
Unlike standard BCAAs, Amino Energy is duel purposed and intended for use in multiple scenarios.
The morning wake up, pre workout, intra workout, and an energizing post workout – Amino Energy fits the bill for all of these cases.
Here, we’re going to dive into the ON amino Energy formula to give you the deepest look at this BCAA so you know when to use it, how to use it, or if it’s not for you.
ON Amino Energy Ingredients
Each serving of Amino Energy contains 17 separate ingredients per two scoops. This is an active matrix of about 5 grams, while the entire serving size is 10 grams.
That means, approximately 5 grams per serving is ‘additional’ ingredients. Here we will cover the standard ingredients as well as these additional ingredients and what it all means.
Amino Energy’s Amino Blend
The primary component of Amino Energy is the Amino Blend which comprises 5 grams per serving (serving size is 2 scoops). In this 5 gram component, there are 14 separate ingredients. This goes beyond the standard BCAA to include even non-essential amino acids and beta-alanine.
Non-essential amino acid intake on the other hand really isn’t necessary. These are components that your body can produce as-is when needed. So, we would rather be getting a full 5 gram BCAA per serving versus diluting the good stuff down with cheaper non-essential amino acids. In addition to this, a larger clinical dose of beta-alanine would be preferred as well.
This low BCAA content can be combatted by simply taking more servings.
In fact, Optimum Nutrition suggests that pre-workout someone can take up to 3 servings of Amino Energy. That translates into 15 grams of Amino Blend which may be more beneficial. However, since this amino blend in Amino Energy is proprietary, we have no idea what the exact BCAA numbers are.
Amino Energy’s Energy Blend
What really appeals to people when they take Amino Energy is the added kick you get. That kick, is due to the Energy Blend which contains 3 components that translates into about 100 mg of caffeine per 2 scoop serving.
In the 160 mg Energy Blend, there is caffeine derived from green tea, EGCG standardized green tea extract, and green coffee bean extract. This is a pretty simple energy complex, but it offers stable results that a lot of people like pre workout.
A lot of this appeal though can be fully felt by opting for a full-fledged pre workout supplement. If you are not familiar, you can learn more about pre workout supplements here. In a nutshell, quality pre workouts are like Amino Energy with larger dosages and more ingredients geared towards performance in the gym.
This part of Amino Energy breaks our hearts a bit. Per every serving, there is approximately 4.74 grams of additional ingredients. There are 12 additional ingredients in this product, including artificial flavors and colors. That really shouldn’t be necessary and we expected a little better from Optimum Nutrition. To see the full list of added ingredients, look towards the bottom of the label image.
When to Take Amino Energy
Amino Energy is best taken pre workout, but it can also be taken first thing in the morning, intra workout, or post workout. According to Optimum Nutrition, the following serving recommendations apply.
- Pre workout: 1 to 3 servings (2 to 6 scoops)
- Morning: 1 to 2 servings (2 to 4 scoops)
- Post workout: 1 to 2 servings (2 to 4 scoops)
If you’re taking ON Amino Energy as a pre workout supplement, you’re definitely going to want to consider 2+ servings. Additionally, to get any real recovery from this supplement 2+ servings is probably going to be needed to hit critical BCAA levels.
Our Conclusion and Recommendations for ON Amino Energy
As a whole, Optimum Amino Energy is an easy fit for anyone’s workout routine. Morning, pre workout, post workout, intra workout – it fits everywhere. Plus, it’s made by Optimum Nutrition and doesn’t look nearly as aggressive as other supplements.
But, is this really the best supplement for people to be taking?
If you really love the energy that ON Amino Energy gives you, then yes, this is 100% for you. But, if you are taking it primarily for the BCAAs, then you need to consider taking a full-fledged BCAA supplement or pre workout with BCAAs.
Also, if you are taking 2+ servings of Amino Energy just to get an energy boost in the gym, you will most likely be better served by taking a great pre workout supplement.
Either way, Amino Energy does have its place though. It’s a light stimulant amino acid supplement that will appeal to a lot of people that don’t want to go all-in with pre workouts or BCAAs. For that, we recognize it as a reasonable supplement. But, we still want to see those additional ingredients removed!
Edit 7/17/2019: Optimum now makes multiple versions of Essential Amino Energy including Amino Energy + Electrolytes, Amino Energy Naturally Flavored, and two RTDs. We’ll cover these variations soon.