Optimum Nutrition ESSENTIAL Muscle Recovery Pre-Workout Supplement

Last updated date: November 22, 2022

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Optimum Nutrition ESSENTIAL Muscle Recovery Pre-Workout Supplement

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We looked at the top Pre-Workout Supplements and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Pre-Workout Supplement you should buy.

Update as November 4, 2022:
Checkout The Best Pre-Workout Supplement for a detailed review of all the top pre-workout supplements.

Overall Take

If you want a supplement that aids in muscle recovery, the Optimum Nutrition ESSENTIAL Preworkout Essential Servings may be your answer, with its amino acid blend. This formula contains no sugar and only 5 calories per serving. This pre-workout supplement also doubles as an energy and focus booster. You can use it any time of day, like when your afternoon lull sets in at work.

In our analysis of 45 expert reviews, the Optimum Nutrition ESSENTIAL Muscle Recovery Pre-Workout Supplement placed 7th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

AMINO BLEND – a perfectly blended mix of amino acids to aid in muscle recovery*. ENERGY BLEND – With 100MG of caffeine coming from green tea and/or green coffee extracts to supply you with a boost of energy to help you get through the day or a grueling workout* MENTAL FOCUS – don’t allow the day to get the best of you, the unique formula in ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY helps provide you with the mental focus you need* ANY-TIME FORMULA – this unique formula is perfect for any time of the day such as helping you get energized and focused in the morning, helping to stay focused and productive in the afternoon, or even supporting your energy levels and focus in the gym*. 12 CALORIES PER SERVING; 1G OF CARBS; NO SUGAR; 10+ DELIGHTFUL FLAVORS TO CHOOSE FROM.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

7 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

2,148 user reviews

What experts liked

Gives you fast energy without relying too heavily on caffeine
- BestReviews
Has ingredients for improving focus and endurance
- Bar Bend
December 13, 2018 | Full review
Comprehensive Amino Blend. Increased energy levels and a ton of other health benefits.
- Best5Supplements
May 23, 2017 | Full review
Optimum’s Amino Energy Pre-workout combines essential Amino Acids with Green Tea and Coffee Bean extract to help boost energy and repair muscles while cutting out unnecessary calories, proteins, carbs, or fats
- Pure Path
Relatively cheap compared to other pre-workout supplements
- Regained Wellness
Amino Energy can be used as a pre workout but also post workout too, while Gold Standard is intended more as a ‘classic’ pre workout supplement.
- The Sport Review
Amino Energy boosts an ingredient list of 65 different amino acids as well a blend of green tea and coffee extract. This provides a rejuvenating energy kick whilst improving your recovery.
- The Workout Digest

What experts didn't like

Some find the flavor to be too tart
- BestReviews
No information about dosages and ratios of the amino acids
- Bar Bend
December 13, 2018 | Full review
Proprietary blends. Manufacturer fails to divulge most of the individual ingredient amounts. Thumbs down.
- Best5Supplements
May 23, 2017 | Full review
Package sometimes contains less product than expected
- Pure Path
My biggest issue is the amount of artificial ingredients that I don’t believe are needed. It has artificial and natural flavors which are virtually the same thing.
- Regained Wellness
However, the big negative when it comes to Amino Energy is that it uses a proprietary blend on the ingredients label.
- The Sport Review
Though there is a large amount of amino acids present, the dosage of some of them, for example, Beta-Alanine is less than desired.
- The Workout Digest

An Overview On Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are designed to be taken before you begin exercising. The main goal of taking the supplements is to help you reach your goals by providing such benefits as a sharper mental focus, added strength and increased energy. Since not all supplements are created equal, there are a few things you’ll want to look for before you make a purchase.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Check to see whether the supplement has undergone any testing. For example, some supplements are third-party tested and confirmed not to include any ingredients that would get an athlete banned.

Look at the product label to make sure it meets your dietary needs. Some are listed as vegetarian while others are gluten-free. You’ll even find brands that are keto-friendly and free of GMOs.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Verify that the supplement has low to zero sugar, carbs and calories. This is especially important if you’re trying to lose weight. Nutritionists urge members of the public not to drink their calories, but to save them for mealtimes. Also, watch out for non-plant-based sugar substitutes, like aspartame. Stevia, Xylitol and Erythritol are a better choice, as they are all-natural.

Review the pre-workout supplement’s ingredients and associated benefits. If you’re looking for energy, you’ll need a supplement with caffeine. Should you desire to increase your strength, then you’ll want a formula like Six Star Explosion Powerful Intensity that utilizes creatine.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Finally, does the supplement taste good? You may be able to gulp down a shake that tastes like grass, but wouldn’t you rather enjoy the shake? The Optimum Nutrition STANDARD Pre Workout Creatine Beta Alanine is known for its delicious flavors, which include fruit punch, blueberry lemonade, watermelon, green apple, strawberry lime and pineapple.

The Pre-Workout Supplement Buying Guide

  • If you are trying a pre-workout supplement for the first time, look for a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back. That way, if you don’t get the promised results, you won’t be out any cash.
  • People with certain health conditions need to pay attention to the amount of caffeine in the supplement. High levels can cause jitters and a racing heart.
  • Always take the pre-workout supplement with you to your doctor appointment. Your physician can review the ingredients to make sure they are safe for your consumption and to verify that they do not interact with any of your current medications.
  • Supplements should be stored in a cool dry location. They should also be placed up high in homes where children and pets are present, even if the ingredients are all-natural. Even natural substances can be dangerous when taken in excess.
  • If you need to take your powdered supplement with you to consume later in the afternoon, or you need to pack a serving because you are going on an overnight business trip, use a formula dispenser designed for transporting baby formula. These cute containers are airtight and the perfect size for holding a serving of the supplement. This saves you from having to pack the entire container.
  • It is important to note that any health benefit claims made by the supplement companies have not been evaluated by the FDA.
  • When it comes to pre-workout supplements, price varies, but you should be able to find something that fits your budget and your needs.