My Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Pre Workout Review

My Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Pre Workout Review

My Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Pre Workout Review First Look:

I am off skiing this afternoon, but before we get to the airport there’s a long four hour drive ahead of us.

I have also been trying to cram in loads of work, at work obviously before I leave, in an attempt to finalize any sales or contract renewals while I am away.

Obviously I am also trying to squeeze in some weightlifting along with cycling to and from work to get some extra cardiovascular fitness in, too.

Sometimes, there really are not enough hours in the day to achieve everything you want to do, not unless you want less than four hours sleep in the evening. I don’t.

So last night, after cycling home in the cold and eating some food I knew I had to hit some deadlifts.

I looked around my stash of supplements and saw this little number from Optimum Nutrition.

Amino Energy doesn’t really sound like a pre workout supplement and the thing is, sometimes, these supplement categories get blurred.

However, it does say it offers:

  • Amino acid delivery
  • Energy
  • Improved focus

That sounds just like a pre workout supplement to me.

With that in mind, I mixed two scoops with water and glugged it back.

It was ice tea flavor…

What can a pre workout really do?

The use of a pre workout supplement is traditionally to provide a more explosive and focused workout when you hit the gym.

This is achieved by providing high levels of stimulants to fight fatigue as well as increase the blood flow to the muscles and organs.

They can also include other ingredients that are known to help increase cognitive function so you can effectively zero in on your goal and help smash it.

However, they are no commonly used by students looking to concentrate while stay up late as well as gamer’s and even machine operatives or long distance drivers.

The main key benefits are:

  • Increase energy – Smash your workout with more intensity
  • Motivation – Get straight out of bed for an early morning gym session
  • Improved focus – Zero in on your weights program or even revise harder
  • Alert – Stay alert and improve concentration

However, not all pre workout supplements are equal, and some are downright terrible or contain potentially dangerous ingredients in dangerous doses, or concealed doses.

We analyse each one with an in depth review.

Ingredients: The Science


It stimulates the central nervous system (CNS), heart, muscles, and the centers that control blood pressure to give you an extra boost and hit that PB.

Caffeine Anhydrous is the purest form of caffeine so always look out for it.

This is found in 4 Gauge which is the best pre-workout.

It is also found in Instant Knockout which is the best fat burner available at present.


It has been touted that Taurine can help mental performance.

Early clinical research suggested that taurine, in combination with caffeine, glucuronolactone, and B vitamins, can improve attention and reasoning in adolescents, but does not improve memory.

However, there is insufficient evidence to prove this is always the case.

Vitamin C

Its antioxidant properties mean vitamin C provides neuroprotective effects and benefits for blood flow.

By protecting the testes from oxidative stress, vitamin C can also preserve testosterone levels.

Green Tea

A well known to have many powerful health benefits. Clinical studies suggest that green tea extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat.

One study found that the combination of green tea and caffeine improved weight loss and maintenance in people who were overweight and moderately obese.

Some researchers think that substances in green tea known as catechins are responsible for the herb’s fat-burning effect. Green tea extract is found in many a good fat burning supplement.

Green Coffee Bean

Green coffee beans are coffee beans that have not yet been roasted. These coffee beans contain a higher amount of the chemical chlorogenic acid.

For weight loss, chlorogenic acid in green coffee is thought to affect how the body handles blood sugar and metabolism. This is found in our favorite fat burner, Instant Knockout.


It is generally touted as a Muscle Builder, but has not been proven to enhance muscle building in healthy individuals; only those suffering from physical trauma such as burns or muscular wounds (knife wounds) or in disease states in which muscle wasting occurs, such as AIDS.

Taking glutamine by mouth does not seem to improve athletic performance according to studies.


This is found in many pre workout supplements or products designed to make you more vascular.

L-Arginine opens up the blood vessels and arteries to assist with blood flow, nothing really to do with testosterone but may assist with any impotency issues that are not helping you attain that hot chick in the gym who is 15 years your junior.

However, you will require 5g per day alone!


Supplementation of this non essential amino acid aids the production of carnosine.

That’s a compound that plays a role in muscle endurance in high-intensity exercise.

That said, studies have not exactly been positive nor entirely conclusive.


Tyrosine is taken for depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the inability to stay awake (narcolepsy), and improving alertness following sleep deprivation.

It is also used for stress, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome(CFS).


It seems to have more effect at treating the spread of Herpes rather than offering any benefit whatsoever for athletic performance.


No conclusive evidence of testosterone being increased with supplementation.


BCAAs (typically a combination of  L-Leucine, L-IsoLeucine and L-Valine) play a critical role in muscle development because they are metabolized in the muscle rather than the liver.

Because BCAAs are metabolized in the muscle, they can be used for building new proteins or for energy.

However, Supplementation is not necessary if you eat eggs and meat regularly.


Two scoops which is 9g.

However, it doesn’t compare very well to many of the best pre workout supplements which will offer over 15,000mg.

This is much more than I ever expected from a can if I am honest. Whenever I see a can of Red Bull I always laugh at how little there really is in there hence why i have yet to grow any fucking wings yet.




This does contain a total of 15 ingredients which is good going.

Yet, there are just seven which can offer benefit, and one of those is on a knife edge due to low doses.

That means, actually, in a real world, just six can help with our workout.

We get the benefits from the Caffeine and thermogenic effects of

  • Caffeine
  • Green Tea
  • Green Coffee

In fact, you will be hard pressed to find an effective pre workout supplement that doesn’t include at least one of these ingredients.

Then there is Vitamin C which can increase blood flow, not to mention assist with testosterone levels.

It is always good to see Arginine present too, as this is a big ingredient when it comes to increasing blood flow. More blood flow means more oxygen and other nutrients getting to your muscles and organs.

However, this is under-dosed quite significantly for it to be effective.

Tyrosine is another ingredient often appearing in pre workout supplements ue to it being able to help fight fatigue amongst other benefits.

Then we finish off with BCAA’s.

These branch chain amino acids help produce energy and build muscle. BCAA’s should only ever be taken with other nutrients rather than on their own to be effective.

How did it feel?

Okay, so this did help me become motivated and hit the deadlifts when I have a very short amount of time available.

So, while there was no massive rush of energy or explosive power, I did get the job done and felt better than I would have done otherwise.

However, the stand out effect for me was the farting!

Yes, the taste of iced tea is not what I am keen on, if I am absolutely honest I thought it was cola flavor when I saw the color of the label, so that is my issue.

However, the farting was horrendous. It was non stop, deep loud stinking farts.At one point I had to come out of my basement gym for air.

I honestly thought I may end up asphyxiating down there.

Then I had to go to my girlfriends house and subject her to them too!


For me the fart issue would be a big problem if I was using a commercial gym. So think on.

However, I think the problem lies in that over half of the ingredients are not proven to offer any benefit and then one of the ingredients which is always a pleasure to see (Arginine) was under dosed by 4500mg to offer any real benefit.

It is always bad when you see products from large companies such as Optimum Nutrition when they have included such a large amount of ingredients with no evidence to support the claims that they can offer any benefit.

Also, considering this has Beta-Alanine included, I didn’t even feel the tingling sensation so often felt with that.

The issue with this is that Optimum Nutrition could have included far better and scientifically effective ingredients instead such as:

  • Creatine
  • Beet
  • Carnitine
  • Citrulline
  • Zinc
  • Coconut water
  • Theanine
  • B vitamins
  • The list goes on and on…

As a result, this is a mediocre supplement that is not as powerful or able to offer the explosive effects I want for a hard workout at the gym.

Not unless that explosion is in your pants!

I would take this as a refreshing drink throughout the day, or maybe mid morning but there are far better products available as a pre workout.


My Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Pre Workout Review Conclusion:

This pre workout supplement does include some well regarded and proven ingredients.

However, these good ingredients are overwhelmed by low doses or more ingredients that offer no proven benefit.

Plus it made me fart in a very bad way, and consistently for about three hours.

Then it misses out on a wealth of other proven and beneficial ingredients that are found in the most effective pre workout supplements that we have previously tried and tested.

So, take a look at the list below which would have helped this particular pre workout score higher:

  • Coconut water
  • Carnitine
  • Creatine
  • Zinc
  • Beet
  • Rhodiola
  • Theanine
  • B vitamins

There is a better product than this that will get you fired up and cause hell in your chosen sport.

Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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