Skip to Content

Is Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Bad For You? (Explored)

Amino Energy drink is a ready-to-go energy drink that is the successor to Optimum Nutrition. Optimum Nutrition is a sports-focused brand that concentrates mainly on protein powders, protein bars, multivitamins, etc.

But they have now introduced their energy drink line too. Amino Energy drink, given with all the electrolytes the glass comes with, surely will provide you a significant boost of energy and leave you feeling refreshed and energized.

But the question is, is Amino Energy drink all that good, or is it bad for you?

If you’re curious to find out why it is not bad for you, read along.

Let’s get started.

What Are The Ingredients Of Amino Energy?

Amino Energy contains essential ingredients. Some of which includes:

  • Carbonated water
  • Natural flavors
  • Artificial flavors
  • Citric acid
  • Malic acid
  • Sodium citrate
  • Potassium sorbate (Preservative)
  • Potassium benzoate (Preservative)
  • Sucralose (Artificial sweetener)
  • Potassium chloride
  • Magnesium phosphate
  • Tartaric acid (Only used in grape and strawberry flavors)
  • Acesulfame potassium (Artificial Sweetener for grape flavor only)

Nutrition Label Of Amino Energy

Besides the ingredients, these are the Nutrition that goes in a single can of Amino Energy. Take a look at the easy-to-read table below to understand better:

Nutrients AppliedAmount Used Per Serving (16 fl. oz)
Total Carbohydrate1g
Total Fats0g or 0%
Total Sugar0g or 0%
Saturated Fatty Acids0g
Amino Acids5g (The Amino Blend mentioned earlier.)
Energy5 calories
Caffeine 100mg
Nutrition facts of Amino Energy.

Now that you know all the ingredients and nutrients of Amino energy, look at some critical elements.

Caffeine Content In Amino Energy

Each 16 fl. oz can of Amino Energy drink has 100mg of caffeine per serving.

A picture of caffeine beans with black background.
You’ll be happy to know that the caffeine sources of Amino Energy are entirely natural.

Caffeine is the fundamental ingredient of almost every energy drink.

Since every 12 fl. oz Amino Energy has 100mg of naturally extracted caffeine, I would personally say it’s a moderate amount.

If you compare Amino with a cup of Trader Joe’s, you almost get the same caffeine content. A regular cup of Joe has about 95mg of caffeine, which is just 5 mg of caffeine below Amino Energy.

I like the caffeine content in Amino Energy because it fits my caffeine tolerance. I like my caffeine to have about 50-100mg of caffeine in each serving of an energy drink.

However, for a 12 fl. oz can in an energy drink, the 100mg of caffeine might be a little too low unless you’re sensitive to caffeine.

The FDA recommends our caffeine intake to 400mg of caffeine per day.

Overconsumption of caffeine can lead to side effects like:

  • Jitters
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of sleep

Another thing I like about Amino Energy is the caffeine sources of the energy drink are tea leaves or coffee beans, unlike other brands producing it synthetically.

Sugar Content In Amino Energy

Amino Energy Drink is free from sugar. Since artificial sweeteners sweeten it, you won’t end up with a sugar crash.

Artificial Sweeteners

The brand uses Sucralose and Acesulfame-K as an artificial sweeteners.


Sucralose is world-famous for being one of the most common artificial sweeteners. It’s 600 times sweeter than regular sugar. It will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.

The best thing about sucralose is that it’s not stored in our body and will not have a bitter aftertaste after consumption.

Acesulfame-K (Acesulfame Potassium)

In Amino Energy, besides sucralose, acesulfame-k or ace-k has been used. Acesulfame-K is 200 times sweeter than sugar.

Here is an in-depth video on whether artificial sweeteners are bad for you or not.

Both of these sweeteners have been approved by the FDA for food uses.

How Much Artificial Sweeteners Should You Take Daily?

While consumption of added sugary energy drinks might end up in a sugar crash, artificial sweeteners can have side effects if taken too much.

However, the Acceptable Daily Intake for sucralose is 9mg/kg per body weight count. For Acesulfame-K, it is 15mg/kg per body weight daily.

Whatever we consume, be it an energy drink or an artificial sweetener, we should consume it within limits to avoid our body from acting up.

What Is Amino Blend?

The amino blend is the mixture of multiple essential amino acids in the energy drink. It is visible that this formula is an essential ingredient of Amino Energy. It comes in a blend of 8 acids, such as:

  • L-Threonine
  • L-Theanine
  • L-Leucine
  • L-Citrulline
  • L-Alanyl
  • L-Glutamine
  • Micronized Taurine
  • L-Lysine Hydrochloride

Are There Any BCAAs In Amino Energy?

If you noticed correctly, you would see that there’s one BCAA (Branched-Chained Amino Acid) in the blend, which is called L-Leucine.

BCAAs are also called essential amino acids as they can be both found in our body and food. Mainly protein-rich food like meat, fish, dairy products, etc.

BCAAs also has multiple health benefits, some of which are described below:

  • Helps with muscle growth
  • Increase body muscle mass
  • Decreases muscle soreness
  • May prevent liver diseases

If you’re not careful with your BCAA dosage, you most likely will face side effects like:

  • Increased chance of heart disease
  • Liver problems
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer, etc.

Optimum Nutrition didn’t specify the exact BCAAs amount in their energy drinks, so we’re unsure about the amount of L-Leucine used in them.

However, the amount of Amino Blend in Amino Energy only comes within 5g, which shouldn’t be a big deal if you take a maximum of 1-2 cans a day.

Electrolytes In Amino Energy

Electrolytes are crucial minerals that help manage urine, sweat, hydrating our body, etc.

Each 12 fl. oz can of Amino Energy has 100mg of salt, which concludes a generous amount of sodium citrate, magnesium phosphate, and potassium chloride.

The residence of these electrolytes can have multiple benefits, as such:

  • Hydration of our body
  • Regulating nerve cells
  • Maintain muscle functions
  • It Supports our nervous system

This is why most athletes tend to consume sports drinks filled with electrolytes.

Professional athlete working out.
A proper energy drink packed with electrolytes might help in lessening fatigue and feeling less tired.

Can You Drink Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink Every Day?

If you’re a person with no pre-medical conditions, it’s safe for you to drink Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy drink every day.

Amino Energy drink promotes only 5 calories each 12 fl. oz serving. So even if you’re on a low-calorie diet, it should not cause much harm.

Mentioning the fact that Amino has almost the same caffeine content as a regular cup of coffee, so you’ll get the same effects you’ll get after drinking a cup of coffee.

However, don’t drink Amino Energy at any cost if you are pregnant or have pre-medical issues.

If you want to drink it, I strongly urge you to consult your doctor first and take their advice before drinking Amino.

If you’re drinking Amino Energy drink regularly, please keep track of the amount you’re drinking. You don’t want to exceed the daily caffeine content recommended.

Is Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink Bad For You?

My opinion is, I don’t think Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink is terrible for you as long as you know your limits.

A single 12 fl. oz can of Amino Energy contains 100mg of caffeine, 0g sugar, and 5 calories only. In consideration of caffeine content, it’s way below the recommended caffeine intake by the FDA.

The drink also has no added sugar so that you’ll be free from side effects like:

  • Weight gain
  • Inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Tooth Decay, etc.

But since the drink is sugar-free, we don’t have to worry about all these unless we’re going overboard.

Besides these, Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy is not bad for you if you take it in moderation.

Where To Buy Amino Energy Drink From And How Much Is The Price?

Amino Energy drinks are available almost everywhere in the U.S. Since it’s a fitness-focused drink, you may find it in your local gyms, super shops like Target or Walmart, or fitness centers.

A photo of Amazon's website in a mobile phone at a table.
Online shopping is the best option as per the pandemic.

If you’re looking for an energy drink online, you can always go for Amino energy drink’s official website or Amazon and GNC.

The price of a single 12 fl. oz can of Amino Energy costs about $2. But keep in mind that the prices may vary depending on where you buy.

What Are The Flavors Of Amino Energy?

Amino Energy Drink has a variety of 10 exciting flavors. Which include:

  • Blueberry Lemonade
  • Juicy Strawberry
  • Watermelon
  • Green Apple
  • Grape
  • Cherry
  • Mango Pineapple Limeade
  • Peach Bellini
  • Ginger Ale
  • Mix Berry Sangria
Different flavors of Amino Energy drink in refrigerated shelves.
The different flavors of Amino Energy.

Drinks You Can Try Instead Of Amino Energy

Here are a bunch of alternatives you can try instead of Amino Energy:

The Bottom Line

Optimum Nutritional Amino Energy did a pretty good job with their energy drink line. Considering they are primarily a fitness-focused brand.

An energy drink with a price tag of only $2, providing 100mg of natural caffeine, zero to no added sugar, and only five calories? I’d say that’s a bang for your buck.

The drink works if you try to rehydrate yourself without fearing fatigue and get a decent boost of energy, so it’s a thumbs up for me.

Other than that, I hope the brand will add some vital B vitamins to their energy drinks, but that’s just my personal opinion.

Related Articles