We weren’t kidding when we said that the Energy Aminos category of BCAA supplements was a hot trend in our Best BCAA Supplement buyer’s guide.
We’ve already covered one such product this week with the disappointing AminoCuts, but the market tend continues faster than we can keep up:
Today, we’ve got an offering from the flavor giant BPI Sports with their brand new product titled Best Aminos.
Is it really the best amino product on the market?! Find out below as we go through the label piece by piece. But first make sure to check the best deal and sign up for PricePlow alerts:
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Best Aminos Ingredients
Best Aminos label looks like a summation of several of BPI’s products including Best BCAA and Best Glutamine with dash of energy from a prop blend consisting of several players from BPI’s Pump HD (new formula for 2015).
Now, we’ve gone into detail about BPI’s rather unique form of BCAAs before, and if you want the full explanation, see it in our Best BCAA guide. However, if you don’t want to read the breakdown, here’s a synopsis:
How much BCAA is in this?
BPI uses a type of hybrid BCAAs that are composed mainly of glycine, alanine, and lysine, which they call Oligopeptide-Enzymatic Technology™. While this sounds fancy, an issue for BCAA-lovers is that you really don’t get the full amount of BCAAs, since much of the formulation goes into the non-BCAA aminos listed above.
What you really get with each single serving of Best Aminos looks something like this:
- Glycyl-Alanyl-Lysine-L-Leucine (2.5g) ~= 740mg Leucine
- Glycyl-Alanyl-Lysine-L-Isoleucine (1.25g) ~= 370mg Isoleucine
- Glycyl-Alanyl-Lysine-L-Valine (1.25g) ~= 340mg Valine
So, you’ll have to double or triple scoop this product to actually get a full 5g dose of BCAAs to see the general performance benefits that are typically attributed to their use, and we’re not sure that’s a smart play, given the other ingredients (and cost).
Now that we’ve addressed that, on to the rest of the label.
Here we are with another oligopeptide bond. The big upside to using these particular types of bonds is that they are supposed to increased the absorption and utilization of the attached amino acids by the body ensuring they get transported to where they are needed and not broken down prematurely in the stomach.
Now, glutamine is traditionally thought of as helping to speed recovery, but the problem is that it is completely absorbed in the stomach and never gets to the muscle tissue to help repair the damage caused by weight training. The use of these oligopeptides may help ensure glutamine isn’t prematurely absorbed thus helping you to recover quicker and be able to hit the weights feeling better next time you’re in the gym.
We’d love to see more research on oligopeptides and how they’re created at a reasonable cost, but unfortunately, most of that information is not available to the public as of right now.
Liposomal Energy & Focus Matrix (500g)
Now for the energy part, but one thing to note is that there is no caffeine in Best Aminos:
Best Aminos uses a mix of Green, White, and Black teas as the main energy component. These supply varying amounts of EGCG, a catechin extracted from the leaves of this tea. These are typically used for their various health benefits in regards to heart health, blood pressure and fighting oxidative stress.
However, they also can boost metabolism and improve performance.[3,4,5] Catechins also increase thermogenesis and fat oxidation in body,[6,7] thereby allowing you to utilize existing stores of fat for energy and sparing your glycogen stores. These help increase thermogenesis and boost fat oxidation while decreasing body weight.
Similar to Glutamine, general L-Carnitine supplements have long been touted for a wide range of benefits in the fitness world. The problem was that research involving standard L-carnitine supplementation routinely exhibited no results unless the individuals were carnitine deficient (i.e. the elderly and vegetarians).[16,17,18,19]
L-Carnitine L-Tartrate use, however, has been beneficial to a wider base of individuals as it improves fat oxidation and recovery and decreases soreness.[8,9,10,11]. While you may see a little of these effects take place, most studies point to needed around 2g to reap the full benefits, which isn’t near what you’ll get in 1, 2, or even 3 scoops of Best Aminos.
Theobromine comes from the cacao tree and exhibits a stimulant-like effect similar to caffeine, but it’s much smoother and prolonged. It also lends a “feel-good” sensation when taking it, similar to what you experience when eating dark chocolate.
Another ingredient seen in Pump HD, Phosphatidylcholine is a phospholipid that is a major constituent of cellular membranes and heavily involved in cell signaling. Additionally, they are part of the lecithin group of compounds, which may help with muscle building due to their phosphatidic acid content.[14,15]
The other half of phosphatidylcholine is choline, a molecule that serves as a building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Choline supplements have become widely popular in pre workouts for their ability to boost focus and cognition.[20,21] So, in additional to seeing some muscle-building benefits, you should see a nice hit of focus as well.
Best Aminos will be offered in 30 serving tubs in one of the three following flavors:
- Blue Icy Razz
- Red Lemonade
- Hurricane Orange
We’ve had the Blue Icy Razz before when sampling BPI’s Best Creatine and it is definitely an outstanding tasting supplement. Whether or not you’re actually getting a complete dose of all the BCAAs in Best Aminos is up for debate, but you can bet your tastebuds that this will taste better than nearly any other BCAA product on the market.
No artificial flavoring or coloring!
One trend we’ve enjoyed is the lack of artificial coloring that many companies have moved to. After all, we really don’t need our drinks to be bright red colored.
BPI has joined in this, but taking it even further, advertising no artificial coloring or flavoring in their advertisement above.
Note that this doesn’t say “no artificial sweeteners” — which is a good thing, since many amino acids are notoriously difficult to sweeten and often require sucralose. At the time of writing, the entire label (including fillers/sweeteners) is not discussed, so we’ll see what sweeteners are used here.
True to form, BPI doesn’t play things safe when coming out with a new product. They’ve included an interesting mix of hybrid-aminos coupled with some interesting energy and performance boosters. One this is certain, this amino acid product will taste fantastic! Whether it actually helps your workout performance is up for debate – and we’d love BPI to release more research behind it. Until then, we’re going to want to add more leucine just to be sure.
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- Bowtell JL, et al. Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise. J Appl Physiol. (1999)
- Hungo, N; Carnitine and Choline Supplementation with Exercise Alter Carnitine Profiles, Biochemical Markers of Fat Metabolism and Serum Leptin Concentration in Healthy Women. The Journal of Nutrition 133.1 (2003)
- Villani, R.; L-Carnitine Supplementation Combined with Aerobic Training Does Not Promote Weight Loss in Moderately Obese Women. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 10.2 (2000)
- Volek J; L-Carnitine L-Tartrate Supplementation Favorably Affects Markers of Recovery from Exercise Stress.American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism 282.2 (2002)
- Spiering, Barry A., et al. Effects of L-Carnitine L-Tartrate Supplementation on Muscle Oxygenation Responses to Resistance Exercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 22.4 (2008)
- Kanno K, Wu MK, Agate DA, Fanelli BK, Wagle N, Scapa EF, Ukomadu C, Cohen DE (October 2007).Interacting proteins dictate function of the minimal START domain phosphatidylcholine transfer protein/StarD2.. J. Biol. Chem. 282 (42): 30728–36
- J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Oct 5;9(1):47. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-47
- Joy JM, Lowery RP, Dudeck JE, De-Souza EO, Jager R, McCleary SA, Wilson SMC, Purpura M, Wilson JM.Phosphatidic Acid Supplementation Increases Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength. Poster presentation at the ISSN Conference 2013.
- Carnitine status of lactoovovegetarians and strict vegetarian adults and children
- Carnitine function and requirements during the life cycle
- Malaguarnera M, et al; L-Carnitine treatment reduces severity of physical and mental fatigue and increases cognitive functions in centenarians: a randomized and controlled clinical trial . Am J Clin Nutr. (2007)
- Pistone G, et al; Levocarnitine administra tion in elderly subjects with rapid muscle fatigue: effect on body composition, lipid profile and fatigue . Drugs Aging. (2003)