Cellucor Alpha Amino contains a blend of 14 amino acids, including the highly recommended ratio of 2:1:1 branched-chain aminos (L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine). But can it really promote muscle growth, increase endurance, and reduce recovery times?
In this review we take a closer look at the ingredients behind Alpha Amino, including Cellucor’s Alpha-BCAA Matrix, Alpha-Hydration formula, and Alpha-Amino complex.
We’ll also walk you through the health benefits of supplementing with Cellucor Alpha Amino, recommended dosages, and cost analysis compared to other top rated BCAA supplements. This includes some affordable supplement stack suggestions for CrossFit, bodybuilding, and powerlifting.
Cellucor Alpha Amino Ingredients
Compared to BCAAs from Nutricost or Bulk Supplements, Cellucor uses a more varied set of ingredients. Rather than pure BCAAs, this means a combination of blends and complexes, designed to work together to produce superior results.
So what does this mean for Alpha Amino? Is there any actual science to prove these added ingredients work better than a pure BCAA powder?
Alpha BCAA Matrix (5000 mg)
The Alpha BCAA Matrix includes all three BCAAs, with an enhanced version of Leucine called 3x Leucine Matrix™.
BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids, which are a subgroup of essential amino acids that are different from other aminos. They are metabolized out of the liver instead of skeletal muscles, and have a particularly important role in promoting muscle recovery, reducing soreness, and building lean muscle.
Cellucor Alpha Amino contains 5000 mg of an Alpha BCAA Matrix, which combines L-Leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine. All three aminos are micronized, making them more soluble and easier to absorb by the body.
Leucine has a particularly important role in muscle building because it activates the protein called mTOR – the main protein responsible for muscle building. This is why Alpha Amino has included a special, patented form of Leucine called the 3x Leucine Matrix™.
The main ingredients of the matrix are fast-acting L-Leucine, Leucine Nitrate, and Leucine Peptides. These have the function of reducing muscle breakdown, increasing muscle synthesis, and preserving glycogen stores by working closely with insulin.
Alpha Hydration Formula (3000 mg)
Alpha Amino also contains a specialized formula designed to increase the hydration retention capacity of the muscles, with a goal to improve performance capacity.
The formula contains:
- Micronized taurine: Taurine is an amino acid that has an important role in keeping tissues hydrated and helping to ensure proper cell function.
- HydroMax® Glycerol Powder: When taken before exercise, glycerol can improve endurance time for sports like cycling. Other studies found that, while glycerol doesn’t improve performance, it does improve hydration levels.
- Raw Coconut Water Powder: When rehydrated with water or your desired drink, the powder regains its natural benefits as when liquid. It contains electrolytes to promote proper fluid balance, and contains fiber, which can help promote the sensation of satiety.
- Electrolytes: Electrolytes are minerals that naturally carry a charge, and each one has a specific function to promote fluid balance within and out of our cells. The electrolytes that are found in Cellucor Alpha Aminos are calcium (3%), magnesium (4%, phosphorus (6%), potassium (2%), and sodium (1%).
- Chia seed extract: chia seeds have gained popularity as a source of healthy Omega-3 and fiber. They have been found to help muscles recover from damage, as well.
With this unique combination of elements, the Alpha Hydration Formula helps to increase the concentration of fluid in body tissues, thus preventing dehydration that can occur after long trainings or competitions.
Alpha Amino Complex (2500 mg)
In addition to BCAAs, Alpha Amino powder contains 2500 mg of an Alpha Amino Complex. This is a blend of 10 amino acids: Glutamine, L-Alanine, L-Citrulline, L-Arginine, L-Threonine, L-Lysine, L-Phenylalanine, L-Tyrosine, Histidine, and L-Methionine. Most of these aminos are essential, meaning that they must be sourced from foods or supplements, since the body cannot make them alone.
Each has been carefully selected to maximize performance and promote recovery, in addition to promoting overall health.
Cellucor Alpha Amino – Product Summary
- Helps Increase Endurance
- Reduces Muscle Soreness
- Promotes Muscle Growth
- Helps Prevent Muscle Breakdown
- 14 Amino Acids including a well-studied 2:1:1 BCAA ratio
- Features Cellucor’s proprietary 3X Leucine Matrix
- 3X Leucine includes instantized L-Leucine, Leucine Nitrate and Leucine Peptides to enhance the body’s ability to fuel skeletal muscles, preserve muscle glycogen stores and reduce protein breakdown
Who can benefit from Alpha Amino?
This supplement is best for people who perform endurance exercises with a strength component, due to its unique blend of BCAA, amino acid, and hydration-promoting components.
When is the best time to take it?
Cellucor doesn’t indicate a particular time that is best to take their Alpha Amino supplement. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow.
If you are looking to improve hydration or enhance performance, it is best to take it before or during your workout. To speed up recovery, you can take it after your workout.
For best results, one scoop should be taken daily with 8-12oz cold water or another beverage. Do not to exceed four servings daily.
What flavors and sizes are available?
Alpha Amino is available in either 30-serving or 50-serving tubs. You also have a choice of 6 different flavors:
- Fruit Punch
- Icy Blue Razz
- Lemon Lime
- Pink Lemonade
Alpha Amino vs. COR-Performance BCAA
Per 2 scoops, Cellucor Cor-Performance BCAA contains 10 g of BCAAs, including 5 g leucine. Since BCAAs are readily available in animal proteins, it is not necessary to get all of the daily recommendation of BCAAs through supplements. Most whey protein powders contain aminos to some degree.
The requirements of BCAAs in humans are 12 mg/kg, 14 mg/kg and 16 mg/kg of valine, leucine and isoleucine respectively. For a 90 kg person, this would mean a total of 3780 mg (3.78g), which is a third of what two scoops of Cellucor Cor-Performance BCAA contains. For leucine, a 90 kg person would require 1260mg (1.26 g), which is also about a third of what two scoops of the supplement provides.
Because the quantity is significantly over the requirement, it is important that you consult with a registered sports dietician before Alpha Amino in your supplement regimen.
In addition to the BCAAs, Cellucor Cor-Performance contains 3.2g of beta-alanine per two scoops. Beta-alanine is the amino acid building block of carnosine, which helps neutralize acid buildup as a result of exercise in the muscles, helping to extend performance time and intensity.
Except for the above-mentioned beta alanine, Cellucor Cor Performance does not contain other amino acids, electrolytes, or other hydration-improving compounds, as Cellucor Alpha Aminos does.
Who are Cellucor?
Cellucor has been producing sports nutrition supplements since 2002, with two main product lines; Chrome Series, and COR-Performance™ Series.
One of their most popular supplements is the C4 pre-workout energy booster, which is now available as both a powder and an ‘on-the-go’ energy and performance booster. But they also offer a wide range of products to suit specific training goals, such as muscle growth, weight loss, athletics, and endurance.
Many of their supplements contain unique combinations of ingredients, called ‘blends’. This includes their Explosive Energy Blend (energy and performance), Creacarb™ Blend (mass gainer), and Gainer Proprietary Blend (COR-Performance Gainer protein, for bulking and recovery).
But knowing what’s contained in each of these blends and how they’re combined with other key ingredients like protein and carbs isn’t always easy. That’s why we recommend taking a look at our Cellucor supplement guide. This includes a summary of the health benefits, which sizes and flavors are available, and dosages for the main ingredients.
We’ve also added in-depth reviews and comparisons with other top rated nutrition companies, to guarantee you only buy the best supplement for your fitness goals.