Is your goal to be fit? Do you want to feel better, sleep better, and build bigger muscles? Then use one of the best amino acid supplements to boost your performance.
Nine of the 20 different amino acids are essential to your health. Of these nine, none of them can be made by your body. You need to include them in your diet.
Eggs, meat, and poultry are rich in these essential amino acids. And so are amino acid supplements that allow you to increase your intake without consuming extra calories.
We selected the top supplements and reviewed them here for you. We hope our article streamlines your shopping today.
Before we begin, here’s a quick overview of those nine essential amino acids and what they do for you.
- 1 The essential amino acids
- 2 Why take a branched-chain amino acid supplement?
- 3 Top Amino Acid Supplements
- 3.1 OPTIMUM NUTRITION ESSENTIAL AMINO ENERGY, Pre-workout and Essential Amino Acids, with Green Tea and Green Coffee Extract
- 3.2 Universal Nutrition Animal Juiced Aminos Enhanced BCAA and EAA Instantized Amino Acid Supplement
- 3.3 OPTIMUM NUTRITION Instantized BCAA Branched Chain Essential Amino Acids Capsules
- 3.4 Solgar – Essential Amino Complex, 90 Vegetable Capsules
- 3.5 Thorne Research – L-Carnitine – Amino Acid Supplement 60 Capsules
- 3.6 Thorne Research – L-Glutamine – Amino Acid Supplement 90 Capsules
- 3.7 Thorne Research – Amino Complex – BCAA Powder for Sports Performance
- 3.8 BodyBuilding.Com Signature Amino Plus Energy Powder
- 3.9 MusclePharm Amino 1 Sport Nutrition Powder
- 3.10 MusclePharm MP Essentials BCAA Powder, Post Workout Recovery Drink
- 3.11 IdealLean BCAA for Women ‐ Amino Acids for Women
- 3.12 NOW Sports Amino Complete, 120 Capsules
- 3.13 GNC Pro Performance Amino
- 3.14 BCAA Branched Chain Essential Amino Acids Powder by BulkSupplements
- 4 Vegan supplements
- 5 Conclusion
The essential amino acids
Histidine is linked to your nervous system, digestion, sleep, and sexual function.
Isoleucine is a branched-chain amino acid that affects muscle tissue, energy levels, blood cell production, and the immune system.
Leucine is another branched-chain amino acid that helps repair muscles, heal wounds, and manage blood sugar.
Lysine affects the production of collagen, elastin, enzymes, and protein in the body. It aids in absorbing calcium and maintaining energy.
Methionine is linked to tissue growth, your metabolism, and mineral absorption.
Phenylalanine affects neurotransmitters like dopamine, tyrosine, and epinephrine. It promotes the production of other amino acids.
Threonine helps metabolize fat and build elastin and collagen.
Tryptophan is essential for serotonin production, the neurotransmitter that manages your mood, appetite, and sleep cycles.
Valine is another branched-chain amino acid. It’s an important part of muscle regeneration and growth as well as energy levels.
Why take a branched-chain amino acid supplement?
Many amino acid supplements that boost exercise performance focus on branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). That’s because they help muscles recover faster after a workout with less soreness. They also help maintain lean body mass. Even non-athletes can benefit.
Top Amino Acid Supplements
OPTIMUM NUTRITION ESSENTIAL AMINO ENERGY, Pre-workout and Essential Amino Acids, with Green Tea and Green Coffee Extract
Optimum Nutrition includes all three branched-chain amino acids and more in their pre-workout mix. It has only 12 calories per serving with only 1 gram of carbohydrates and no sugar. It also has 100 mg of caffeine, which is about equal to a cup of coffee. Take about 20 to 30 minutes before you start training.
The blend of amino acids is designed to create stamina during a workout, mental focus, and faster recovery after exercise. If you don’t love the Concord grape flavor, try one of nine other versions with the same recipe of supplements.
Universal Nutrition Animal Juiced Aminos Enhanced BCAA and EAA Instantized Amino Acid Supplement
Universal Nutrition provides all nine essential amino acids in their workout powder. There is no caffeine, so you can enjoy it any time of the day. The inclusion of L-glutamine, L-taurine, and citrulline malate mean that you should have better endurance and higher hydration levels. Of course, it also enhances nitric oxide in the bloodstream.
OPTIMUM NUTRITION Instantized BCAA Branched Chain Essential Amino Acids Capsules
Not everyone wants to fiddle with drink mixes. Try these BCAA capsules from Optimum Nutrition. They have a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. You can take them before or after training or between meals.
Solgar – Essential Amino Complex, 90 Vegetable Capsules
Solgar also makes capsules with all nine essential amino acids. These are appropriate for anyone who wants to improve their health, not just athletes. Moreover, the ingredients are vegetarian and there are no sugars or artificial sweeteners, preservatives, dyes, or flavors.
Thorne Research – L-Carnitine – Amino Acid Supplement 60 Capsules
Thorne Research focuses on individual amino acids so that you can target specific needs. The L-carnitine supplement increases your body’s ability to convert fat into energy. It also improves your triglyceride levels and sperm count.
The capsules don’t contain GMO ingredients, stearates, artificial preservatives, sugar, soy, or several other allergens. Instead, they only have L-tartrate and L-carnitine plus leucine, silicon dioxide, and hypromellose. They are tested four different times throughout the manufacturing process.
Thorne Research – L-Glutamine – Amino Acid Supplement 90 Capsules
The L-glutamine supplement is designed to keep your immune system strong. It helps with digestion and absorption of other nutrients. Plus, it helps muscles recover from injury or workouts and it protects your nervous system.
Thorne Research only includes silicon dioxide and hypromellose in these capsules. There are no other ingredients, fillers, or flavors.
Thorne Research – Amino Complex – BCAA Powder for Sports Performance
Try the Thorne Research sports powder if you want pure ingredients and a product that’s thoroughly tested. This mix promotes lean muscle growth, extra energy during exercise, and quicker recovery afterward.
Each scoop contains all three branched-chain amino acids plus others like tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine, phenylalanine, cysteine, histidine, and threonine. There are only 20 calories per serving. And the only sweetener is Stevia extract.
BodyBuilding.Com Signature Amino Plus Energy Powder
BodyBuilding.com designed their Amino Plus Energy Powder with the three branched-chain amino acids in a 2:1:1 ratio. The reason for this particular blend is that it provides more leucine to enhance muscle
The powdered drink mix has natural and artificial flavors as well as sweeteners like sucralose and acesulfame potassium. Add one scoop to cold water and stir well.
MusclePharm Amino 1 Sport Nutrition Powder
The Amino 1 powder provides BCAAs and electrolytes to enhance muscle building, reduce soreness, and speed up recovery. It can also help you stay lean and hydrated. It has 500 mg of isoleucine, 1000 milligrams of valine, and 1500 mg of leucine as well as 1 g of glutamine. Take it before your workout.
MusclePharm MP Essentials BCAA Powder, Post Workout Recovery Drink
MusclePharm also makes a drink powder to help you recover after exercise. It features 6 grams of BCAAs with no sugar, no calories, and no carbs at all. It’s been tested for banned substances and cleared by Informed-Choice. In fact, the manufacturer points out that all their products are tested against lists managed by the NCAA, NFL, MLB, and more.
IdealLean BCAA for Women ‐ Amino Acids for Women
The IdealLean powder furnishes 5000 mg of branched-chain amino acids in a 2:1:1 ratio for muscle building and weight loss. The mix has no calories and no carbs, but it has natural and artificial flavors and an artificial sweetener (sucralose). It’s also boosted with coconut powder, L-glutamine, and L-citrulline.
NOW Sports Amino Complete, 120 Capsules
NOW Foods blends the nine essential and twelve nonessential amino acids in these capsules. They aid in everything from muscle repair, to weight loss, to a healthy immune system.
GNC Pro Performance Amino
GNC’s supplement features directions for dosage on the label. They suggest taking a maximum of three softgels up to three times a day with a glass of water. That amount is 9000 mg of amino acids, sufficient for someone who is highly active. Otherwise, stick to one or two servings if you’re only slightly or moderately active. Three capsules have 35 calories total.
BCAA Branched Chain Essential Amino Acids Powder by BulkSupplements
The BCAA amino acids powder from BulkSupplements is one of the least expensive options on the market. That may be why it’s so popular. Some customers avoid it because it may be manufactured in China. The flavored version may also include corn as a filler. But the unflavored version states that it only contains 1500 mg of amino acids per serving. For tastier results, mix it with a flavored drink, smoothie, or fruit purée.
You don’t have to eat meat or eggs to increase your intake of amino acids. To illustrate, quinoa, soy, and buckwheat each have all nine essential amino acids. Other plant sources can be blended to provide complete proteins, too. The advantage of vegan supplements is that they tend to be more bioavailable, or more quickly absorbed by the body.
Don’t eat meat? The PerfectAmino formula is vegan, sourced from 100 % natural ingredients. It contains eight essential amino acids from vegetable-based proteins and includes all three BCAAs. Try it for 90 days. If you’re not happy with it, you can get your money back.
Even if you’re not a vegan, you might prefer this supplement over those made from animal products. Why? Because it’s 99% bio-available. Your body can absorb and use it quicker. There is no nitrogen waste, no fillers, and no additives.
Gnarly Nutrition BCAA Workout Supplement
Gnarly Nutrition also makes a vegan amino acid supplement. The ingredients are extracted from plants and red algae, then fermented. There are no artificial ingredients. The 35mg of caffeine comes from green tea and the pleasant fruit flavor from real juice and Stevia. Moreover, each serving offers 5 g of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio.
Truth Nutrition Fermented Vegan BCAA Protein
Truth Nutrition avoids heartburn and stomach discomfort with their vegan BCAA protein powder. You can take it before, during, or after a workout. It’s low-calorie and compatible with the keto diet. Furthermore, each batch is inspected for purity and potency. There are no synthetic ingredients at all. Each serving contains 2.5 g of leucine, 1.25 g of isoleucine, and 1.25 g of valine.
Adding the top amino acid supplements your diet can improve your overall health. Some are targeted at performance and recovery during and from physical exercise. Others enhance your ability to digest nutrients, boost your mood, and aid with weight loss. Many of these products offer a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the improvements. Give one a try today and let us know what you think.