In my past reviews of Optimum Nutrition’s supplements, I’ve had a lot of good things to say about their products and with good reason.
They are a well established, multi-award winning company, who have time and again, stepped up to the mark to deliver the highest quality supplements at a competitive price.
Well, I’m sorry to say that, I think they’ve dropped the ball on this one!
AmiN.O. Energy is basically a pre workout drink (pwd), but the company says it can be used during workouts or events, or any other time to “boost energy and recovery”.
It boasts an impressive line up of BCAAs, Essential amino acids, and boosters to increase Nitric Oxide production and Optimum say you can “use multiple scoops to go from mild to intense Energy Support” (more on that shortly).
AmiN.O. is basically made up of two proprietary blends. The first is an Amino acid blend, the second is an Energy blend.
The list of amino acid profile in this blend is very impressive and contains most of the well known performance and growth effective acids you’d expect in a pwd. They include:
L-Glutamine: Minimizes the breakdown of muscle tissue and improves the synthesis of protein for recovery and growth.
L-Arginine: Enhances performance and stamina. Arginine is also a precursor to Nitric Oxide (NO) which is a vasodilator, meaning it temporarily expands blood vessels to allow a better flow of oxygenated blood and nutrients to where they are needed. This is what helps “the pump” when we are working out.
L-Leucine: Helps to maintain muscle tissue by sustaining the balance of nitrogen. It also supplies energy to our body during training and preserves muscle glycogen needed for muscle contraction. It also assists mental ability or focus even when exercise becomes more intense.
Beta-Alanine: Increases your intramuscular levels of Carnosine, which is the body’s major intracellular buffer. Simply put, higher carnosine levels give you an added buffer against acidosis during high-intensity workouts.
L-Isoleucine: An important precursor to glutamine and alanine,which are both used during intense workouts. It’s also used as fuel by muscle cells, sparing other amino acids from being used. Isoleucine is also important for protein synthesis, anabolism and anti-catabolism.
L-Phenylalanine: Is an appetite suppressant and increases metabolism.
Taurine: Regulates muscle contraction function and assists in digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is also a strong antioxidant.
These, among others make an impressive list. That is until you take into consideration the relatively small dosage of 5gm total per serve.
Here is a big sticking point for the author and I’m sure many of you who take your health seriously.
While most supplement companies are trying to do away with stimulant based workout boosters, Optimum have chosen to go against the flow here.
The main ingredient in AmiN.O.’s energy blend is almost exclusively caffeine. According to their own label, each serve contains 160mg of this blend made up of:
“Caffeine (From Green Tea), Green Tea Extract (Camellia Sinensis)(Leaf)(Standardized For EGCG), Green Coffee Extract”
Now consider this. The U.S. FDA recommends a maximum daily allowance of no more than 200mg per day for adults. So one serve of AmiN.O. is 80% of the maximum recommended allowance.
Yet O.N. recommend that you take up to…wait for it….7 servings each day of AmiN.O. ! Here it is in their own words.
FOR AN AMINO BOOST: Consumer one or more servings first thing in the morning and/or between meals. FOR PRE-WORKOUTENERGY: Take 1-3 servings 20-30 minutes before training. FOR POST-WORKOUT RECOVERY: Take 1-2 servings immediately after training.”
That’s over five and a half times the recommended amount, all before you even think about stopping off at Starbucks for an after workout treat!
I don’t care if the caffeine is from Green tea, Green coffee beans or anything else, it is still over the top and not a dosage I would expect a reputable company to recommend.
AmiN.O. Comes in 5 fruity flavors (What, no coffee flavor? I’m surprised.)
The flavors are:
Concord grape, Blue raspberry, Fruit fusion, Orange cooler and Watermelon with most users agreeing that the “Concord Grape” is the tastiest and Watermelon a close second.
I’ve only found one or two negative comments about after taste and they were about the sweetness of the mix, not a chemical taste.
Serving size: 9gm (2 scoops)
AmiN.O. Energy comes in 10, 30 and 65 serving packs at $18, $30 and $62 respectively. The best promotional price I’ve found was once again at Bodybuilding.com at $11, $19 and $35.38.
While this sounds like a cheap PWD, it soon adds up as your tolerance (caffeine addiction) increases and you start using the 7 daily serves.
In fact at 7 serves per day, even the largest pack will only last you 9 days or about $4 / day.
I think by now you know where this is heading. With more cons than pros, I would not recommend AmiN.O. Energy.
There are better products on the market which, although they have a higher purchase price, they don’t require you to take a large amount of serves per day for the same benefit.
Most importantly, there are alternatives that don’t rely on stimulants to keep you focused such as these alternatives: Gaspari’s AminoLast, MusclePharm’s N.O. Powder, Cellucor’s NO3 Chrome or BSN’s N.O. Xplode Caffeine Free.