Nutra Innovations ESSENTIALS: The New EAA Supplement on the Block

A month after flooring everyone with the insanely pumped and energized Epitome pre workout supplement, Greg Helton and his team at Nutra Innovations are back with another new supplement. Like Epitome, this one brings a new spin to the game, but it’s the community-centric release style that brings a fresh change to the industry.

Nutra Innovations Essentials

Powered by Industry Insider feedback, Nutra Innovations Essentials is exactly the EAA intra workout many are looking for: EAAs and quality hydration agents.

Get your Essentials: Nutra Innovations EAA with retailer feedback

Nutra Innovations ESSENTIALS is a full spectrum essential amino acid supplement. Prior to ESSENTIALS, Nutra Innovations has Amino Prime, which is an energized 5 gram proprietary blend of amino acids and 150 milligrams of natural caffeine. Now Nutra Innovations has added a supplement with BCAAs, EAAs, as well as a hydration and replenishment blend.

The inaugural First Scoop supplement

We learned about Nutra Innovations in our Podcast with Greg Helton, the brand’s new President. What’s unique here is how they’re involving their business network to get feedback before they launch. It’s called The First Scoop, and they’re sending beta tubs to partnering brick and mortar stores (along with us at PricePlow) to make sure feedback is strong enough before going to production.

You can see our First Scoop analysis of Essentials, and sign up for PricePlow’s Nutra Innovations news below, since Mr. Helton and the team are on to some really cool things:

Nutra Innovations Essentials – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Nutra Innovations Essentials Ingredients

Nutra Innovations ESSENTIALS starts things off with 5,000 milligrams of BCAAs in the famous 2:1:1 ratio. If you are new to the fitness and supplement world, branched-chain amino acids are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAA supplements are commonly taken in order to boost muscle growth and enhance exercise performance. They are also helpful with weight loss and may reduce fatigue after exercise. Now, let’s get into these essentials… in Essentials.

  • 2:1:1 Dosed Branched-Chain Amino Acids

    • L-Leucine – 2,500mg

      Nutra Innovations Essentials Ingredients

      The Essentials.

      We’ve covered several BCAA supplements on the PricePlow blog and each time we’ve revealed that the star of the show is leucine. When it comes to BCAA/EAA sports nutrition formulas, leucine is the most anabolic of the amino acids and the driving force. So when you’re choosing a BCAA supplement, make sure it contains leucine or you’re being sold short.

    • L-Isoleucine – 1,250mg

      As usual, leucine has an excellent wingman in isoleucine because it stimulates the mTOR pathway and promotes recovery in the body. There’s plenty of research to show that isoleucine increases glucose uptake post-exercise. It also primes the body to absorb nutrients that help you rebuild and recover,[1] the exact purpose of Nutra Innovations Essentials.

    • L-Valine – 1,250mg

      Taking up a more supportive role among the BCAAs is valine. This amino acid works behind the scenes to ensure that leucine and isoleucine work as effectively as possible. Valine does still have its own benefits, though. Research has shown that it encourages glycogen synthesis,[2] which, during an intense or prolonged workout, helps improve endurance.

  • Essential Amino Acids

    When BCAAs try to battle alone they’re not as effective in terms of muscle growth. To build lean muscle mass, BCAAs need assistance from the other six essential amino acids (EAAs). So Nutra Innovations has ensured that this full spectrum EAA supplement also includes lysine, threonine, phenylalanine, methionine, histidine, and tryptophan.

    Digging into each one specifically:

    • L-Lysine – 850mg

      Essential Amino Acids

      Amongst these primary amino acids, the essential amino acids are in red. Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine are the three Branched-Chain Amino Acids.

      Lysine helps maintain cellular health, protects the immune system, and even helps reduce inflammation. The relationship that lysine has with carnitine is interesting because it kicks up fatty acid oxidation a notch and is a purely ketogenic essential amino acid.

    • L-Threonine – 850mg

      Threonine is the precursor to two other amino acids, glycine and serine. It aids digestion[3] by maintaining intestinal walls through mucus lining conservation. Studies have also shown that l-threonine plays a role in collagen synthesis and fatty acid oxidation.[4] If you’re not building collagen, you’re not going to be lifting weights for long in your life, so it’s once again important to get all essentials in at high enough amounts.

    • L-Phenylalanine – 300mg

      Among the EEAs, phenylalanine is unique because it acts as a nootropic and can enhance production of dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.[5,6] Known as “catecholamines”, when these neurotransmitters are released, it can produce a state of euphoria. Often known as the “feel-goods”, they’re often associated with feelings of happiness, relaxation, and calmness.

      With a little boosting of the brain brought to the group, phenylalanine definitely makes its presence known, and is something you won’t want to be deficient in.

    • L-Methionine – 100mg

      Nutra Innovations

      Meet Nutra Innovations, the manufacturer-backed supplement brand powered by Greg Helton! See all Nutra Innovations supplements on PricePlow!

      Methionine wears a couple different hats. Like phenylalanine, it helps with the digestive system and breaks down cysteine, which is an amino acid that assists in maintaining proper immune health. Methionine encourages glutathione synthesis, which helps temper oxidative stress. When it comes to this sulfur-based amino, too many people are deficient, so we make sure we take it anytime, anywhere.

    • L-Histidine – 450mg

      Integral to maintaining hemoglobin levels,[7] histidine keeps oxygenated blood flowing throughout the body. Alongside the popular pre-workout ingredient beta-alanine, it helps make carnosine,[8] which is an amino acid that acts as a powerful antioxidant and lactic acid buffer.

      L-Tryptophan – 55mg

      Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. Without it, the body can’t produce serotonin, melatonin, auxin, or 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). Serotonin is a mood stabilizer that helps induce feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Even after a taxing workout, tryptophan will help make you feel great about it.

      Tryptophan isn’t something to fear. Eat meat, get more, and enjoy the healthy supply of serotonin!

  • Hydration & Replenishment

    • Betaine Anhydrous – 1,500mg

      Betaine takes on multiple roles in the body. It acts as both an osmolyte and a methyl donor,[9] which helps maintain fluid balance inside and outside of cells.[9] Not only does this help promote hydration, but it also enhances cells’ ability to handle outside stressors.[9]

      Nutra Innovations Epitome Pre Workout

      Need more betaine? Wait until you see this label. With Greg Helton leading the charge at Nutra Innovations, there’s a brand to be very excited about. The Epitome pre workout brings both wild pumps and energy. Not for rookies here!!

      As its other name (trimethylglycine) suggests, three methyl groups make up betaine’s chemical composition. This design gives betaine the unique ability to donate one of its methyl groups to a non-proteinogenic amino acid called homocysteine.[9] Homocysteine is naturally produced in the body when methionine (an essential amino acid included above) is being metabolized. But high levels of homocysteine can lead to impaired muscle protein synthesis and reduced insulin signaling.[9]

      Fortunately, by donating a methyl group, betaine can convert homocysteine back into methionine.[9] Not only are lower homocysteine levels beneficial for performance and overall health, but extra methionine can be used to make creatine, a molecule that’s involved in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production.[9] Several studies have found that betaine anhydrous can boost performance, power, strength, endurance, and body composition.[9-12]

      Studies show that the clinically-effective dose of betaine anhydrous is 2.5 grams per day. Nutra Innovations’ Essentials contains 1.5 grams per scoop, but note that there’s already a full clinically-dosed 2.5g in Nutra Innovations’ Epitome pre workout. So if you’re taking both, you’re well on your way — and can even take less than a full scoop of Epitome since it’s so strong.

    • Aquamin Soluble (Seaweed Derived Calcium & Magnesium, Citric Acid, Malic Acid) – 300mg

      Aquamin is an all-natural, multi-mineral compound derived from the cytoskeleton of the red algae Lithothamnion spp. Yeah, we get it, we didn’t order sushi. So why is it in my supplement?


      Aquamin is an all-natural, multi-mineral compound that provides high-quality calcium and magnesium to keep you going.

      Well, a number of studies have been conducted on the seaweed extract to analyze its effect on performance and strength.[13] It’s no secret that intense exercise causes sweating, which is obviously important because it’s the way the body cools itself. But one of the drawbacks of perspiration is that it also expels tons of valuable electrolytes and minerals from the body. One of the vital minerals lost from sweat is calcium, which plays a prominent role in both growth and development.

      Eventually, losing too much calcium by way of high intensity exercise can induce the body to leach calcium from bone as well. Researchers found that supplementing with Aquamin prior to extremely long endurance events was able to attenuate increases of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX) — both being key markers in studying bone loss.[13]

      And quite frankly, your muscles are nothing without bone strength, and vice versa. It’s truly the foundation of your body and is worth researching how well you’ve been taking care of yours. Weightlifting improves bone density, which improves body composition. But can you help the process move along faster?

      Interested in more about this brand and its new shot-caller? Listen to Episode #040: Greg Helton Joins Nutra Innovations as President

      Everyone’s joints eventually become achy after long workout sessions, and walking can even be a pain. However, supplementing with Aquamin may counteract that. A 2009 study published in Nutrition Journal, found that consuming Aquamin increased range of motion and walking distances in subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee. The researchers believed that the mineral supplement may allow the study volunteers to wean themselves off of NSAIDs at some point.[14]

  • Essential Minerals Provided

    The induction of nerve impulses, which leads to muscular contractions, requires sodium, potassium, and calcium. It’s crucial you get enough of these minerals daily.

    So below we move on to the minerals provided by Nutra Innovations Essentials, which come from Aquamin as well as some added ingredients listed in the Other Ingredients area of the label:

    • Potassium (as Potassium Chloride) – 180mg / 4% DV

      Sodium and potassium are electrolytes that are essential to a properly functioning body. But when you sweat, you lose a ton of both of these minerals and potassium is a profoundly serious game for athletes. The loss of electrolytes could cause problems that will drop you out of the race or gym quickly or make you feel like a grumpy bear after your workout. Replenishing electrolytes should help you return to the world in a less ill-tempered manner.

    • Sodium (from Pink Himalayan Sea Salt) – 200mg / 9% DV

      Epitome Pre Workout

      The perfect stack? Perhaps, but only if you can handle a monster caffeine + DMPEA + Alpha Yohimbine dose in Epitome!

      Himalayan pink salt. Losing sodium, along with potassium, will knock you out of a workout pretty quickly. So it’s important to replenish your levels. Nutra Innovations ESSENTIALS full spectrum essential amino acid supplement provides that sodium through 200 milligrams of pink Himalayan sea salt.

      When you’re crushing a workout and only drinking water as a rehydration source, it’s possible your body won’t respond well. Low blood sodium levels can lead to muscle cramps, a drop in performance, and in extreme cases, hyponatremia.[15]

    • Calcium (from Aquamin Sea Minerals) – 30mg / 2% DV

      Discussed above, Aquamin is a branded ingredient developed by Marigot Ltd. that is an all-natural, highly-bioavailable nutraceutical that utilizes red sea algae. With its incredibly strong concentration of natural minerals, Aquamin works to replenish the mineral stores burned through intense exercise and sweat. Aquamin may also bring some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential to the table.[16]

      Calcium’s effects are more heavily covered in our Aquamin section above, so head back up for a refresher.

    • Magnesium (from Aquamin Sea Minerals & Magnesium Aspartate) – 300mg / 100% DV

      Nutra Innovations First Scoop

      Nutra Innovations is making waves with their First Scoop program!

      Essentials brings a solid 100% DV from magnesium, which is great since too many of us are magnesium-deficient these days, given our stripmined food supply.

      It comes from two ingredients — First, Aquamin, which has been discussed above. Second, magnesium aspartate, which has increased bioavailability compared to the oxide and citrate forms of the mineral. Clinical trials conducted in the 1960s showed promising results that a combination of magnesium and potassium aspartates had a positive effect on fatigue and reduced hyper-excitability.[17] Magnesium and aspartic acid are critical players in cellular energy production and not are commonly found but have been used for chronic fatigue syndrome.

      In a perfect world, we wouldn’t be cheering on the need for such a high-magnesium supplement. But this isn’t a perfect world – our food supply has serious deficiencies (and growing),[18] and it’s sadly up to the supplement industry to help you make up for it. Kudos to Nutra Innovations for bringing it back.

Flavors available

The list will stay up-to-date below with all flavors of Essentials that we can find:

    Conclusion: Nutra Innovations’ First First Scoop Supplement

    Nutra Innovations PricePlow

    A sign of things to come? Maybe a cherry flavor will be coming to a Nutra Innovations supplement soon!

    Getting that workout in can sometimes be hard enough but trying to push through is even harder when you’re only rehydrating with water. Nutra Innovations’ Essentials will provide you with what you need to hit that extra gear and push through that last set, that last rep, that last mile or to the end of whatever workout you are pushing yourself through. Double that if you’re using Epitome as your pre workout.

    Essentials is the quintessential Greg Helton product name. Minimalistically sheek and simply branded. It does exactly what the name says – provides the Essentials.

    We’re excited about the First Scoop program, and think brick and mortar partners will be too. For too long, brands have dictated from the top-down what stores should sell. Nutra Innovations sees opportunity in changing that, and their first step was launched with the help of the community in Essentials.

    Nutra Innovations Essentials – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

    Get Price Alerts

    No spam, no scams.

    Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

    Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

    Nutra Innovations Essentials

    The full Nutra Innovations Essentials label (blueberry acai flavor)

    About the Author: Mike Roberto

    Mike Roberto

    Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

    Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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    1. Furuyashiki, T. et al., 2014. “Effects of Ingesting Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin During Endurance Exercise on Rating of Perceived Exertion and Blood Components Associated with Energy Metabolism.”Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 78:12, 2117-2119.
    2. Conlee, R, et al; “Effects of glucose or fructose feeding on glycogen repletion in muscle and liver after exercise or fasting”; Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism; 31(2):126-32; 1987;
    3. Robergs, R A, and S E Griffin; “Glycerol. Biochemistry, pharmacokinetics and clinical and practical applications.”; Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.); vol. 26,3; 1998; 145-67; doi:10.2165/00007256-199826030-00002;
    4. Ruth, Megan R, and Catherine J Field; “The immune modifying effects of amino acids on gut-associated lymphoid tissue.”; Journal of animal science and biotechnology; vol. 4,1 27; 30 Jul. 2013;
    5. Keisuke Ueda, et al; “The Effects of Phenylalanine on Exercise-Induced Fat Oxidation: a Preliminary, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial.”; Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; BioMed Central; 12 Sept. 2017;
    6. Beckmann, H, et al; “Dl-Phenylalanine in Depressed Patients: an Open Study.”; Journal of Neural Transmission; U.S. National Library of Medicine; 1977;
    7. Ho, E S, et al; “Long-Term Effects of Low Histidine Intake on Men.”; The Journal of Nutrition; U.S. National Library of Medicine; Feb. 1984;
    8. Gariballa, and Sinclair; “Carnosine: Physiological Properties and Therapeutic Potential.”; OUP Academic; Oxford University Press; 1 May 2000;
    9. Cholewa, JM., et al. Aug. 22, 2013 “Effects of Betaine on Body Composition, Performance, and Homocysteine Thiolactone.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 10,1 39. 22;
    10. Hoffman, JR., et al. Feb. 27, 2009. “Effect of Betaine Supplementation on Power Performance and Fatigue.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 6 7.
    11. Lee, EC., et al. Jul. 19, 2010. “Ergogenic Effects of Betaine Supplementation on Strength and Power Performance.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 7 27.
    12. Cholewa, JM., et al. Jul. 31, 2018. “The Effects of Chronic Betaine Supplementation on Body Composition and Performance in Collegiate Females: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo Controlled Trial.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 15,1 37.
    13. Barry DW, Hansen KC, Van Pelt RE, Witten M, Wolfe P, Kohrt WM; “Acute Calcium Ingestion Attenuates Exercise-induced Disruption of Calcium Homeostasis Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2011;43(4):617-623. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181f79fa8;
    14. Frestedt JL, Kuskowski MA, Zenk JL. A natural seaweed derived mineral supplement (Aquamin F) for knee osteoarthritis: A randomised, placebo controlled pilot study. Nutrition Journal. 2009;8:7. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-7;
    15. Doi, Masako, et al; “Isoleucine, a Potent Plasma Glucose-Lowering Amino Acid, Stimulates Glucose Uptake in C2C12 Myotubes.”; Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications; U.S. National Library of Medicine; 26 Dec. 2003;
    16. O’Callaghan, Y., et al; “Antioxidant and Pro-Apoptotic Effects of Marine-Derived, Multi-Mineral Aquamin Supplemented with Pine Bark Extract, Enzogenol, and Green Tea Extract, Sunphenon”; Journal of Medicinal Food; J Med Food 00 (0); 2013; 1-7;
    17. Nagle FJ, Balke B, Ganslen RV, Davis AW. The mitigation of physical fatigue with “Spartase”. FAA Office of Aviation Medicine Reports. Rep Civ Aeromed Res Inst US. 1963 Jul;26:1-10;
    18. Workinger, Jayme L et al. “Challenges in the Diagnosis of Magnesium Status.” Nutrients vol. 10,9 1202. 1 Sep. 2018, doi:10.3390/nu10091202;

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