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Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink Review (Full Details)

Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink is one of the must-try energy drinks in the market. It’s being marketed as a beverage that can energize you and aid with hydration and muscle recovery. Safe to say, these qualities caused hype among the community.

However, is the drink really as good as it claims?

In my opinion, ON Essential Amino Energy Drink cops an 8 out of 10 by my standards. It has reasonable offers and will be perfect for a variety of people. The only con I found involves the somewhat repetitive flavors and lack of vitamins.

If you want a more detailed review of the drink, then head on to the full article below.

Ingredients of Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink

Here are the ingredients that you can expect in one serving of Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink:

  • Carbonated Water
  • Amino Blend
    • L- Threonine
    • L- Leucine
    • L-Citruline
    • L-Theanine
    • Sustamine
    • L- Alanyl-L-Glutamine
    • Micronized Taurine
    • L-Lysine Hydrochloride
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Citric Acid
  • Malic Acid
  • Sodium Citrate (Preservative)
  • Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)
  • Potassium Benzoate (Preservative)
  • Caffeine
  • Sucralose
  • Potassium Chloride (Electrolyte)
  • Magnesium Phosphate (Electrolyte)
  • Tartaric Acid (In selected flavors only)
  • Acesulfame Potassium (In selected flavors only)

Personally, the drink has a good list of ingredients. With amino acids and electrolytes, there’s no doubt that it can aid with the body’s hydration. It’s also a big plus that it has its amino blend.

On another note, I think it would have been a lot better if the drink also contained B vitamins. In this way, the energy-boosting effects may come off more effectively.

Nutrition Facts of Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink

For an overview of the nutrition facts of ON Essential Amino Energy Drink, refer to the table below:

NutrientAmount per 12 fl. oz serving
Amino Acid5g
Total Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates1g
Nutrition Facts of Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink

Note that this is based on the Orange variation of the Amino Energy Drink. There may be slight differences once you check the other flavors.

What is in one serving of ON Essential Amino Energy Drink?

A 12 fl.oz serving of Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink has 100mg of caffeine, 10 calories, and 5g of Amino Blend. It has no sugar and fat.

A newly-opened can of energy drink
A 12 fl.oz serving of Amino Energy Drink has 100mg of caffeine, 10 calories, and 5g of amino acids.


Amino Energy Drink contains 100mg of caffeine per serving.

The caffeine content of ON Essential Amino is on a moderate level. It’s only a quarter of the caffeine limit set by the FDA, which is 400mg a day. For a more accurate comparison, it’s equivalent to just one cup of coffee.

There will be nothing to worry about for healthy adults as long as you keep your intake to only one or two servings for the whole day. I recommend going for one serving max.

People with caffeine sensitivity, however, should still avoid this to avoid side effects like:

  • Restlessness
  • Shakiness
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • High Blood Pressure

You also shouldn’t have energy drinks in general if you’re under 18, pregnant, or have underlying health conditions. If you want to, you can look for brands with no caffeine.

Artificial Sweeteners

Amino Energy Drink used Sucralose as its primary artificial sweetener. The Grape Flavor has an additional content of Ace-K.

Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink is a sugar-free drink. It used the said artificial sweeteners to give a refreshing taste to its content still. This means you won’t have to worry about going through sugar-related risks if you drink one can.

For an overview, Sucralose is common sugar alcohol present in most sugar-free foods and drinks. Despite being 400 to 600 times sweeter than table sugar, it has no calories.

Ace-K or Acesulfame Potassium, on the other hand, is only present in the Grape flavor; this is also commonly used in energy drinks. Same with Sucralose, it doesn’t have calories and is 200 times sweeter than sugar.

The drink used only one to two sweeteners in most flavors. I don’t think drinking this will give way to any risks considering that the said types are deemed safe by the FDA.


Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink has ten calories per 12 fl.oz serving.

The recommended calorie intake for healthy adults amounts to 2,000 per day. This is as per the guidelines of the FDA, but it will still vary depending on your current bodily conditions.

Nevertheless, you won’t have to make severe adjustments in your diet even if you take ON Essential Amino energy Drink.

Note that you will also get electrolytes, specifically Potassium Chloride and Magnesium Phosphate, along with the said ingredients above. These will aid in the hydrating effects of the drink.

Overall, Amino Energy Drink is moderate in terms of caffeine. It’s also a low-calorie drink. This makes it a good choice for those looking for a quick energy boost without the usual risks. 

Does Amino Energy Drink actually work?

Amino Energy Drink actually works. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll give its effectiveness a 7.5.

A girl doing leg lifts
Although not that strong, Amino Energy is still guaranteed to work for hydration, recovery, and energy-boosting needs.

There’s no doubt that Amino Energy works in terms of increasing energy levels. Its 100mg of caffeine and its amino blend are enough to make this work. The effects, however, may not last as long as you may expect. This is most especially for those with high caffeine tolerance.

Enhancing muscle recovery is also a guaranteed benefit. Again, this is because of the excellent amino blend provided.

I think it lacked in terms of the drink’s hydrating properties. Amino Energy Drink’s electrolyte content is already good, but you can find other brands with more electrolytes, and thus, better and more practical effects.

Pros and Cons of ON Essential Amino Energy Drink

Below is an overview of the pros and cons of ON Essential Amino Energy Drink:


Here is a list of the pros of Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink:

  • Multi-Purpose Drink
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-Free
  • Low-Calorie
  • Moderate Caffeine Level
  • Sugar-Free
  • Has a Special Amino Blend
  • Infused with Electrolytes
  • Fairly Priced
  • Aids in Muscle Recovery


On the flip side, here are some cons that I noticed about the drink:

  • Caffeine may not be enough for a heavy workout
  • Fruit-based flavors can be repetitive for daily intake
  • It may not be as good for hydration as other electrolyte-infused drinks

If you want a quick pick-me-up for your activities, ON Essential Amino Energy Drink will be a good option. Drinking one serving will already give way to several benefits.

However, if you want a more potent energy drink, you may want to look for a brand that offers a relatively higher caffeine content.

How does Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink taste?

Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink offers fruit-based tastes combined with a fizzy aftertaste.

Different Flavors of Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink
Different Flavors of Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Drink

The overall taste of Amino Energy Drink will depend on the flavor. For reference, here are your options:

  • Blueberry Lemonade
  • Grape
  • Green Apple
  • Juicy Cherry
  • Juicy Strawberry
  • Peach Bellini
  • Mango Pineapple Limeade
  • Mixed Berry Sangria
  • Watermelon

If you’re a big fan of fruit-based variations, then the drink will be a good choice. It may, however, get a bit repetitive since most are simply a combination of sweet and sour tastes.

Here is a more in-depth review of Amino Energy Drink’s flavors for reference:

Taste Test for ON Essential Amino Energy Drink

Is Amino Energy Drink expensive?

Amino Energy Drink isn’t expensive. It’s more fair-priced since it’s usually only sold for $2, depending on where you buy it from.

Hand taking out money
Amino Energy Drink is not pricy.

Here are sites where you can buy the drink if you can’t it from physical stores:

Note that some online sites often sell 12-pack cans instead of retail. If you only need one, then it’s best if you try looking for online retailers.

ON Essential Amino Energy Drink Alternatives

Here are some similar drinks that you can check out:

If you’re keen on using energy drinks for pre-workout, then I recommend trying energy drink powders. These will fit your goals more.

Conclusion: Overall Rating of ON Essential Amino Energy Drink

To wrap it up, I’ll give ON Essential Amino Energy Drink an 8 out of 10. It has reasonable overall offers, but I think it can improve the intensity of effects and flavors.

I think the drink at hand is a must-try for healthy adults that regularly engage in workout activities. This is because of its claims in muscle recovery and hydration. The energy-boosting effects aren’t that notable because of the somewhat moderate caffeine, so that it can be a con for some.

Nevertheless, it’s still a plus that Amino Energy Drink is vegan and gluten-free. If you’re okay with a light energy boost and total fruit-based flavors, then it can be worth checking the drink out. However, I still think some brands have better offers.

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