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6 Best Supplements for Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and they are essential for human health.

In general, amino acids are needed because they contribute to muscle protein synthesis. This is just a fancy word meaning your muscles have enough protein.

Normally you need to eat to get protein, like you need to eat meat or nuts. Amino acids easily dissolve in water so your muscle tissue can hydrate and get the protein it needs for muscle recovery.

This is where supplements come in. There are many different types of amino acid supplements on the market, so it can be hard to know which one is best for you.

The best way to get amino acids is through diet, but many people find it difficult to get enough from food alone.

In this article we will review the best amino acid supplements and discuss their benefits.

If you want more helpful info on supplements – including risks and general FDA guidelines – please see our “Supplements and Vitamins – Ultimate Beginner’s Guide“.

How We Rank and Review – 8 Criteria

1 – Price: What’s the price of the supplement? What’s the cost per serving?

  • At Eating Enlightenment we value quality over price. However, all else being equal, then price comes into consideration. 

2 – Reviews: How many reviews for each product? What’s the average rating? How many third party reviews?

  • We strongly believe in third party reviews. Many supplement companies list positive reviews on their website, but third party reviews include negative comments. We always go with third party reviews.

3 – Reputation: How reputable is the brand behind the supplement? How long has the brand been around? What’s their mission? 

  • We believe that a company’s intention is highly important and should be one of your top purchasing decision factors.

4 – Taste / Absorption = What’s the taste? How quickly does your body absorb the supplement? Do reviews mention any negative side effects like an upset stomach?

5 – Perceived Therapeutic Effect = What beneficial effects or feelings does this supplement promote?

6 – Food Allergens = Does the company provide allergen info?

7 – Science / Certifications: Does the company list transparent scientific studies on their website? Do third party certifications test the company’s supplement for quality control? How many certifications does the company have?

8 – Pros/Cons: What are the pros and cons of each supplement? How is the supplement unique? For what situations is this supplement best?

1 – Best For A Kick Of Energy – Optimum Nutrition / Vitacost

  • Vitacost Price = $20.99 / Optimum Nutrition Price = $50.99
  • # of Servings = 60
  • Price per Serving = $0.35
  • Product Reviews = 4.8/5 with 23 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = 4 capsules per serving in between meals with juice
  • Labeled Effect
  • Food Allergens = allergen safe
  • Pro’s = largest variety of amino acids in very high amounts, has caffeine
  • Con’s

About “Essential AMINO Energy Concord Grape”:

Savings Alert: If you buy on Vitacost the current price is $20.99 for 30 servings. 30 servings on Optimum Nutrition direct is $50.99. 

This Optimum Nutrition product contains caffeine and a diverse blend of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) in high concentration.

Many BCAA supplements only contain three major amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine). In contrast, this product contains over 18 essential amino acids, which is one major reason for the best overall recommendation.

In addition to containing numerous essential amino acids, this supplement has low cost per serving (on Vitacost).

You can also buy direct from Optimum Nutrition.

Made by “Optimum Nutrition”:

About Optimum Nutrition: Made and trusted by athletes, Optimum Nutrition has decades experience. According to ReviewMeta.com, Optimum Nutrition receives a 4.1/5 average adjusted rating from 67,776 verified reviews.

  • Start = 1986
  • Revenue = $21 million
  • Employees = 112
  • Mission = helping performance focused athletes achieve their goals
  • Third Party Certifications = GMP, NSF
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.1/5 average adjusted rating from 67,776 verified reviews

2 – Best Price – Bulk Supplements

  • Price = $13.96
  • # of Servings = 50
  • Price per Serving = $0.28
  • Product Reviews = 4.8/5 with 5449 verified reviews
  • Product Reviews = 4.4/5 with 13 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = 4 capsules per serving in between meals with juice
  • Labeled Effect
  • Food Allergens = allergen safe
  • Pro’s = three main amino acids in good quantities per serving
  • Con’s = flavor tolerable but not great

About “BCAA 2:1:1 (Branched Chain Amino Acids)”:

This Bulk Supplements product contains 3 important branched chain amino acids in good quantities.

The three essential amino acids found here and in other similar products are leucine, isoleucine and valine.

Together, these three amino acids are in the majority of any BCAA supplement.

This supplement comes in powder form if you want to add your aminos to water, and also has our lowest price per serving.

Made by “Bulk Supplements”:

About Bulk Supplements: Bulk Supplements started in 2011 and is based in Nevada. It’s main manufacturing facility is FDA registered. They keep costs low by producing one metric ton for each supplement. According to ReviewMeta.com, Bulk Supplement’s average adjusted rating is 4.4/5 from 39,370 verified reviews.

  • Start = 2011
  • Revenue = $10 million
  • Employees = 50
  • Mission
  • Third Party Certifications = NSF, cGMP
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.4/5 from 39,370 reviews

3 – Best Amino Acid Powder – Optimum Nutrition

  • Price = $43.99
  • # of Servings = 60
  • Price per Serving = $0.73
  • Product Reviews = 5/5 with 5 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = two scoops per serving, mix with water
  • Labeled Effect = help spare muscle during endurance exercise
  • Food Allergens = contains soy
  • Pro’s = three main amino acids in high quantities per serving
  • Con’s = two scoops (not capsules)

About “Instantized BCAA Powder”:

This Optimum Nutrition product is an unflavored powder (not a capsule) with three main amino acids in 2:1:1 ratio.

It’s also the most popular BCAA supplement sold on Amazon, with 4.6/5 average rating from 16,395 reviews. 

Savings Warning: The price per serving is slightly more expensive on Amazon ($0.91).

Made by “Optimum Nutrition”:

About Optimum Nutrition: Made and trusted by athletes, Optimum Nutrition has decades experience. According to ReviewMeta.com, Optimum Nutrition receives a 4.1/5 average adjusted rating from 67,776 verified reviews.

  • Start = 1986
  • Revenue = $21 million
  • Employees = 112
  • Mission = helping performance focused athletes achieve their goals
  • Third Party Certifications = GMP, NSF
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.1/5 average adjusted rating from 67,776 verified reviews

5 – Highest Concentration – Now Foods

  • Price = $8.69
  • # of Servings = 30
  • Price per Serving = $0.29
  • Product Reviews = 4.4/5 with 13 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = 4 capsules per serving in between meals with juice
  • Labeled Effect
  • Food Allergens = allergen safe
  • Pro’s = many amino acids in highest quantities per serving
  • Con’s = 4 capsules per serving

About “Amino Complete”:

This eVitamins supplement contains a variety of amino acids with the overall highest concentration per serving.

This product contains more than nine essential amino acids and is one of the best BCAA supplements.

It has a great price per serving, but taking 4 capsules per serving is a bit high.

Made by “Now Sports” – (Owned by Now)

About Now Foods: Family owned since 1968. One of the most popular supplement brands, with many more third party reviews. According to ReviewMeta.com, Now Foods has an average adjusted rating of 4.2/5 from 175,757 verified reviews.

  • Start = 1968
  • Revenue = $650 million
  • Employees = 1600
  • Mission = provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives
  • Third Party Certifications = USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Gluten Free, GMP
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.2/5 from 175,757 verified reviews

Do amino acid supplements work?

Generally speaking, yes.

A meta-analysis in 2018 looked at 39 studies involving supplementation with amino acids.

Their conclusion was “Analysis of all thirty-nine studies suggest protein and amino acid supplements may improve fat-free mass, muscle strength and physical function.”

Should you take amino acids every day?

Amino acids are generally harmless as long as they are not eaten in massive quantities daily.

As nutrition needs differ widely, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the maximum amino acid level or how to best achieve muscle protein synthesis.

You may want a blood test for overall health to see if you have any deficiencies.

You can also try protein shakes or BCAA supplements, which can be a convenient way to make sure you’re getting all the amino acids.

However, not everyone needs an abundance of amino acids. Many people, for example, already consume enough essential amino acids through a balanced diet.

Much of this answer depends on whether you are an athlete or not. If you are building lean muscle mass and your body is continually experiencing muscle soreness, then upping your amino acid intake is probably a good idea.

Affiliate Disclosure: ​​Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that if you decide to purchase a product after clicking one, we may earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. 

Medical Disclaimer: This information should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

Affiliate Disclosure: ​​Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that if you decide to purchase a product after clicking one, we may earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. 

Medical Disclaimer: This information should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

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