Overview of NutraCharge Charged Amino
Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Energy once ruled the energy infused amino category. Others were scared to enter because of the stronghold ON had on it. However, over the past several years, more and more brands are jumping into the stim focused amino acid category. NutraCharge wants to capitalize on the energy infused EAAs by providing a better price point than Optimum Nutrition.
Charged Amino from NutraCharge is a very similar product to ON Amino Energy but you get more 2:1:1 BCAA and a hydration complex that is non-existent in Amino Energy. The price points on the two products are similar, and if NutraCharge could win more on price, they would be a solid alternative to ON Amino Energy. One area NutraCharge could also win would be on a fully-disclosed label. However, their label is fairly similar to ON’s that it is a proprietary blend. Overall, ChargedAmino has a lot of potential, just needs more flavors, a fully disclosed label and a better price point.
Testing Results and Ratings
We reviewed NutraCharge Charged Amino on five categories. We first start by looking at it’s ingredient profile. This portion of the review looks at the amount of aminos used, as well as the kind of aminos, the ratio and other ingredients involved in the making of this BCAA powder.
We then look at effectiveness. A high BCAA product will be effective. This is generally an extension of the profile section. The higher quality ingredients used at proper dosages, the more effective that product will be.
Then we move into the taste of the different flavors we’ve tried. We grade each flavor separately and average the scores for their overall taste rating. We were able to test out the following flavors: Blue Raspberry Lemonade, Candy Grape and Peach Mango.
Mixability refers to how well the powder mixes in 12oz of water. We use the shaker bottle test. This would be your typical Blender Bottle with the spiral chrome ball.
Finally, we talk about value. Value is the combination of profile, effectiveness, taste and mixability in relation to cost. Another part of value are the competitors and other versions of BCAA products on the market; both with and without caffeine.
Charged Amino, unfortunately, utilizes a proprietary blend for their product. I heard rumblings they may change from that, and if they do, we will get them +1 on this rating.
The nice thing about Charged Amino versus Amino Energy is the first ingredient listed in their amino blend is a 2:1:1 BCAA. The BCAAs are halfway down the label on ON Amino Energy. You are getting a 5g amino blend with this product, which is the same as ON Amino Energy, but again, you’re getting more beneficial 2:1:1 BCAAs.
Another area that Charged Amino does a nice job on is the hydration complex. Again, in a blend, you get 550mg of Trisodium Citrate and Potassium Chloride. Not a lot of evidence is out there that supports their use for hydration, but there’s a lot of info on how it is used in foods.
The energy blend, also a prop blend, is similar to ON Amino Energy in that it contains 160mg from Coffee Bean, Green Tea Leaf Extract and Green Coffee Bean Extract. These are all natural sources of caffeine.
Overall, not a big fan of the proprietary blend used on this product. If you want to compete with the big guys, you need to disclose a bit more, in my opinion. I do like this profile in favor of Amino Energy, due to it using more BCAA than Amino Energy.
I used energy infused amino products as a substitute for coffee. I am not a huge coffee drinker but like caffeine to help me get through my day and focus on tasks. This is a good product for that. In addition, it is a good product to help promote muscle recovery. Essential Amino Acids and Branched Chain Amino Acids both help with muscle soreness and recovery.
I would drink approximately 4-scoops a day to achieve the energy I would need. It is hard to tell if you’re getting enough BCAA (I need about 20g per day) since this is a prop blend.
Overall, I am judging this product based on the energy it gave me. It was very similar to a lot of the other BCAA/Amino Energy products on the market.
Blue Raspberry Lemonade:
The tout on this product was that it is similar to Amino Energy but with more BCAAs, a hydration component and better taste. Unfortunately there are only three flavors of Charged Amino versus 20+ of Amino Energy.
Blue Raspberry Lemonade, to me, was the worst of the three. There was a weird after taste I did not enjoy. I do enjoy BCAA Energy from EVL blue raspberry much better. I am not a big fan of grape, but Candy Grape was surprisingly decent. Peach Mango, although a bit tame on flavor, was refreshing and good too.
Overall, I think they should add some more flavors but taste is relative to the user. It’s not the best tasting amino energy type supplement I have had. They are new, and I think they will evolve the taste.
Charged Amino mixes extremely well. Each servings size (2-scoops) is 10.3g. This dissolves nicely in 10-12oz of water. I would typically use about 20oz of water as I need to drink a lot each day. You won’t have any issues with mixability.
The price point on Charged Amino is identical to Amino Energy. Yes, you do get more BCAA and a hydration component, but only 3-flavors versus 20+. There are always deals on ON Amino Energy as well.
Overall, this is not a bad value for a product (30-servings for $20 is cheaper than a coffee from Starbucks each day) but in comparison to the competition I think they need to do more to separate themselves. They could tweak the price point, or provide info on how much more of each important ingredient we are getting (via fully disclosed label) versus the competitor.