Ever heard of a BCAA supplement fortified with additional amino acids, betaine anhydrous, and coconut water?
Please welcome Cellucor Amino Alpha into the fold.
If you want a BCAA product which offers a lot more, then this one may be worth considering.
Enjoy the review as usual, folks.
About Cellucor Alpha Amino
Cellucor Alpha Amino’s new version includes “a well-studied 2:1:1 BCAA ratio for optimal performance in addition to 11 essential amino acids” per its official website. Formula notes:
- Versatile ingredients. Rare BCAA supplement which harnesses the powers of betaine anhydrous and coconut water.
- Increased muscle pumps. Courtesy of l-citrulline and l-arginine.
- Questionable reputation. Some customers are not impressed with its taste and potency.
Cellucor Alpha Amino Supplement Facts (Pink Lemonade, 30 Servings)
|Serving Size: 1 Scoop (12.7 g)|
Servings Per Container: 30
|Nutrient||Amount Per Serving||% Daily Value|
|Phosphorus (as Dipotassium Phosphate, Disodium Phosphate, Dimagnesium Phosphate)||65 mg||7%|
|Magnesium (as Dimagnesium Phosphate)||13 mg||3%|
|Sodium (as Disodium Phosphate)||30 mg||1%|
|Potassium (as Dipotassium Phosphate)||70 mg||2%|
|Instantized BCAA 2:1:1 Blend||5000 mg||†|
|Instantized L-Leucine, Instantized L-Isoleucine, Instantized L-Valine|
|Essential Performance Amino Acid Complex||3750 mg||†|
|Micronized L-Glutamine, Micronized Taurine, Micronized L-Alanine, Micronized L-Citrulline, Micronized L-Arginine, Micronized L-Lysine HCl, Micronized L-Phyenylalanine, Micronized L-Threonine, Micronized L-Methionine, Micronized L-Tyrosine, Micronized Histidine|
|Alpha Amino™ Hydration Blend||1750 mg||†|
|BetaPower® Betaine Anhydrous (1250 mg), Coconut (Cocos nucifera) water powder, Dipotassium Phosphate, Disodium Phosphate, Dimagnesium Phosphate|
|Other Ingredients: Natural & Artificial Flavors, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Sunflower Lecithin, FD&C Red #40.|
|Directions: Mix each serving (1 scoop) of Alpha Amino® in 8-12 fl. oz. of cold water, juice or sports drink one to two times daily. For enhanced performance on training days, take two servings before and after training. DO NOT EXCEED 4 SERVINGS PER DAY.|
Upgrade Your Aminos, Improve Your Performance
We’ve seen some versatile BCAA supplements here on B5, folks.
One which quickly comes to mind is RSP Nutrition AminoFocus, a bodybuilding supplement whose Amino Blend and Focus Blend should help you achieve your fitness goals.
Honestly, it’s hard to pass up on an BCAA product which has l-taurine, CarnoSyn, l-glutamine, l-citrulline, l-arginine, and the like.
That’s the kind of amino acid arsenal RSP Nutrition AminoFocus has. Too bad the proprietary blends and sucralose content got in the way.
On the other hand, we said NLA For Her Her Aminos “will make the ladies fall head over heels.”
We stand pat on that one.
We’re sure the ladies will love its versatility and awesome taste.
We also hope we can mention Cellucor Alpha Amino in the same breath.
“We’ve tailored this new version of Alpha Amino to include a well-studied 2:1:1 BCAA ratio for optimal performance in addition to 11 essential amino acids,” per its official website.
“An integral part of the Alpha Amino formula are electrolytes, which help keep your body hydrated and ready to tackle any challenge,” per the same source.
A combo of 11 essential amino acids and electrolytes? Sure sounds good to us.
Apparently, Cellucor Alpha Amino has an advanced formula. The manufacturer added the said electrolytes and BetaPower betaine anhydrous to the equation.
Naturally, the stars of the show are the three branch-chained amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
The manufacturer classified these under this product’s Instantized BCAA 2:1:1 Blend (5,000 milligrams per serving).
The 2:1:1 ratio is the standard for a regular BCAA supplement. Two servings of leucine for every one serving each of isoleucine and valine is the norm.
Of course, leucine takes center stage. After all, it’s the most anabolic amino acid.
It bears repeating: leucine earns this distinction because of its ability to kickstart the muscle protein synthesis process.
No leucine, no muscle. Period.
For its part, isoleucine has the following benefits:
- Helps increase energy levels
- Shortens recovery time
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels
- Maintains a positive nitrogen balance
- Helps repair muscle tissues
Finally, valine completes the triumvirate – it helps ramp up exercise endurance, repair muscle tissues, regulate the nervous system, increase muscle growth, and improve sleep quality.
Now you can see why BCAAs help complement your fitness goals like no other.
The one thing which gnaws at our conscience is the Instantized BCAA 2:1:1 Blend’s proprietary nature – the company doesn’t divulge the individual ingredient amounts.
Nobody should fall for the proprietary blend trap. You wouldn’t know if you’re overdosing or underdosing on a particular ingredient.
Now, if you do the math (using the 2:1:1 ratio and the 5,000 milligrams per serving), it comes down to 2,500 milligrams of leucine and 1,250 milligrams each of isoleucine and valine.
Not too shabby, if you ask us.
Honestly, Cellucor Alpha Amino reminded us of RSP Nutrition AminoFocus because of the fantastic amino acid profile.
Hey, any time the manufacturer fortifies a BCAA supplement with more amino acids, consider it a huge bonus.
You’re talking about anabolism with a capital A.
For starters, Cellucor Alpha Amino’s Essential Performance Amino Acid Complex blend has l-glutamine, the most abundant amino acid.
Check out its benefits:
- Helps preserve muscle mass
- Ramps up human growth hormone (HGH) levels
- Regulates the immune and digestive systems
- Restores a positive nitrogen balance
- Wards off nasty free radicals
- Improves athletic performance
We are stoked it’s in Cellucor Alpha Amino. It’s that versatile.
We’re also happy this BCAA product has another virtuoso in l-taurine.
Taurine helps torch fat, improve insulin sensitivity, ramp up testosterone levels, increase endurance, and boost heart health.
As if these weren’t enough, Cellucor Alpha Amino also has l-citrulline and l-arginine.
Long story short, these two amino acids help improve blood flow for better nutrient uptake, increased muscle pumps, and healthier blood pressure levels.
The main difference? Fitness experts believe l-arginine’s absorption rate doesn’t measure up to l-citrulline’s.
The latter’s presence in Cellucor Alpha Amino helps offset that. All good.
We also like the inclusions of lesser-known amino acids l-lysine hydrochloride, l-phenylalanine, l-threonine, l-methionine, l-tyrosine, and l-histidine.
Their combined benefits include improved calcium absorption, increased energy levels, improved nervous system support, stronger connective tissues and joints, and enhanced cognitive function.
These are impressive long-term benefits, aren’t they?
We laud the manufacturer for including the Essential Performance Amino Acid Complex in Cellucor Alpha Amino.
As the name implies, it will help improve your performance in and out of the gym, for sure.
Unfortunately, the Essential Performance Amino Acid Complex is another shady proprietary blend.
Nonetheless, we love the components of the Alpha Amino Hydration Blend (1,750 milligrams per serving).
The stars of the show here are BetaPower betaine anhydrous (1,250 milligrams) and coconut water (Cocos nucifera).
Betaine anhydrous helps ramp up power output, muscular endurance, and protein synthesis. We guarantee it’ll fire you up for your workouts.
For its part, coconut water is best consumed post-workout or during the day because of its impressive electrolyte (particularly potassium) content.
Don’t forget about its awesome vitamin B and vitamin C content.
So, if we were you, we’d ditch the sports drinks (some of which have artificial food colorings) and go for coconut water instead.
These two components make for a phenomenal one-two punch. However, the Alpha Amino Hydration Blend is also proprietary in nature.
Well, the manufacturer did reveal the exact amount of betaine anhydrous (1,250 milligrams per serving), but fell silent on the other ingredients.
Our first impression: Cellucor Alpha Amino is a powerful and versatile BCAA blend which fell short because of its proprietary blends and dirty ingredients (sucralose and FD&C Red No 40).
Let’s check out the formula ingredients:
- Phosphorus (as dipotassium phosphate, disodium phosphate, dimagnesium phosphate), 65 mg: This mineral helps increase energy levels, ward off fatigue, boost digestion, improve kidney health, and regulate hormone balance. Thing is, Cellucor Alpha Amino’s seven percent of the daily value for phosphorus isn’t high (anything more than 15 percent has a high value).
- Magnesium (as dimagnesium phosphate), 13 mg: Cellucor Alpha Amino is not a significant source of magnesium at a paltry three percent of the daily value (anything less than five percent has a low value).
- Sodium (as disodium phosphate), 30 mg: This BCAA product’s sodium content represents a measly one percent of the daily value. On the flip side, those who are monitoring their sodium intake can safely consume Cellucor Alpha Amino.
- Potassium (as dipotassium phosphate), 70 mg: Cellucor Alpha Amino is not a significant source of potassium at just two percent of the daily value.
Instantized BCAA 2:1:1 Blend, 5,000 mg
- Instantized l-leucine: The most anabolic amino acid which helps kickstart the muscle protein synthesis process. After doing the math, we discovered Cellucor Alpha Amino has 2.5 grams of leucine per serving, an amount near the industry average of three grams per serving or so.
- Instantized l-isoleucine: A BCAA which helps ramp up energy levels, shorten recovery time, regulate blood sugar levels, and repair muscle tissues. Cellucor Alpha Amino has 1.25 grams of instantized l-isoleucine per serving.
- Instantized l-valine: A BCAA which helps increase exercise endurance, repair muscle tissue, ramp up muscle growth, and improve sleep quality. Cellucor Alpha Amino has 1.25 grams of instantized l-valine per serving.
Essential Performance Amino Acid Complex, 3,750 milligrams
- Micronized l-glutamine: The most abundant amino acid which helps preserve muscle mass, increase human growth hormone (HGH) levels, regulate the digestive system, and ward off nasty free radicals.
- Micronized taurine: An amino acid which helps boost fat loss, improve insulin sensitivity, increase testosterone levels, ramp up endurance, and improve cardiovascular health.
- Micronized l-alanine: An amino acid which helps convert blood sugar (glucose) into energy.
- Micronized l-citrulline: A non-essential amino acid which helps improve blood flow for better nutrient uptake, increased muscle pumps, and healthier blood pressure levels.
- Micronized l-arginine: An amino acid which has the same benefits as l-citrulline, although l-arginine has a poorer absorption prowess.
- Micronized l-lysine hydrochloride: Helps lower stress levels, regulate blood sugar levels, and keep canker sores at bay.
- Micronized l-phenylalanine: A precursor of l-tyrosine, an amino acid which is essential for protein and brain chemical production.
- Micronized l-threonine: An amino acid which helps regulate the nervous system.
- Micronized l-methionine: An amino acid which plays an integral part in many cellular functions.
- Micronized l-tyrosine: An amino acid which helps improve mood and enhance cognitive function.
- Micronized l-histidine: An amino acid which helps regulate the nervous system and improve joint mobility.
Alpha Amino Hydration Blend, 1,750 mg
- BetaPower betaine anhydrous: A compound found naturally in sugar beets which helps increase power output, ramp up energy levels, increase protein synthesis, and improve cellular hydration.
- Coconut water (Cocos nucifera): Common pre-workout and post-workout ingredient which is a rich source of electrolytes (especially potassium) for increased hydration.
- Dipotassium phosphate:A water-soluble salt which has both phosphorus and potassium.
- Disodium phosphate: A substance commonly used as a food additive.
- Dimagnesium phosphate: A compound used as a food additive and emulsifier.
Our honest opinion: Cellucor Alpha Amino BCAA is a good BCAA supplement. However, its flaws prevent it from going to the next level.
Let’s begin with the upsides.
The 2:1:1 BCAA ratio is common among BCAA supplements – it’s the precise amount which will help your body remain in an anabolic state throughout the day.
Like we said, we like the components of the Essential Performance Amino Acid Complex (3,750 milligrams per serving).
You’ll enjoy increased muscle pumps, enhanced muscle preservation, more human growth hormone (HGH), better heart health, and enhanced cognitive function, among other things.
We also feel these amino acids will help you live a better quality of life in conjunction with regular exercise, sound nutrition, and enough rest.
Now, not too many BCAA supplements rely on the powers of betaine anhydrous and coconut water, but Cellucor Alpha Amino does.
Get ready for increased strength, power output, protein synthesis, and hydration, folks.
You can tell Cellucor Alpha Amino is one versatile BCAA product.
Now for the downsides.
We already told you about this product’s three proprietary blends. For that, we give the manufacturer a D for transparency (it did divulge the amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium).
We’ve also seen one too many BCAA supplements laced with fillers.
Unfortunately, Cellucor Alpha Amino is one of them.
This supplement has sucralose, an artificial sweetener with several side effects.
Plus, it also has FD&C Red No. 40, an artificial food coloring which experts have linked to carcinogenicity.
Watch out, folks.
Cellucor Alpha Amino also has several phosphate ingredients (dipotassium phosphate, disodium phosphate, and dimagnesium phosphate) which may be detrimental to individuals with kidney issues.
Some consumers say Cellucor Alpha Amino’s advanced formula (with BetaPower betaine anhydrous and electrolytes) isn’t as potent as its predecessor.
We find that a bit odd, considering our the positive impact of betaine anhydrous and electrolytes on exercise performance.
These customers also say the advanced formula’s taste is so-so at best.
As for us, we say it’s decent, but it’s not the best in the industry.
Final takeaway: as impressive as Cellucor Alpha Amino is, it has too many loopholes for our liking.
Perhaps the manufacturer should have learned a thing or two from the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Cellucor Alpha Amino Benefits
Cellucor Alpha Amino helps replenish “lost minerals and electrolytes while fueling your muscles with aminos” to help keep muscle breakdown at bay, per its official website.
We agree with these claims. Cellucor Alpha Amino may not be a perfect product, but it can still help increase hydration and ward off muscle breakdown.
Who Takes It?
The manufacturer intended Cellucor Alpha Amino for healthy and active individuals who are at least 18 years of age who want to increase hydration, ward off muscle breakdown, and achieve their daily fitness goals.
Any Side Effects?
As previously mentioned, Cellucor Alpha Amino has sucralose, FD&C Red No. 40, and phosphates – ingredients with several side effects.
If these, or any other ingredient, make you feel doubtful, please consult your physician before purchasing.
The manufacturer also issues a warning:
Cellucor Alpha Amino Summary
- Versatile. Has BCAAs, amino acids, betaine anhydrous, and coconut water.
- 2:1:1 BCAA ratio. The usual ratio for BCAA supplements.
- Increased muscle pumps. Courtesy of l-citrulline and l-arginine.
- Alpha Amino Hydration Blend. Not too many BCAA products rely on the powers of betaine anhydrous and coconut water.
- Zero sugar. That’s what the label says.
- Proprietary blends. Manufacturer fails to divulge individual key ingredient amounts. Boo.
- Dirty ingredients. Has sucralose, FD&C Red No. 40, and phosphates. Bummer.
- Questionable reputation. Some customers don’t like the taste and potency.
Pricing & Buying Info
- 1 318-gram Container (30-Day Supply): $29.99
- Available online and in retail
Final Word on Cellucor Alpha Amino
We said it a while ago, and we’ll say it again: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Well, that’s what the folks at Cellucor just did with its Alpha Amino BCAA supplement.
The result: a promising yet flawed product.
It’s not bad news all around – expect to reap benefits from the BCAA, amino acid, betaine anhydrous, and coconut water components.
Unfortunately, we just cannot get past this product’s several flaws.
You can still try Cellucor Alpha Amino, but there are heaps of other BCAA supplements on the market worthy of your attention.