Critical Aminos Reviews
Critical Aminos is a BCAA/Intra-Workout manufactured by BodyTech. BCAA is short for branched chain amino acids. They are the building blocks of protein and can increase protein synthesis, muscle recovery and endurance during workouts and have also been shown to reduce body fat.
Earlier this year I was on holiday in Hawaii, and because supplements are so damn expensive in Australia, I decided to stock up with as much as I could while I was over there and bring it back home. One of the places I went to was the Vitamin Shoppe, because it was close and I didnt have to wait for stuff to arrive in the mail. At the time VS were having a line drive sale on all Bodytech stuff, but Critical Aminos XT is the only thing I purchased from them.
INGREDIENT PROFILE - 7/10
The ingredient profile is neither great, nor particularly bad. There's 2.5g of Glutamine, less of each of the other aminos listed on the profile (see ingredients) but to me it's nothing ground-breaking. Which is OK for an intra/amino drink, because hey, there's really only a few main ingredients you want from this kind of product anyway.
The dosages are way down. Instantly when I was looking through this product I thought OK, I will need to double scoop this straight off the bat, so take that into account when looking at value. I think a single scoop is a waste of time with this ingredient profile.
Dyes man. The dyes suck. They stain your shaker cup, they stain your sink, they stain your lips and your insides too. There's just no need for them.
Props to Bodytech for providing a full disclosure of ingredients (no prop blends), but to be fair, there's really not much you'd want to hide in an intra product, everyone know what's in there anyway. If someone had a prop blend intra I wouldnt buy it on principle.
Finally, what's the go with 'about 45' servings? What is that? Seriously, is this backyard bob mixing stuff up in his garage? How does a supplement company get away with not listing the exact number of servings in its product?
Straight up when you look at the ingredient profile, you know you're going to be taking at least 2 scoops, so I wont even go into dosage on 1 scoop. At 2 scoops, you're getting a solid 5g of glutamine, which is probably what's going to do all the help with your DOMS and recovery. There's a smaller level of other aminos, which are nice, but doubling them up definitely makes it something you would actually want to take. Again, the glutamine is really the workhorse in this product.
On training days I would fill my shaker up with this about 30mins before training, and continue to sip it through my training and for about an hour afterwards. On non-training days, i'd fill up my shaker cup at some point during the day and sip for an hour or so.
MIXABILITY - 9.5/10
Critical Aminos XT mixed easily in a shaker cup with minimal shaking/stirring. Minimal residue left in the cup. Staining was a pain.
TASTE - 7.5/10
I bought the fruit punch flavour. It was OK, nothing to write home about, and when mixed in 20-24oz like I normally would do, it was pretty easy to drink down. I didnt try mixing at the recommended dosage of 6-10oz, but I would imagine it would be quite a strong and dye-filled flavour at that concentration.
EFFECTIVENESS - 7/10
Hydration - I felt that Critical Aminos XT made me drink more during my workout, mostly due to the taste that was a little bit sugary and artificial, and I felt like I always needed something to drink to keep my mouth from getting too sticky and dry. This is OK, it's one way to keep yourself hydrated, but it's also cheating a little bit, especially seeing there are no real hydration additives in the product.
Endurance - I felt the endurance aspect to be quite comparable to other similar intra products. I have been taking intras constantly for the past 3-4 months, and I havent seen a drop off in endurance effectiveness while using Critical Aminos XT, so I would have to admit it does a good job here.
DOMS - This is where the product lost some marks from me. Going from taking a supplement with 10g+ BCAA's per serving, to Critical Aminos XT, well the Glutamine just couldnt make up the difference. My DOMS increased whilst on this product, and while i'm sure my DOMS were better than they would have been with no intra/recovery/glutamine product, I still felt a drop off in effectiveness from my previous product, hence the lower score.
SIDE EFFECTS - 1/10
There's a mark here basically for the dyes. They run through me and make my poo a funny colour. It's just not really cool in 2016 to have them.
VALUE - 7/10
Critical Aminos XT retails at the VS for $19.95. I picked it up for $9.95 during a Bodytech line drive sale and I thought that was a pretty solid price. With approx. 45 1 scoop servings, you half that and for $10 22 servings is not bad value for something that's OK. My recommendation is if you can pick it up for $10 consider it, but any more than that dont worry as you can get glutamine on its own for much cheaper.
OVERALL - 7/10
Critical Aminos XT was a middle of the road intra product that at 1 scoop is underdosed and needs to be taken at 2 scoops minimum. That does knock down the value so the only time I would consider this product would be on a solid sale. Would I pay for this product with my own money? No, i've done it once and even at $10 I would probably look elsewhere. Would I recommend this product? Not really, I think there is better performing and better value products out on the market.