NutraBio Alpha EAA: Nootropic-Powered Amino Workout Supplement

NutraBio is dominating 2019 through constant product drops, new flavorings (that 100% Whey Protein Isolate Breakfast Series and Dragonfruit Candy flavoring!!), and research-backed innovations.

Next-up: A hyper-charged full-spectrum essential amino acid blend that provides added cognitive and performance-enhancers. Is Alpha EAA the most beneficial essential amino acid supplement on the market!?

A full-spectrum EAA Supplement with Nootropics and Adaptogens

NutraBio Alpha EAA

NutraBio Alpha EAA is exactly what we wanted in a workout supplement: full-spectrum essential amino acids with an ergogenic boost you can feel!

NutraBio, the champions of supplement transparency, has dropped another essential amino acid product named NutraBio Alpha EAA. This powder-based formula provides a full spectrum of amino acids with transparent doses down to the amount of flavoring and sweetener used, as they do with their “full label transparency” credo. But there’s more — far more — to this one.

More than aminos: this is an ergogenic aid!

NutraBio goes a step further than their competition by adding nootropics, adaptogens, and hydration bolstering agents. While NutraBio is marketing Alpha EAA as an amino acid product with extra sauce, we see it as an ergogenic product. Ergogenic agents boost exercise performance and everything on this label boosts exercise performance.

Alpha EAA is an amazing evolution. NutraBio has always been ahead of the curve given their full spectrum amino acid blend in Intra Blast, but this product is something that we can feel. The brand has continually adapted to shifting tides in research, and Alpha EAA is symbolic of their chameleon-like ability to meld in with consumer demand.

Before we get to the label, check out PricePlow’s coupon-powered price comparisons below and sign up for our NutraBio news alerts, since they’ve been giving out free samples and coming out with so much great stuff lately:

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Mike’s Alpha EAA Review and Analysis

Watch Mike taste the initial two flavors (Dragonfruit Candy wins), and then go on quite the rant discussing choline and how this supplement is properly labeled:

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Ingredients

The serving size is a massive 14.88g, which crushes many of the BCAA powders out there — and we’re now at the point where these EAAs taste so good, there’s far less of a reason to mess with BCAAs outside of cost concerns.

Let’s get to the science!

  • BUILD: Full Spectrum EAA-BCAA Matrix (8.2g)

    • BCAAs — 2:1:1 (6g)

      NutraBio Alpha EAA Ingredients

      As always, we have an open formula label, but the transparency with the Alpha-GPC is the big story this time. Read on below!

      The branched chain amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. We’re happy that each amino acid here as their doses listed with no prop blends, and that goes for the entire label here, of course.

      Leucine is the real star of the branched chain amino acids as it has the embers that light the fires of protein synthesis within a cell — through modulation of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR).[1] The mTOR pathway plays an essential role in cell growth and proliferation, with mTORC1 being the branch responsible for muscle tissue development.[2]

      Isoleucine, as its name implies, shares a base structure with leucine and also plays a role in the initiation of muscle protein synthesis — it just isn’t as potent. However, it may help muscle cells take up glucose during exercise.[4]

      Valine is the least studied branched chain, but it plays an essential role in glycogen creation,[5] which your body needs once it’s exhausted its current stores from the muscle and liver. We hypothesize that this is one of the reasons why BCAAs are beneficial for endurance:

      BCAA benefits

      BCAAs may help boost your endurance and stamina during training. They are also noted to help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness through enhanced recovery. Being honest, the benefits are subtle… but even a subtle boost in recovery lets you handle more exercise volume… which means more gains.[6] There is evidence suggesting that BCAAs may help dieters burn fat as long as the dieter remains in a caloric deficit,[7] and do realize that BCAAs do contain calories! The 2:1:1 ratio is typically preferred simple because it is the most studied, and the dose here is solid and rivals and even bests most solo BCAA supplements, but we have far more to go.

      BCAA Calories Bomb Calorimetry by Doug Kalman

      Remember, BCAAs do have calories! And this was tested on NutraBio’s own natural unflavored BCAA powder!

      Below we will describe the physiological function of the rest of the essential amino acids — amino acids we have to get from diet. Research in recent years shows that the branched chain amino acids function best when combined with a full spectrum of essential amino acids, so including all of these in a supplement is prudent.[8]

    • Lysine (850mg)

      Lysine is an amino acid that supports protein synthesis, immune function, collagen production, injury recovery, and hematopoietic organs. Lysine also is an element of the carnitine shuttle — an essential aspect of fatty acid breakdown.[9]

    • Threonine (850mg)

      Threonine acts as a precursor for glycine and serine — two amino acids that play big roles in muscle development. Threonine also plays a role in immune function and collagen synthesis. It syncs up with methionine to help breakdown fats.[10]

    • Phenylalanine (300mg)

      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.

      Phenylalanine helps us produce catecholamines like dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It can also become phenethylamine (PEA), a substance we adore for its feel good effects on our mood. Phenylalanine provides the wiring for our body’s “feel good” elements — so we’ll take it when we can get it![11-12]

    • Histidine (300mg)

      Histidine is an important precursor for anabolic pathways in mammals. The body can convert it to histamine — which can then become carnosine. Carnosine is an intracellular sponge that sucks up loose protons that would otherwise damage cellular machinery. Beta Alanine in your pre workout supplement (such as NutraBio PRE) works alongside by producing carnosine — so you know this is part of the endurance goldmine. It may even help beta alanine work better.[13] Beyond its substrate utilities, histidine is important for the brain, blood vessels, and immune system.[14-15]

    • L-Tryptophan (75mg)

      Tryptophan is the chemical associated with inducing sleep as it is a precursor for serotonin. Serotonin is a jack of all trades as it is involved in mood, well-being, cognition, and improved sleep. The sleep meditation is indirect as the body converts serotonin to melatonin, but don’t be concerned about this making you sleepy – 75mg is nowhere near enough to have those effects. Tryptophan on its own plays an important role in memory and learning.[16-17]

    • DL-Methionine (25mg)

      5-Hydroxytryptophan

      Low on Tryptophan, leading to lower mood? Then check out NutraBio’s 5-HTP. Also known as 5-Hydroxytryptophan, 5-HTP can help you boost serotonin levels!

      The last of the essential amino acids in Alpha EAA is Methionine. Its dosage is a good way to judge a company’s flavor systems, as it is the essential amino acid that simply tastes horrible due to its sulfur atom inside. NutraBio indeed made life easy on themselves with the 25mg — which you’ll be thankful for once you taste the incredible Dragonfruit Candy flavor.

      Methionine is an important methyl donor in the body. It’s also the first amino acid in any peptide chain, so thank us later when you crush your friends in biology trivia night. Mammals can convert methionine to cysteine, an amino acid essential for immune responses.[18]

      Humans are also ridiculously deficient in sulfur, which can present as joint problems and other manifestations. Methionine comes with that sulfur atom — so thank NutraBio for helping that mystery tennis elbow.

  • HYDRATE: Electrolyte Hydration Matrix (1.7g)

    We love taurine, especially this dose, but the bigger story is what NutraBio’s uncovering in the coconut water powder extract market…

    • Taurine (1200mg)

      Taurine

      Taurine, long used for a ‘filler’ amino acid, turns out to be legit for endurance… and after a single use!

      Taurine is the best bang-for-buck endurance ingredient in the industry that we recently covered in a meta analysis showing taurine improving endurance. Taurine will improve your aerobic exercise capabilities as clinical research shows it can boost endurance in aerobic athletes.[19] The benefits are NOT dose dependent — a low dose will do just as much as a massive dose. Taurine is also a great antioxidant and hydration boosting agent.[20]

    • CocoPure – Coconut Water Powder (500mg)

      CocoPure is a new take on coconut water powder, after Mark Glazier and team discovered how awful all of those “coconut water powders” on the market are!

      CocoPure is exactly that — 90% pure coconut water powder by weight according to Glazier and team. It turns out that NutraBio uncovered quite the scandal when shopping for coconut water. They learned that most coconut water powder on the market contains as little as 36% CWP by weight, with the residual 64% being taken by carriers like maltodextrin. No thank you to that!

      How coconut water powder is made

      Coconut Water

      Is your ‘coconut water powder’ extract really just glorified sugar/maltodextrin-powder? Mark Glazier says it is, but CocoPure is not

      The coconut water powder is spray dried onto the “carrier” which leads to the lower effective dose per gram. If you’ve failed to notice benefits from coconut water supplementation before… this is why. What you’re apparently getting from those extracts is nothing more than “sugar water” made from nasty maltodextrin!

      CocoPure avoids this through a tapioca carrier that takes up a miniscule 10% of the powder weight. Data on CocoPure is hard to find — it’s possibly an in-house development at NutraBio. We hope to have Mark Glazier on our podcast to discuss this formulation further.

      Anyway, athletes use coconut water for potassium supplementation.[22] When training, we can be deficient in potassium (and also after making poor diet choices), so coconut water powder could help prevent further potassium loss through sweat.

      We’re not done with “industry scandals” yet though!

  • FOCUS: Nootropic Adaptogen Matrix (1.4g)

    This is what really sets Alpha EAA apart from the competition. Get ready to learn a bit about the choline market!

    • Alpha GPC – (600mg powder yielding 300mg actual Alpha GPC)

      Now it’s time to boost our choline stores, which we’ll show helps improve strength, cognition, and even improve fat oxidation capabilities.

      Acetylcholine

      Improved acetylcholine utilization provides for an ‘anti-blurring’ effect so that new and old memories do not get confused

      Short for alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, Alpha-GPC is possibly our favorite source of choline as it a highly bioavailable form. It acts as a precursor for acetylcholine,[23] the neurotransmitter responsible for memory and muscle contractions…. so more acetylcholine (to a point!) = more muscle and brain gains.[23,27]

      Research also link Alpha-GPC to increases in power output, likely because of the bolstering of acetylcholine levels.[24] The effects of supplementation will be more noticeable during intense activity — as choline rapidly depletes under stress.[26]

      But beware the “50% Scam!”

      The dosing here is another sign of NutraBio transparency. Alpha-GPC is a sticky substance that can’t just be put into a capsule or powder on its own — so it’s almost always bound to a carrier that takes up 50% of the weight. The industry evil comes from companies that put “300mg of Alpha GPC” on a label and claim it’s a full dose. If a brand doesn’t actually say so with the “50%” designation on the label, then that “300mg Alpha GPC” actually means “150mg Alpha GPC + 150mg Silica”.

      Alpha EAA

      All Day Aminos & Nootropics. Count us in.

      So the truth is, you want a dose of 600mg total volume (of Alpha-GPC plus its carrier) to hit a clinical dose of 300mg, and NutraBio delivers on that front.

      The calcium phosphate carrier

      What’s unique here is that this Alpha-GPC is actually mixed with calcium phosphate as its carrier. Other forms use silica, as discussed above, but we supplement users get plenty of that stuff in with our supplement powders. NutraBio does you much better, by adding an ingredient that’s actually beneficial!

      We’ll never complain about a bit of extra calcium provided here, and can argue that it may help bolster our hydration/electrolyte blend from the CocoPure as well.

      How much actual choline though?!

      We can go even further on the math discussed above. Alpha-GPC itself is 40% choline by weight. So here in Alpha EAA, we’re actually getting 120mg (from 300mg * 0.4) of choline here. About as much as you get in an egg — but we’re not done with choline yet!

      Note: If you want to use extra Alpha-GPC on its own, check out NutraBio Alpha-GPC which uses the same calcium phosphate carrier.

    • VitaCholine™- Choline Bitartrate (500mg)

      VitaCholine is a trademarked take on choline bitartrate put out by Balchem. Similar to the previous ingredient, choline bitartrate provides more substrate for the body to produce acetylcholine. Just like with Alpha GPC, expect heightened cognition, focus, and a deeper mind-muscle connection.[23,27]

      Mid Thigh Pull Results

      Alpha GPC isn’t just good for enhancing brain function, it can also deliver some big strength gains (when dosed at 600mg).

      Double Choline: the best of both worlds

      Two choline sources is a gift — and the synergy should be absurd. We’ve noticed in other supplement reviews covered on the PricePlow YouTube channel that there’s an incredible cost/benefit blend when mixing both forms of choline. Mega-dosing all Alpha-GPC doesn’t seem worth the money to most, but a combo of GPC + Bitartrate forms feels just as good at a fraction of the cost!

      How much actual choline now?!

      Here’s what’s cool: choline bitartrate contains 41% choline by weight, and this time, we’re not cutting it in half by a calcium phosphate (or silica) carrier. That means our 500mg VitaCholine provides 205mg actual choline.

      End of story?

      NutraBio Alpha EAA provides 325mg ACTUAL CHOLINE.

      Nearly three eggs worth, and over a third of it is highly bioavailable!

      This is leagues beyond what’s in those “300mg Alpha-GPC” supplements that really provide 150mg Alpha-GPC that only provide a measly 60mg choline.

    • KSM-66™ Ashwagandha (300mg)

      While NutraBio includes tons of choline in Alpha EAA to keep you focused, Ashwagandha is here to keep you “chill”, and may improve performance and fat loss to boot! Ashwagandha is likely PricePlow’s favorite adaptogenic herb. It works by reducing the amount of cortisol in your blood.[28] By doing it, it helps mitigate symptoms of chronic stress.

      Ashwagandha Energy Endurance

      Many general athletes have never considered this herb, but they get benefits too!

      The end result yields benefits that range all over the place:

      • Reduced Anxiety
      • Increased strength, muscle mass, and recovery
      • Decreased Body Mass
      • Increased Testosterone in men
      • Combats Infertility in men
      • Improved Cardiovascular risk factors (lower blood sugar levels, triglyceride levels, and improved lipid profiles)
      Is it the cortisol reduction doing it all?
      NutraBio Ashwagandha KSM-66

      One capsule and you’re set for the day, especially if stacked with a scoop of Alpha EAA

      While we can’t tell you if these benefits are direct, or indirect thanks to the lower cortisol levels (often by regulating GABA-ergic signaling), we don’t necessarily care. The plethora of research speaks for itself.

      And to that point, if you’re interested in learning more about Ashwagandha, check out NutraBio’s KSM-66 Ashwagandha supplement that has the full clinical dose of 600mg per capsule (some clinical doses are at 250mg but most are 600mg). In that blog post, we cite those papers and discuss the mechanisms in detail.

      Meanwhile, KSM-66 by Ixoreal Biomed is the most trusted extract around and the dose is a perfect middle ground, especially because it’s a difficult herb to flavor, and NutraBio did that extremely well.

      But just because we trust KSM-66 doesn’t mean NutraBio necessarily does — they’re still publishing third-party lab-testing on both Alpha EAA and even the solo KSM-66 Ashwagandha supplement discussed above.

    • Huperzine A (50mcg)

      Huperzine A is another choline-focused nootropic. However, it helps keep natural acetylcholine in synapses, and it does so by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase.[29] Huperzine is at its best when paired with an exogenous choline source — like alpha GPC, choline bitartrate, or both.

      NutraBio Alpha-GPC

      One of the best ways to get more choline in, which boosts both focus and strength. NutraBio Alpha-GPC brings 300mg active per capsule!

      The choline sources will provide more building blocks and boost the natural synthesis of acetylcholine while Huperzine will keep it active in the body — allowing for greater receptor saturation. Think of Alpha GPC and choline bitartrate as the offense and huperzine as the defense.

      So the TL;DR is that Huperzine helps keep acetylcholine high — and you can expect even more focus, cognition, memory formation, and mind-muscle connection![29-31]

      50mcg is the lower-end dose. Cycle your use of huperzine as it remains in the system longer than most supplements. We’re fine with a lower dose because it’s already in many pre workout supplements and we don’t need to overdo it here.

  • Absorption Enhancer

    • AstraGin (50mg)

      While AstraGin is only listed as an absorption enhancer — it adds two more adaptogens to the blend beyond Ashwagandha. Composed of astragalus and panax notoginseng, AstraGin is a great general health compound. Its ability to boost absorption of supplements is a bonus!

NutraBio Alpha EAA Cover

It started with two great flavors, and Mike will always take this fantastic Dragon Fruit flavor system!

Flavors

A full up-to-date list of the flavors is below:

    As mentioned, methionine and its EAA counterparts are difficult to hide in a flavor matrix. Thankfully, NutraBio pushes some of the best flavors in the game. Alpha EAA is available in cherry lime slush and NutraBio’s flagship flavoring system dragonfruit candy.

    In Mike’s review atop this page, you can see that he’s all about the Dragonfruit Candy, but never really a Lime kind of person. The Dragonfruit Candy is incredibly unique, starting very sweet with a bit of a tart finish. It’s the best Dragonfruit Candy supplement they have in the bunch. Meanwhile, Cherry Lime Slush starts sweet and provides a refreshing citrus finish.

    Alpha EAA Nootropics

    This is an essential amino acid supplement with attitude, uncovering two ongoing industry ‘scams’!

    Conclusion: Alpha EAA is simply awesome

    Alpha EAA now contends for our coveted “Best EAA of 2019” slot. Everyone’s looking for an angle in this market, and quite frankly, this is the angle that speaks directly to us, as cognitive-focused athletes.

    For lifters looking for a heavily dosed amino acid product that delivers extra, and has no shadiness on the label, Alpha EAA is the way to go.

    Leave it to Mark Glazier and NutraBio to educate us on two ongoing industry ‘scams’ happening before our very eyes… but rather than go on the attack and naming names, they simply show us how it’s done right. And this Alpha EAA label does exactly that.

    NutraBio Alpha EAA - Deals and Price Drop Alerts

    Get Price Alerts

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    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.

    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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    21. NutraBio Correspondence
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