Kaged Muscle Amino Synergy: A Healthier EAA Blend (Energy Optional!)

Kris Gethin and Kaged Muscle have a fantastic line of supplements, but interestingly, they never put out a flavored amino acid supplement! Sure, you could mix their unflavored BCAA with their flavored HydraCharge electrolytes, but they probably could made a killing selling some BCAAs. Now we know why the wait: they wanted to do it right with a full-spectrum essential amino acid supplement… with optional energy!

The brand based upon Kris Gethin tries their best to do it right: Natural colors. Mostly stevia sweetened, with only a hint of sucralose. Caffeine from natural sources. Natural flavor systems, even if they’re more expensive. Ingredient profiles based on quality science. And their newest amino acid supplement is no different.

Diversifying in an expanding EAA market

Kaged Muscle Amino Synergy

Kris Gethin’s Kaged Muscle has taken EAAs and put them into an energy amino supplement with (optional) natural caffeine!

Amino Synergy is one of several new essential amino acid (EAA) supplements that have hit the market in 2018. These products all share a goal: provide high-quality, full-spectrum amino acids to assist in sports recovery while also hydrating the athlete. However, the competition has been FIERCE this year, with the bar moving higher and higher.

Instead of following in line with the competition, Kaged Muscle took a bit from column A (the “energy amino” market that’s full of BCAAs with some caffeine) and a bit from column B (full-spectrum EAA supplements), and what they came up with is Amino Synergy.

Three options for all kinds of amino users

It’s important to note that Amino Synergy comes in three different forms. You can buy it in capsule form, a caffeine-free powder, or as a caffeine-fueled powder. The active ingredients across all three versions are nearly identical, which is something we’d love to see more of. Before we get into the ingredients, however, check the prices below with PricePlow and sign up for Kaged Muscle alerts because there’s a ton of stuff coming out in the next few weeks!

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Our Amino Synergy Review

Never before have we seen someone make a full-spectrum EAA that’s sweetened mostly by stevia and still taste great!! Well done, Kaged Muscle:

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The Amino Synergy Ingredients:

  • Ajipure® MP9 EAA Matrix (3g)

    Ajipure MP9 is a newly trademarked formulation of powdered essential amino acids. To be honest, this is our first time spotting it. The most immediate thing we notice about the blend here is just that: it’s a blend. We don’t know exactly how much of each amino acid that we’re getting in Amino Synergy, and proprietary blends are not commonplace for Kaged Muscle.

    A prop blend… that has a larger dose of methionine!

    Kaged Muscle Amino Synergy Ingredients

    Energy aminos with actual EAAs?! Once again, Kaged Muscles delivers an amazing formulation. Note: the caffeine is optional (but to us it’s not!)

    Typically, for essential amino acid blends with all nine essentials, they’re proprietary due to the ability to flavor them – certain EAAs taste worse than others, and when the manufacturer nails a blend that tastes good, they try to keep it that way.

    Based on label convention, we know that the formula provides a hefty amount of leucine (ingredients listed first in a blend have the highest dose by weight) and the other BCAAs. In addition, methionine is high on the lists as well, and that’s not commonplace! Companies tend to pixie dust methionine as it’s notoriously hard to flavor. Essentially, Kaged Muscle is bragging about their flavor systems by putting methionine so high up in the blend. Challenge accepted.

    The Ajipure blend has several advantages over its competition. First and foremost, it’s vegan! Vegan athletes can find solace because the amino acids in Amino Synergy are plant-based, not pulled from things like horse hair or duck feathers. Since vegan athletes are often deficient in at least a few of the EAAs (typicaly lysine, methionine, isoleucine, threonine, and tryptophan[11], this is amazing news for that demographic. AjiPure also ferments the EAA’s, which is a plus for those that prefer to supplement with fermented ingredients (Kris Gethin is big on this, as you’ll see in our interview with him below).

    “EAA is the new BCAA”

    Full-spectrum EAAs are superior to only BCAAs in most cases. This is due to EAA supplements being super saiyan BCAA products – they contain the three BCAAs plus the other six that your body cannot synthesize itself (hence the reason they’re all “essential”).

    So with a properly-dosed product, you still receive all the branched chain amino acids you need. The BCAAs present in Amino Synergy will help you recover after your workouts and may even help you hold on to lean body mass in a caloric deficit.[1,2] The other amino acids present may need more discussion to understand.

    • L-Lysine:

      Kaged Muscle Amino Synergy

      Not gonna lie – this is one of our favorite promo images in recent memory.

      Lysine is a carnitine building block and an essential part of muscle protein synthesis, calcium absorption, and muscular recovery.[3,4]

    • L-Phenylalanine:

      Phenylalanine gets converted to tyrosine, and tyrosine helps the body produce dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Phenylalanine will help you get in the zone during your training sessions.[5]

    • L-Threonine:

      Threonine plays an important role in lighting the spark of muscle protein synthesis.[6]

    • L-Tryptophan:

      Tryptophan helps with pushing through workout related soreness while also helping with mood by providing a serotonin boost.

    • L-Histidine:

      Histidine and beta alanine are brothers. The two molecules form beta-alanine. If you’re histidine deficient, you may not be experiencing the most endurance that your body is capable of.[7]

    • L-Methionine:

      Methionine acts as an antioxidant. Methionine can also convert to L-taurine or L-cysteine, two acids that are ergogenic for athletes.

  • Coconut Water Powder (500mg)

    If you’re an athlete, you’re probably deficient in potassium.[8] Coconut water is a natural source of potassium, so inclusion of coconut water powder in a product is to aid in hydration and electrolyte balance.

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  • Optional – PurCaf® Organic Caffeine (124mg)

    As mentioned up top, Amino Synergy comes in three variations: a capsule form, a powdered form with caffeine, and a powdered form without caffeine.

    Organic caffeine?

    PurCaf markets itself as superior. Consider the bonus constituents, like chlorogenic acid, you’ll get in a natural source!

    For the caffeinated form, PurCaf® is a patented caffeine variation that is a 90% pure organic caffeine extract derived from water-extracted green coffee beans.[9] Some users claim this more natural source of caffeine leads to a smoother stimulant experience — but this is mostly anecdotal. The reason could be due to the remaining 10%, which contains healthy compounds such as chlorogenic acid. We see the organically sourced caffeine as a general health plus. It’s always nice to get ingredients from nature when possible — especially if they have other auxiliary benefits like green coffee bean does — so we’ll take it.

    As for the ingredient itself, did you expect us to explain what caffeine does? You’re probably sipping coffee right now! Time to switch that afternoon energy shot to caffeinated Amino Synergy, though!

Flavors Available (Primarily Stevia-Sweetened, Naturally-Flavored, and Naturally-Colored!)

If you opt for the traditional powdered experience of Amino Synergy, the only current flavor offering is raspberry lemonade. Do remember that methionine is hard to flavor when going in for your first sip of Amino Synergy, so we’ll see if they can beat expectations!

Kaged Muscle Beet Root Extract

A great example why Kaged Muscle supplements cost a bit more… because they’re not using the cheap stuff! Image courtesy Brian Rand

To make things even tougher, this is primarily stevia sweetened, with just a dash of sucralose to knock out the bitter stevia aftertaste. This is a Kaged Muscle specialty that’s done in other products such as Pre-Kaged (read the Pre-Kaged flavor system explanation), and it works extremely well at keeping the artificial sweetener doses uber low!

They did it with their MicroPure Whey Protein Isolate…

So we’re excited to see what Kaged Muscle can pull off flavor wise with such a methionine-heavy dose, especially when they’re attacking with the higher-stevia, lower-sucralose combo.

Given their history of amazing natural flavors (which they’ll tell you, are always far more expensive), we have the utmost faith. Especially since they knocked it out of the park with the cocoa flavor of MicroPure Whey Protein Isolate, which we think is the best chocolate-flavored isolate on the market yet!

…but you sacrifice on some aminos

Stevia

The issue with stevia-powered beverages are typically the bitter aftertaste. Kaged Muscle uses a large amount of natural flavoring, plus a dash of sucralose, to cover this up. Image courtesy Wikimedia.

The issue with a stevia-focused, naturally-flavored EAA blend is that it takes a lot of help to mask the EAAs. This means that only 3g of total EAAs are in here, which isn’t a huge dose. Decent for that in-between-meal energy pick-me-up or something that won’t utterly destroy your fast, but not a massive amount for those who need some serious protein help.

Another question we’ve asked Kaged Muscle is how they’re coming up with 30 calories in this label, which seems impossible if it’s 6.5g of total powder.

Overall, the trick to the trade is that you have to make a formula that’s just 55% active ingredients by weight. This is a similar story to Pre-Kaged, whose formulation and flavor system we discussed in the post linked above. This could be worth it to those who want only natural flavoring and as little sucralose as possible, the kind of person Kris Gethin and Kaged Muscle often try to target.

Our Interview with Kris Gethin

Amino Synergy very much falls in line with the general philosophy of Kaged Muscle as a brand. But don’t take our word for it, check out our extensive video interview with Mr. Kaged Muscle himself, Kris Gethin:

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Conclusion

Amino Synergy fulfills a market niche that other EAA products have missed. Energy EAAs with natural flavoring and mostly natural sweetening!

Kaged Muscle

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For vegan athletes, Amino Synergy is the way to go. For lifters that care about where their ingredients come from, Amino Synergy wins again.

We believe Kaged Muscle did their take on an EAA powder well. Our only complaint is that we want more of everything, but when you go after the natural flavors and caffeine sources, you end up paying. Some sodium may have been nice to flesh out the hydration-side of the product, but this is a minor complaint and it’s easy to get more salt in.

With Amino Synergy, Kaged Muscle didn’t reinvent the wheel, but they made a damn good one by combining two categories we absolutely love, and moving towards natural flavoring and sweetening, which we also love.

We’ll take the caffeinated version, Kris!

Kaged Muscle Amino Synergy - Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Kaged Muscle Amino Synergy Label

And look at that sexy label!

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References

  1. Blomstrand, E., Hassmen, P., Ek, S., Ekblom, B., & Newsholme, E. A. (1997). Influence of ingesting a solution of branched-chain amino acids on perceived exertion during exercise. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 159(1), 41-49; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9124069
  2. Wiśnik, P., Chmura, J., Ziemba, A. W., Mikulski, T., & Nazar, K. (2011). The effect of branched chain amino acids on psychomotor performance during treadmill exercise of changing intensity simulating a soccer game. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 36(6), 856-862; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22050133
  3. Dort, J., Leblanc, N., Maltais-Giguère, J., Liaset, B., Côté, C. H., & Jacques, H. (2013). Beneficial Effects of Cod Protein on Inflammatory Cell Accumulation in Rat Skeletal Muscle after Injury Are Driven by Its High Levels of Arginine, Glycine, Taurine and Lysine. PLoS ONE, 8(10); https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24124612
  4. Chromiak JA, Antonio J (2002). “Use of amino acids as growth hormone-releasing agents by athletes”. Nutrition. 18 (7–8): 657–61; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11283181_Use_of_amino_acids_as_growth_hormone-releasing_agents_by_athletes
  5. Udenfriend, S. (n.d.). THE ENZYMATIC CONVERSION OF PHENYLALANINE TO TYROSINE; http://www.jbc.org/content/194/2/503.full.pdf
  6. Feng L, Peng Y, Wu P, Hu K, Jiang W-D, Liu Y, et al. (2013) Threonine Affects Intestinal Function, Protein Synthesis and Gene Expression of TOR in Jian Carp (Cyprinus carpio var. Jian). PLoS ONE 8(7): e69974; http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0069974
  7. Salah, E, Garbilla, Alan j. Sinclair, Carnosine: physiological properties and therapeutic potential. Age and Ageing; 2000; 29: 207-210; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10855900
  8. Lara, B., Gallo-Salazar, C., Puente, C., Areces, F., Salinero, J. J., & Del Coso, J. (2016). Interindividual variability in sweat electrolyte concentration in marathoners. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 13, 31; http://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-016-0141-z
  9. Applied Foods. (n.d.). PurCaf® Organic Caffeine. Retrieved from http://www.appliedfoods.com/ingredients/organic-caffeine-purcaf/
  10. Rogerson, D. (2017). Vegan diets: practical advice for athletes and exercisers.Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,14, 36. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0192-9
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