Best Amino Acid Supplements Compared
Amino acids are a compound we can’t live without. Literally. Amino acids are required for every metabolic process that occurs in the human body, and therefore are the basis of all life processes. Two of the most important functions of amino acids are the transport and storage of nutrients, such as water, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and proteins.
Another extremely important role of amino acids, especially for runners and other athletes, is serving as the building blocks of protein. There are 20 amino acids in total, but the human body can only produce 10 of them. The other 10 we must get through eating a healthy and balanced diet of foods that provide us with them, or else we risk the degradation of protein in our bodies.
10 Best Amino Acids
1. Cellucor Alpha Amino
Users report that this product is most effective as a post workout amino acid supplement. They especially felt improvements in recovery time and decreased soreness after intense leg workouts.
Although there is no sugar in this amino acid supplement, users report that all flavors taste great. Cellucor Alpha Amino Performance BCAAs provides a higher-than-average dose of BCAAs, with 2,500mg of leucine, and 1,250 mg each of isoleucine and valine. It also provides you with hearty doses of phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. There are 11 essential amino acids that comprise its Essential Performance Amino Acid Complex, including glutamine, alanine, and citrulline, among others. One unique feature of this amino acid supplement is its Alpha Amino Hydration Blend, which helps you rehydrate after a workout with electrolytes and coconut water.
This is a slightly higher priced amino acid supplement.
- High concentration of BCAAs
- 11 essential amino acids
- Hydrating formula
- Slightly expensive
2. RARI Amino Mend
Users report that this amino acid supplement has drastically improved their recovery time and has even put a stop to headaches caused by a lack of proper hydration. The taste is reported as delicious but too sweet, and users recommend diluting the powder with a few extra ounces of water to balance out the sweetness.
RARI Amino Mend has 5 grams of BCAA with a ratio of 2:1:1 (Leucine/Isoleucine/Valine). Two mg of glutamine helps prevent the breakdown of muscle, and 1 mg of taurine helps regulate the flow of nutrients and water in the bloodstream. Coconut water powder is known for its super hydrating properties, and potassium helps improve nerve function and muscle contraction. This amino acid supplement also contains sodium chloride to replenish what you lost during your run, and vitamins B6, B12, and C to help replenish your energy.
RARI Amino Mend is priced slightly above average for an amino acid supplement.
- Tackles muscle recovery and hydration
- Slightly expensive
3. BSN Amino X
Users report that this amino acid supplement reduces muscle soreness and speeds healing time after a tough workout. It was also reported that users experienced noticeable increases in strength when taking this amino acid supplement before working out. It is also reported to taste great and be easily mixable, even without a blender.
Following the 2:1:1 ratio rule for BCAAs, this supplement contains 10 mg of an “Amino Acid Interfusion Blend” which contains leucine, isoleucine, valine, alanine, taurine, and citrulline. Alanine helps your body move nitrogen from tissue to the liver and helps you use blood sugar as a source of energy. Taurine is known for its fat burning and energizing capabilities, and citrulline helps improve blood flow and gives a boost to your immune system. There is no caffeine or sugar in this amino acid supplement.
This is a lower priced amino acid supplement, especially because a little bit of this high dose goes a long way.
- Lots of flavors
- High dose of BCAAs
- Easy to mix
- May need to adjust dose based on body weight
4. Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules
Users report that they experienced quick recovery and overall increased feelings of wellness when taking this amino acid supplement. One user also mentioned that he cannot take many BCAA supplements because of a variety of allergies, but Do Vitamins BCAA capsules have not caused him any reaction, so they are really safe for people with ingestion-related sensitivities.
Even though this amino acid supplement is plant-based, it still supplies users with the 2:1:1 recommended BCAA ratio. Do Vitamins BCAA Capsules contain 1050 mg of leucine and 525 mg of each isoleucine and valine. The capsule is made of VCaps Plus, and there is a long list of ingredients these capsules do not contain, including wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, or artificial flavors.
These are an average-priced amino acid supplement.
- Vegan and allergy friendly
- Users report as effective
- May be too low a dose of BCAAs for some users
5. Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules
Users noted that their muscle recovery is more efficient and gains in muscle mass are notable. However, users with more advanced or intense workout routines do not believe this is a high enough dose of BCAAs to meet their training needs.
Two capsules of Optimum Nutrition BCAA contains 500 mg of Leucine, and 250 mg each of Isoleucine and Valine. This fits the recommended 2:1:1 ratio for BCAA supplements. This combination will help promote muscle synthesis and help control protein breakdown.
This is an average-priced amino acid supplement.
- Easy to swallow
- No funky powder taste
- Low dose of BCAAs for some
6. Diet Standards AminoHD 1000
Users report that they have had no negative effects from taking this amino acid supplement, but also that the results are not huge. They do report slight increases in energy and feelings of productiveness while working out. Users also report that there are unclear guidelines as to how many capsules to take in a day. According to the bottle, it could range from 2 capsules to 10 capsules per day.
Since you have already read what BSN Amino X doesn’t contain, let me tell you what it does contain: 500 mg of leucine, 250 mg of isoleucine, and 250 mg of valine. Yup, you guessed it… the 2:1:1 ratio!
This is a low cost amino acid supplement. Users expressed much satisfaction with the fact that one bottle can last a few months!
- Low cost
- Safe for most diets and allergy concerns
- Not reported as highly effective
- Unclear dosage guidelines
7. Sheer BCAA
Users have reported noticeably quicker recoveries after taking regular doses of this amino acid supplement for about 2 weeks. Older adults especially report not only quicker recovery but also maintained muscle mass when including Sheer BCAA as a regular component of their training regimen.
Three capsules of Sheer BCAA will provide you with 1050 mg of leucine, 450 mg of isoleucine, and 450 mg of valine. These amino acid supplement capsules are made with gelatin, so they are not vegan friendly.
This is a low cost amino acid supplement.
- Easy to swallow capsules
- Effective for older adults
- Not vegan-friendly
8. Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy
Most users report that this amino acid supplement is best used as a pre-workout supplement. It reportedly increases the amount of energy you have, enabling you to tackle tough workouts even when your body is tired or you have had a sleepless night. Some users report that they have been able to stop drinking coffee while taking Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy because it contains caffeine but doesn’t cause them to “crash” later in the day.
Two scoops of the amino acid supplement has 10 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrates. It has grams of an “amino blend,” which contains a long list of amino acids including taurine, glutamine, leucine, alanine, isoleucine, valine, tyrosine, histidine, lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, and methionine. It does not include a 2:1:1 ratio of the three main BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) like many other amino acid supplements. The energy component of Amino Energy comes from its “Energy Blend,” which is 160mg of a combination of caffeine, green tea extract, and green coffee extract. This product does contain artificial ingredients, like sucralose and food coloring.
This amino acid supplement is at the high end of the price spectrum.
- Users report noticeable increases in energy.
- Contains artificial ingredients
9. MET-Rx BCAA 2200
Most users report decreased soreness and quicker recovery when taking this amino acid supplement. Users also report that these capsules are very large and a little difficult to swallow.
The amino acids provided in a four capsule serving of MET-Rx BCAA 2200 are 1200 mg of leucine, 500 mg of isoleucine, and 500 mg of valine. This amino acid supplement also includes 8 IU of Vitamin E and 16 mg of Vitamin B6, which help support your metabolism. According to MET-Rx, the NitroGel Technology maximizes the delivery of the BCAAs to the muscles.
These are at the lower end of the price spectrum for amino acid supplements.
- Provide muscle and metabolism support
- Large, hard-to-swallow pills
- One serving is 4 capsules
10. Dymatize Super Amino 6000
Users report that they did not experience a change with these amino acid supplement capsules. The tablets are extremely large and difficult to swallow, and one user reported that they did not even break down in her digestive system (I will spare you all of the gory details!).
This amino acid supplement does not utilize the 2:1:1 ratio that is recommended for BCAAs, as it contains 575 mg of leucine, 313 mg of isoleucine, and 356 mg of valine. Dymatize Super Amino 6000 also contains 15 other essential and non-essential amino acids. One unique feature is that this amino acid supplement supplies users with 3 grams of protein through a whey and casein protein complex, so this is not a vegan-friendly supplement.
This is a very inexpensive amino acid supplement.
- Extended release formula
- Large pills are hard to swallow and may not digest.
- Users report little positive effect
- Not vegan friendly
The Criteria That We Used When Choosing The Best Amino Acid Supplements
We’re working really hard to help our readers find the best product for them. Here are the factors that you should evaluate before purchasing the product. It’s not very easy task as there are many products on the market. Amino Acids may be a great supplement for a everyday diet.
When you buy this type of product, you expect fast results. These pills should enable your muscles to grow faster and the pills also help to keep your lean muscles when you don’t workout. For runners , this type of product should provide fast recovery. Whenever you were running too much and your muscles overworked this product will help you. It may also prevent form muscle injuries. The next thing that is great while taking these pills is that they help to burn fat faster. While running, the fat is being burned and as a result you have additional energy which helps you to boost your running performance.
Dose of BCAAs
Branched-chain amino acids supplement are really useful for athletes but they’re also very important for runners. When we’re talking about lean muscles, they can get smaller when you exercise little, not as intensive as usual or you don’t run. Taking BCAAs will prevent loss of lean muscle. BCAAs are also perfect for your immune system. They help with muscle’s fatigue. You can enlarge the muscles more effectively and faster. Search for products in which there’s a lot of BCAAs. It was scientifically proved that taking BCAAs may help you to lose weight as pills may cause that you are less hungry.
While searching for good product, there is usually a lot of additional information. Runners with allergy to gluten should carefully check all the ingredients. Products like this are also advertised as GMO-free which is also a big advantage. There are many pills that are appropriate for vegans, made only from natural ingredients
The other thing worth considering is dosage. Not every product can be taken whenever you want. Some of them can be taken only in the morning, the other can’t be used during the night. You should also get to know if the pills should be taken on an empty stomach.It may be a problem for many poeple to take pills before eating any kind of the food because they forget about it. Some products contain caffeine which makes you more energized and you don’t need to drink energy drinks. Remeber that caffeine may also have negative effect as some people don’t like this kind of energy.
Other Important Factors To Consider While Searching For Best Products
Flavor and taste
Producers of amino acid supplements are aware that the more flavors they have, the biggest chance is for customer to buy it. This is why you can chose from a whole range of flavors . From fruity ones to sweet ones. However, there’s also one aspect that you should consider- how this flavor is made? Fancy flavors are usually made from sweeteners which make the flavor taste artificial. There are many options to provide amino acids. There are pills that you can swallow. It’s a nice option if you have a water with you. There are also supplements that were made to be consumed like lollipops. It may be very pleasant experience as you were eating a candy,
The last but not the least important factor that you should evaluate. Here’s the wide range of prices. Firstly, you should be aware that good products start from 10 dollars. There are of course many which price is above 25 dollars. While evaluating the price, you should know that there are different dosages and always check how many pills are in one package. The most expensive ones aren’t the best ones. Many companies offer this type of product but some of them focus on body builders, weightlifters who need these pills to grow muscles in faster time and to make the muscles bigger and bigger. As you are a runner, you don’t need that so searching for the most expensive products isn’t needed .Buying bigger amount of product like 2 or 3 packages may also let you save a lot of money. Products that are suspiciously cheap may only hurt you. Good amino acid support needs some ingredients that in all won’t cost 3 dollars. Cheap products probably don’t contain all ingredients that are needed to create good amino acid support.
Allergic reactions and taking it with other medicines
While considering the purchase of the product, people with allergies should be really careful. Skin irritation or vomiting are two of many other symptoms that could happen to you, if you have an allergy to any of the ingredients of the product. The best thing that you can do is to check if you’re not allergic to product’s ingredients. Before purchasing the product, it’s worth to see the doctor and ask whether it is good for you to take this amino acid supplements. Checking the composition of the product is very important as it may react with other medicines that you take. It’s usually written in the prescription that it may have bad influence on your body if you take the medicine and amino acid supplement.
Availability and Updated Formulas
This factor is usually not considered by a lot of people but we find it very crucial. On Amazon sites or in stores, amino acid supplements are quiet popular. This is because more and more people are aware how important they are in our lives. This may lead to the situation when your favorite product is out of stock. What really makes a lot of customer angry, is that producers change the formula or the ingredients. Of course, there are many cases when the newer version is better, but unfortunately it’s not always. Some producers want to save some money and they don’t pay attention to quality. The new versions can be also more expensive as it’s said that they have something extra. A thing that we hate is to offer higher price and don’t change anything or change it for worse.
Guarantees and money back promises
Beyond checking the price, many customers check if there’s guarantee on the product. As amino acid support are usually a pills, it usually can’t be returned. This may only have place if there’s something wrong with the package or the product is damages. We know that many producers try to attract reader’s attention by guarantying money back. There are many slogans that of the product doesn’t work , the producer will give back all your money. We wouldn’t rely on it because just think- how to prove that product doesn’t work. This is why you should study this article carefully and you won’t have to worry about returning the product.
Finding amino acids in food
The great option for those who want to take pills not as much often as everyday. Searching for amino acid in food may be quiet difficult task as not every producer says that there are amino acids in the product. This is why we provide our reader a list of food that consists amino acids
Who doesn’t like to eat fresh chicken or turkey. This is kind of tradition to have a plate like this at least once a month. When eating these delicious things, you also give yourself big amount of amino acids. This is incredible because you have good time eating this and you still enjoy better health.
We know that not everybody likes sea food. Although some people hate the smell of fish, it’s very good for your body, has many different positive effects on our body and one of them are amino acids. Tilapia, cod, sole are only 3 of many fishes that can really hel you with providing amino acids. Eat fish at least once a week and you don’t need to take pills everyday.
This is an option for meat lovers. Pork or ham are the best options and they don’t have such an amount of calories as other types of meat. This is good for runners who want also to lose weight and they don’t want to eat high-calorific meat.
Those runners who are in love with scrambled eggs won’t be disappointed. Eggs have many special features and they’re delicious at the same time. They can be prepared in many ways and that’s a great way to provide some amino acids to your body.
When most of us think of dairy products, the first product that we can name easily is milk. It’s tasty and it has so many different usages that we think that nobody can count them. However, providing amino acids is not only drinking milk. Don’t forget about the cheese. Of course, it’s good to choose cheese that has high rate of amino acids. Mozzarella is this kind of cheese. You can eat it on supper or breakfast and enjoy good amino acid support. Parmesan is also a good example of cheese that is liked especially by children and it’s available. What about yogurts? This is a perfect way to give yourself a big portion of amino acids.
Q. Are those pills suitable for everyone?
A. No, they aren’t suitable for everyone. Every company gives information who shouldn’t take their pills. From our experience, these pills aren’t usually allowed to people under 18 years old. The best way to make sure you can take the pills is to consult it with your doctor. Make also sure that you aren’t allergic to any of the product’s ingredients. You should especially search for doctor’s advice if you have problems with kidneys.
Q. I’m a runner and I’m planning to purchase these supplements but I was also wondering if I could get BCAAs from my food?
A. This isn’t a bad idea. You should search for plates who are full of BCAAs. But still, we would recommend buying the pills. You may not like the food containing BCAAs. Taking pills is nothing bad, especially when you find natural ones, they won’t be harmful to you, quiet the contrary, they will boost your performance and endurance. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important in every runner’s life. Although you can easily find in which products, there are a lot of amino-acids, keeping this diet may be very difficult. As we read the questions from our readers, many of them are vegetarians or vegans. It mau be hard for them to provide amino acids in every day diet. The amino acids are in lean meat and that’s big problem.
Q. I’m running a lot and I’m afraid that after taking amino acid supplements my muscles will grow too much
A. You shouldn’t really worry about this. Amino acids supplements aren’t won’t make you look like a weightlifter. They only help to grow muscles faster but it’s less visible if you’re a runner because you don’t use weights. Using amino acid supplements isn’t mostly used for muscle growth. A lot of nutrients and vitamins there are. As a runner, two things that amino acids make should be the most important for you. First, it helps to recover your muscles faster. It doesn’t mean that they will grow very much. Running for a long time is very exhausting for your body, muscles and joints.
Q. What is the function for amino acids in the body?
A. Amino acids make up the protein in food, and when we eat and digest protein, it is once again broken down into amino acids. The amino acids are then organized by our body to perform different functions, including making up most of the solid matter of the body including the eyes, skin, organs, bones, and of particular importance to runners, muscle.
Although each amino acid has a specific function and benefit to the body, the three major players for athletes are BCAAs, or branched chain amino acids. The amino acids that make up BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The combination of amino acids in BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis, increase cell capacity for protein synthesis, and reduce the rate of protein breakdown. So, not only are BCAAs beneficial for body builders, they are great for all athletes, even those that want to maintain a lean physique, because it helps you maintain the muscle that you have, even if you are operating on a calorie deficit.
Q. How do amino acids benefit runners?
A. More specifically for runners, amino acids help your muscles recover from the wear and tear of your runs. Amino acids help repair tiny rips and tears in your muscles that happen naturally while running, helping you to recover more quickly and prevent injury. For the greatest benefit, ingest amino acids shortly after a run, through either a food-based source or a supplement. Since it is not always convenient to have food readily available, an amino acid supplement is a quick, easy, and transportable way to get amino acids into your body after a workout. Most amino acid supplements come in ready-to-mix powder form or as a pill.
If you are interested in boosting your body’s protein-related processes through the use of an amino acid supplement, you’ve come to the right place. This guide of the Best Amino Acids Supplements will give you a rundown of the top BCAAs on the market and what they have to offer you as a runner.
Q. What are the side effects of taking these supplements?
A. This is a good question that may help a lot of people to decide whether they want to purchase amino acid supplements. The one thing that many runners forget about is that the balance of amino acids is needed to keep your body healthy. Most producers have good proportions off all basic amino acids. Too much for the BCAAs may also have bad impact on your body and on your mood. Methionine is also a substance that can even lead to vascular disease so you can have problems with blood. Arginine is the ingredient that is very harmful for some people. Diarrhea and abdominal pain are the main symptoms of using too much this ingredient.