Pre-workouts typically rely on caffeine, other stimulants, and maybe a select few amino acids. The one ingredient they are generally lacking in is BCAAs. BCAAs serve a number of critical functions in the body when it comes to training and thankfully, Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy include these key amino acids

In this review, we are going to break down the ingredient profile of Essential Amino Energy and give you our thoughts

Is it a pre-workout?

Essential Amino Energy technically contains the same compounds as a pre-workout, however, Essential Amino Energy isn’t necessarily a straight pre-workout. Technically speaking, it is an amino acid drink that contains caffeine for an energy boost. There isn’t a major distinction between the two but there is one nonetheless.

Essential Amino Energy Ingredient Profile:

Recovery and Performance:

There are a number of ingredients included for recovery and performance that not only assists with muscle performance during your workout but also for muscle recovery afterwards. These include L-Glutamine, Beta-alanine, Taurine, and Tyrosine.

Glutamine is excellent for muscle recovery as the body can use glutamine similarly to how it would glucose, feeding the muscle with energy. Beta-alanine buffers lactic acid build up to prevent the muscle from getting that burning feeling, increasing your ability to train harder. Taurine and Tyrosine both assist with cognitive focus and mental energy to prevent mental fatigue.


Vasodilation is extremely important while you train and refers to the widening of the blood vessels. Wider blood vessels allow for more blood to flow, pushing more blood, water, and nutrients into the muscle, optimising your performance and reducing the chance of injury. L-Arginine, Citrulline, and Histidine are responsible for vasodilation in Essential Amino Energy and are all excellent nitrogen retention agents as well.


Leucine, Iso-leucine, and Valine are the three amino acids that make up Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), and they are labelled so because of their branch-like structure. Leucine is the only molecule responsible for activating the mTOR pathway which signals that muscle repair is needed. This is why BCAAs are so critical as they prevent injuries while you train and enhance your recovery rate so that you can train harder for longer. Furthermore, BCAAs enhance the body’s muscle recovery ability.


Caffeine is a staple in most pre-workouts because of its incredible ability to increase metabolic energy levels, reduce fatigue, and enhance cognitive focus. Caffeine reduces the absorption of adenosine by blocking the receptors, thereby reducing the effects of fatigue. Caffeine also stimulates the Central Nervous System (CNS) to increase metabolic activity, as well as enhance cognitive focus.

Our thoughts:

Essential Amino Energy Formula = 8/10

Essential Amino energy has a solid formula for pre-workout training, but its greatest strength comes from while you train. Essential Amino Energy is perfect for while you train to sustain your energy levels as well as provide all those great training compounds as they deplete.

Essential Amino Energy Taste = 10/10

Optimum Nutrition is known for some of the greatest tasting supplements on the market. Their whey and casein proteins are unparalleled when it comes to flavour, and this extends to their Essential Amino Energy as well. Thankfully, we stock some exclusive flavours that you won’t be able to get anywhere else, and they are absolutely incredible. The Cherry and Cola flavours are exclusive to Chrome, but there is pretty much any flavour you can think of available as well. Personally, Cherry is our favourite, sometimes with half a scoop of Cola. You will not regret it.

Essential Amino Energy Price = 8/10

Despite being an imported product, Essential Amino Energy is competitively priced compared to local counterparts. It may slightly more expensive but the quality you receive from ON is truly worth it, and that taste is just out of the park. We developed a slight addiction to it, and we are sure you will as well.

Overall Rating = 9/10

Overall, Essential Amino Energy is a great amino based energy enhancer, one that will benefit you best from taking it intra-workout. For those who are looking for a pre-workout that is not too intense when it comes to stimulants, we would definitely recommend Essential Amino Energy.

Check out Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy

Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy

At 10 calories per serving, it'll make a big impression without denting your diet. Mix up ESSENTIAL AMINO ENERGY anytime you want to dial up mental focus, physical energy N.O. production and recovery support.

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