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Amino Energy Review (+ Electrolytes Overview)

Posted on August 2, 2019

Amino Energy Review  (+ Electrolytes Overview)Dividerimage

Amino Energy is one of Optimum Nutrition’s flagship products, promoted as an anytime energy booster and pre-workout. It contains a blend of amino acids, naturally sourced caffeine, green tea and green coffee and comes in a range of quite extraordinary flavours.


In fact, the flavours are so good that they turn a regular every-day amino drink into something memorable. And with so many to choose from, flavour-fatigue is practically unheard of.


Essential Amino Energy contains a mix of essential and non-essential amino acids and as much caffeine in each serve (2 Scoops) as a regular cup of coffee. This makes it ideal as a daytime energy booster.


Amino Energy FlavoursOptimum-Nutrition-Essential-Amino-Energy-concord-grape.jpg

If you grew up in the 80s or early 90s, you probably remember Hubba Bubba as the flavour of chewing gum. They had a grape flavoured gum that could make your mouth water at a mere mention of the name.


If you’re into grape flavours, you can experience this all over again with Amino Energy Concord Grape. It’s a nostalgia-filled flavour experience that is refreshing without being overly sweet or sickly rich.


It’s that perfect balance of flavours that keep you coming back for more—just like the chewing gum did.


And this is pretty much how all of the Amino Energy flavours pan out. They’re supremely delicious and knock the competition out of the ring with an elusive left hook.




A flavour as ordinary as Orange takes on a new definition in this amino acid range. And there is a flavour to suit every palate, no matter how fussy or flavour-fatigued it may be.


Juicy Strawberry, Peach Lemonade, Cool Mint Tea, Lemon Lime and Watermelon are just a few of the flavour options available in this range.


Though flavours aren’t addictive—as far as we know—Optimum Nutrition have taken us as close to this threshold as is humanely possible.


Amino Energy Ingredients

The Amino Energy ingredients center on the following:

  • Amino Acids
  • Green Tea
  • Green Coffee


These 3 ingredients are included as 2 proprietary blends, which are an Amino Blend and Energy Blend.


amino energy nutrition panel.jpg


Amino Blend

The Amino Blend contains all of the essential amino acids needed to drive muscle protein synthesis, which means no tryptophan. This includes the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).


Supporting protein synthesis helps to keep us anabolic, enhancing repair and recovery and minimising muscle breakdown during intense training sessions and weight loss programs.


In addition, there are a range of conditionally-essential and non-essential amino acids, such as Taurine, Glutamine, Arginine, Beta-Alanine, Citrulline and Tyrosine.


Optimum-Nutrition-Essential-Amino-Energy-orange-cooler.jpgThese amino acids support a range of vital bodily processes, such as lactate buffering, reducing muscle soreness, enhancing muscle glycogen replenishment, boosting blood flow and even providing basic building blocks for adrenalin (1,2,3,4,5).


The Amino Energy Amino Blend is included at 5 grams per 9 gram (2 scoop) serve. This is a proprietary formulation, so we can’t see exactly how much of each amino acid is in there.


We can probably let Optimum Nutrition off the hook for this one though. As the biggest sports nutrition company on the planet, there would be no shortage of copy-cat competitors.


Energy Blend

The Energy Blend contains Caffeine from Green Tea, Green Tea Leaf Extract standardized for EGCG and Green Coffee Bean Extract.


Though this is a proprietary blend of 160mg per serve, the caffeine content is disclosed at 100mg per serve. Therefore, we have 60mg of Green Tea and Green Coffee, at least 50% of which is Green Tea.

 woman lifting weights.jpg

EGCG is a fascinating polyphenols naturally found in the Camellia sinensis plant. EGCG has been shown to give our metabolism a boost, and enhances abdominal fat loss as a result of exercise (6,7).


How much of the Green Tea is actually EGCG? Well, this we can’t be sure of. So we have to trust that ON have our best interests at heart here.


Green Tea is a fantastic source of natural antioxidants. Our need for these actually increases the more we exercise, particularly if that exercise is aerobic. Green Tea has also been shown to have an inhibitory effect on fat and carbohydrate digestion (8,9). 


This means less calories are absorbed from these two macronutrients. The extent of this inhibitory effect is yet to be clarified in clinical trials.


Green Coffee is a natural source of caffeine and antioxidants. It also contains a chlorogenic acids, which may enhance fat loss (10).


The 100mg of caffeine contained in each serve of Amino Energy is equivalent to approximately 1 standard cup of coffee.


Is Amino Energy a Good Pre-Workout?

Due to the fact that this product contains an appreciable amount of caffeine and a quality amino acid range, it can be used as a pre-workout.




But is it a good pre-workout? Well, since there is no set definition for what constitutes a good pre-workout, we will have to improvise.


Hardcore pre-workout users will be better suited to Gold Standard Pre-Workout, which delivers more caffeine at 175mg per scoop, along with 1.5grams of beta-alanine and 3 grams of creatine.


And some still double-scoop!


However, if you don’t need the higher caffeine content you might find that Amino Energy has got everything you need, as well as some thermogenics, which never hurt.


Though the amino blend is proprietary and offers only 5 grams of 14 amino acids in total, we can’t discount the biological effects of synergism.


amino-energy-orange.jpgSure, each amino acid is probably delivered at levels quite below what we would call therapeutic. However, there are 14 in total, each supporting our physiology in its own unique way.


This certainly counts for something.


As a pre-workout, start with a single 9g serve (2 scoops) and see how you go. You might like to try more as your caffeine sensitivity decreases or if you are used to a higher caffeine content.


Amino Energy will support performance and recovery, whilst enhancing energy levels, fat-burning and keeping you anabolic.


Oh yeah, and it tastes freakin’ awesome!


Is Amino Energy Keto Friendly?

Each serving of Amino Energy contains 1-2 grams of carbohydrates, depending on the flavour. This will be suitable for most ketogenic programs, even at multiple serves daily.


Can You Take Creatine with Amino Energy?Optimum-Nutrition-Micronised-Creatine-114serves.jpg

Yes, you can!


ON Micronized Creatine Powder is 100% pure creatine monohydrate, without any flavours or sweeteners. Creatine is naturally quite flavourless, which makes it perfect for adding to protein shakes, intra-workouts, pre-workouts and Amino Energy.


The creatine will complement the other amino acids contained in Amino Energy. Creatine is well known to reduce recovery time between sets and supports explosive strength and power (11,12).


Amino Energy Electrolytes

The original Amino Energy and the Electrolyte version are almost identical, except for the addition of sodium chloride, magnesium oxide and potassium chloride.


Amino Energy Electrolytes contains these electrolytes at 440mg per serve, which pushes the serving size out to 9.5 grams, compared to a 9 gram serve in the original Amino Energy.


This version of Amino Energy is suited to any exercise that results in significant sweating, whether this be intense training or any exercise undertaken in the warmer months of the year.


Amino Energy Electrolytes will assist in maintaining hydration more effectively than the original version because of the inclusion of sodium, chloride, magnesium and potassium.



Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy offers the nutritional advantage of amino acids, Green Tea, Green Coffee and naturally sourced caffeine, as well as a massive range of tantalizing mind-bending flavours.


This is versatile product that may be used any time of the day, just as you would a coffee or other caffeinated drink, or as a pre-workout.


Amino Energy’s global popularity and ever-expanding flavour range speaks to its efficacy as a versatile product that delivers a hefty nutritional payload as an energy booster and amino acid formulation with thermogenic benefits.




2. Ashley J et al. Impact of L-citrulline supplementation on oxygen uptake kinetics during walking. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2018 Vol 43;6 p.631-637. 

3. Varnier M et al. Stimulatory effect of glutamine on glycogen accumulation in human skeletal muscle. The American Journal of Physiology. 1995 Vol 269 E309-E315 

4. McLeay Y et al. The effects of Taurine on the Recovery from Eccentric Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage in Males. Antioxidants. 2017 Vol 6;4 p.79

5. Culbertson JY et al. Effects of Beta-Alanine on Muscle Carnosine and Exercise Performance: A Review of the Current Literature. Nutrients. 2010 Vol 2 p. 75-98

6. Maki K.C. et al. Green Tea Catechin Consumption Enhances Exercise-Induced Abdominal Fat Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults. The Journal of Nutrition 2009 Vol 139;2 p.264-270

 7. Dulloo A.G. et al. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999 Vol 70 p.1040-1045

8. Lochoca K et al. Green Tea extract decreases starch digestion and absorption from a test meal in humans: a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study. Scientific Reports. 2015

 9. Cha KH et al. Inhibition of gastrointestinal lipolysis by green tea, coffee, and gomchui (Ligularia fischeri) tea polyphenols during simulated digestion. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2012 Vol 60;29 p.7152-7157

10. Onakpoya I et al. The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Gastroenterology research and practice. 2011

11. Cooper R et al. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012 Vol 9;33

12. Lanhers C et al. Creatine Supplementation and Upper Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine. 2017 Vol 47 p.163-173

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