Best Amino Acid Supplements – 2021 Buying Guide

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Performance Lab Sport
Test Winner: Performance Lab Sport
Amino acids are required for our metabolisms to function properly and they will help your body function to the best of your ability. The two most important benefits that come with the use of the best supplements are that they will transport and store the water, fats, protein, minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates that you consume. This will boost your energy and prevent fatigue from settling in.

Put short, Amino Acids will help you recover much faster and minimize your muscle soreness, so you can get back to running every day.

Peruse our picks of the best amino acid supplements below.

Standout Picks

Performance Lab Sport
We are starting to see this brand release a bunch of effective supplements, with more coming as we hear. Performance Lab Sport BCAA effectively promotes the healthy development of muscle strength. Check out the rest of our overview below.
Not interested in having to choke down a gross tasting supplement powder just to get your BCAA supplement after a long run? Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules just might be for you. They provide all of the benefits of a powdered amino acid supplement without the funky tastes.
Amazon Link
Sheer BCAA promises to promote muscle synthesis, increase the rate at which you build muscle, and reduce muscle fatigue. With a slightly lower-than-average concentration of BCAAs, this amino acid supplement may be better suited for runners and athletes with lower body weights.
Amazon Link
This amino acid supplement not only gives you BCAAs to feed your muscles, it also gives you an extra boost of energy. Available in 17 fruity and coffee-themed flavors, you are sure to find one that tempts your taste buds.
Amazon Link
This amino acid supplement not only gives you the BCAAs to feed your muscles, it also gives you an extra boost of energy. Available in 17 fruity and coffee-themed flavors, you are sure to find one that tempts your taste buds.
Amazon Link
Available in 6 fruity flavors, this amino acid supplement gives you more than just your 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs. Cellucor Alpha Amino Performance BCAAs provide you with a total of 11 essential amino acids and is specially formulated to maximize hydration after your workout.
Amazon Link
This option comes from a well-known brand that produces quality products. These easily digestible capsules will provide you with the nutrients you need while also improving your performance and speeding up your recovery.
Amazon Link
Available in eight fruit flavors or unflavored (great for mixing into a smoothie or protein shake), BSN Amino X provides runners with a high dose of amino acids in every serving through its Amino Acid Interfusion Blend.
Amazon Link
RARI Amino Mend amino acid supplement provides superior muscle strength and recovery but also contains ingredients to promote better hydration after a tough run. RARI Amino Mend is vegan, gluten- and GMO-free, and is third-party tested and GMP certified.
Amazon Link
This product got rave reviews for its effectiveness in providing all of the essential amino acids, not just BCAA, that our bodies need to properly recover from exercise while maintaining and gaining lean muscle mass. This is good for athletes who are already taking multiple supplements and want to simplify things. Even though it's also marketed as a pre-workout drink with added energy, lots of customers didn't feel like they received much of a boost but were still happy with the product because of all the other benefits.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Effectiveness

Whether you have used an amino acid supplement before or not, one of the most important factors to consider is its overall effectiveness. After all, what is the point of investing in any supplement if it doesn’t effectively deliver the benefits you were looking for when you first set out to find the best amino supplement for you. We made sure to rate the overall effectiveness of each of the amino acid supplements on our list by taking a look at several factors while we evaluated each product.

First and foremost, we took a look at a look at what actual users had to say about each of the amino acids we featured on our list—and we encourage you to do the same if you are feeling iffy about the amino acid supplements you are considering. We also took a close look at the ingredient list and made sure it was potent enough for your needs. When looking at effectiveness there are lots of brands that you can also try before you buy. Many offer sample packets that you can try out and see how you feel about them—doing this will help you figure out if this will be an effective enough option for your needs.

Potency

Potency goes hand in hand with effectiveness and all of the other factors we considered—and it is also one of the most important features that you need to account for. With all of the brands and types of amino supplements out there, it is safe to say that they are not all the same. They all have different formulations and ingredients that they use—but at the end of the day, their goal is to deliver the amino acids that your body needs to recover and perform at optimal levels.

When we took a look at each of the amino acid supplements on our list, one of the factors we included in our ratings was potency. Some amino acid supplements are more potent than others—and those that are more potent require fewer and smaller servings! Those that are more potent also provide you with more benefits at once and, while they are more expensive, you actually end up saving money in the long haul since you will typically need fewer servings.

Use

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 work out. 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 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.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, it really just depends on your own personal preferences. When we looked at the Use of the amino acid supplements we discussed how it would help you and what the benefits would be—but when we talk about ease of use we are referring to how simple it is to mix or take. If you are looking at a powdered amino acid supplement, you will want a product that achieves a texture and flavor that you both like. The powdered amino acid supplements on our list are easy to mix and they don’t stay chunky. They mix thoroughly so that you get the flavoring and taste that they are supposed to deliver. Many users like to use a blender bottle to thoroughly mix their supplement since these typically will blend up your supplement much more thoroughly then if you were to stir it.

That being said, there are also supplements that may not taste the way you like them even once you blend them thoroughly. If you end up with one like this you may not be able to return it once you buy it since it is already opened. If you get one of the options on our list you will still be able to use your supplement since you will be able to mix them up with other ingredients that will mask the flavor if you really can’t stomach it.

Your other option is to get an amino acid supplement that comes in a capsule. This is a great option for those of you who haven’t had any luck finding one that appeals to your taste buds or if you just don’t have time to mix your amino acids before you take it. The capsules are a little pricier sometimes, but if you don’t mind swallowing a capsule then you will want to consider one of these since they are easier and faster to use.

Side Effects

No matter how organic or straightforward a supplement is, there is not supplement out there that does not come with any side effects. While not everyone may experience side effects from the amino supplements on our list, all of our bodies are different and if you have a sensitive system you need to take extra precautions when it comes to side effects.

When it comes to amino acid supplements, the most common side effects are typically nausea and an upset stomach. This typically goes away after a while, once your body gets to use the ingredients that are in your supplement. If you notice that your supplement continuous to make you feel ill after a few uses, you may want to consider splitting the dosage in half to build up to it or even look into a different brand since it may be a specific ingredient that is not settling well.

Other users report that they experience some jitteriness when they use amino acid supplements. This is typically because they are using one that has caffeine or that is both recovery and pre-workout supplement. If you get one of these you may want to slowly work up to the actual dosage—especially if you already know that you are sensitive to caffeine.

10 Best Amino Acid Supplements

1. Performance Lab Sport

Where to buy

We are starting to see this brand release a bunch of effective supplements, with more coming as we hear. Performance Lab Sport BCAA effectively promotes the healthy development of muscle strength. Check out the rest of our overview below.

Read more

Effectiveness
The main benefits you'll get include faster recovery and less soreness after workouts, Accelerated muscle growth, and slower muscle breakdown. Another benefit is extended endurance that comes from the supplement's ability to block fatigue-inducing chemicals in the brain. We have only seen and heard good things so far about this brand in general.

Ingredients
Performance Lab's Sport BCAA 2:1:1 includes fermented sunflower lecithin 3000mg, L-leucine 1500mg, and L-valine 750mg, which basically make up about a third of the protein found in human muscle.

Taste
Taste seems to be the last thing considered by most with this one, but it isn't going to be for dessert. The effectiveness and benefit far outweighs the taste, so it isn't really as important.

2. Optimum Nutrition BCAA

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Optimum Nutrition BCAA
Amazon Link

Not interested in having to choke down a gross tasting supplement powder just to get your BCAA supplement after a long run? Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules just might be for you. They provide all of the benefits of a powdered amino acid supplement without the funky tastes.

Read more

Effectiveness

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.

Potency

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.

Use

This is the perfect option for athletes looking for an Amino Acid supplement that will aid recovery and ensure that you can get the most out of your training.

Ease of Use

This powder is really easy to use—just pop in the scoop into your blender bottle, add water, and shake!

Side effects

Few users experience side effects from this one, although there are some that report some nausea at first.

Amazon Link

3. Sheer BCAA

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Sheer BCAA
Amazon Link

Sheer BCAA promises to promote muscle synthesis, increase the rate at which you build muscle, and reduce muscle fatigue. With a slightly lower-than-average concentration of BCAAs, this amino acid supplement may be better suited for runners and athletes with lower body weights.

Read more

Effectiveness

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.

Potency

Since this supplement has such a low potency, it is better suited for smaller people who would benefit from a low potency anyway.

Use

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.

Ease of Use

These capsules are really easy to swallow, and they are flavorless as well!

Side effects

Some users report some nausea at first, but outside of that, there are few side effects reported.

Amazon Link

4. Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy
Amazon Link

This amino acid supplement not only gives you BCAAs to feed your muscles, it also gives you an extra boost of energy. Available in 17 fruity and coffee-themed flavors, you are sure to find one that tempts your taste buds.

Read more

Effectiveness

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.

Potency

This product is pretty potent and will deliver the amino acids that your body needs.

Use

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.

Ease of Use

This one is really easy to use and mixes up well if you use a blender bottle.

Side effects

This one has additional ingredients that provide you with energy so several users have reported jitteriness at first.

Amazon Link

5. MET-Rx BCAA 2200

Where to buy
Amazon Link
MET-Rx BCAA 2200
Amazon Link

This amino acid supplement not only gives you the BCAAs to feed your muscles, it also gives you an extra boost of energy. Available in 17 fruity and coffee-themed flavors, you are sure to find one that tempts your taste buds.

Read more

Effectiveness

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.

Potency

This one is definitely really potent and you will get what you need from these capsules.

Use

Two capsules of this 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.

Ease of Use

These capsules are easy to swallow and flavorless so they aren't a hassle to take.

Side Effects

Since this supplement provides additional energy, many users report jitteriness--so if you are sensitive to caffeine you may want to be sure about this one before you buy!

Amazon Link

6. Cellucor Alpha Amino

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Cellucor Alpha Amino
Amazon Link

Available in 6 fruity flavors, this amino acid supplement gives you more than just your 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs. Cellucor Alpha Amino Performance BCAAs provide you with a total of 11 essential amino acids and is specially formulated to maximize hydration after your workout.

Read more

Effectiveness

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.

Potency

Although there is no sugar in this amino acid supplement, users report that all flavors taste great. Cellucor Alpha Amino Performance BCAAs provide a higher-than-average dose of BCAAs, with 2,500mg of leucine, and 1,250 mg of isoleucine and valine. It also provides you with hearty doses of phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. 11 essential amino acids comprise its Essential Performance Amino Acid Complex, including glutamine, alanine, and citrulline.

Use

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.

Ease of Use

Super easy to use--just throw your powder in and blend it with the water. This one mixes well and there aren't many complaints.

Side Effects

Not too many side effects to report with this one outside of the normal ones some users experience.

Amazon Link

7. Now Sports Amino Complete

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Now Sports Amino Complete
Amazon Link

This option comes from a well-known brand that produces quality products. These easily digestible capsules will provide you with the nutrients you need while also improving your performance and speeding up your recovery.

Read more

Effectiveness

These capsules will speed up your recovery time, improve your performance, aid your digestive tract, and increase your endurance.

Potency

This supplement utilizes whey protein isolate to provide you with everything your body needs. Overall your body will receive L-Glutamine, Sodium Caseinate, L-Arginine, Gelatin, and L-Ornithine. This combination will increase your endurance and build up your overall strength over time.

Use

These capsules are perfect for everyday use and will improve your metabolism and give your system the amino acids that they need.

Ease of Use

These capsules are easy to swallow--thus really easy to use.

Side Effects

While these are super gentle, some users report an upset stomach at first.

Amazon Link

8. BSN Amino X

Where to buy
Amazon Link
BSN Amino X
Amazon Link

Available in eight fruit flavors or unflavored (great for mixing into a smoothie or protein shake), BSN Amino X provides runners with a high dose of amino acids in every serving through its Amino Acid Interfusion Blend.

Read more

Effectiveness

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.

Potency

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.

Use
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.

Ease of Use

It is also reported to taste great and be easily mixable, even without a blender.

Side Effects

This supplement has minimal side effects and doesn't use caffeine so you don't have to worry about jitteriness.

Amazon Link

9. RARI Amino Mend

Where to buy
Amazon Link
RARI Amino Mend
Amazon Link

RARI Amino Mend amino acid supplement provides superior muscle strength and recovery but also contains ingredients to promote better hydration after a tough run. RARI Amino Mend is vegan, gluten- and GMO-free, and is third-party tested and GMP certified.

Read more

Effectiveness

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.

Potency

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.

Use

This is a versatile supplement that will hydrate, energize, and help your body recover.

Ease of Use

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.

Side Effects

Some users report stomach upset at first but for the majority of users, it typically goes away.

Amazon Link

10. RSP AminoLean

Where to buy
Amazon Link
RSP AminoLean
Amazon Link

This product got rave reviews for its effectiveness in providing all of the essential amino acids, not just BCAA, that our bodies need to properly recover from exercise while maintaining and gaining lean muscle mass. This is good for athletes who are already taking multiple supplements and want to simplify things. Even though it's also marketed as a pre-workout drink with added energy, lots of customers didn't feel like they received much of a boost but were still happy with the product because of all the other benefits.

Read more

Effectiveness

It does not seem to supply as much energy as a pre-workout formula so keep that in mind.

Potency

This product is delivered when it comes to supplying all of the amino acids, not just BCAAs, that you need to keep lean muscle mass and grow even more.

Use

This one is good for athletes who are already taking more than one supplement to supply their amino acids and want to streamline things and save money.

Ease of Use

It's definitely easier to take one supplement than several, and it's more cost-effective as well. This product is about average when it comes to being easy to mix and drink. As with most supplements for runners and athletes, there were mixed reviews about the taste, but it sounds like you shouldn't get your hopes up although it's at least tolerable. Mixing is a little on the difficult side.

Side Effects

As with most supplements, this one can cause some upset stomachs. We recommend starting with a quarter to a half of a serving and seeing how you feel, then gradually increasing the serving size as your system gets used to it. Also, this product does contain 125 mg of caffeine per serving, something to keep in mind if you're caffeine-sensitive or want to take the product in the evening as this could disrupt your sleep patterns.

Amazon Link

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