Although it isn't cheap, Amino Switch is a quality product packed full of all the essential amino acids. It tastes great (for the most part) and is a hard to come by all-natural, colour-free blend.
- Full essential amino acid matrix
- Addition of an anti-cortisol recovery matrix
- All natural
- On the more expensive side
- Red raspberry is super sweet
Switch Nutrition is an Australian brand who are relatively new to the market. The Amino Switch is an essential amino acid (EAA) blend and of their key products in their arsenal for pre, intra and post-workout.Â
Nutrition & Directions
Amino Switch is a blend of essential amino acids, amino acids that your body cannot produce, and you must obtain through diet. The amino acids included within the product include:
- L-Leucine 884mg
- L-Valine 745mg
- L-Isoleucine 668 mg
- L-Methionine 642 mg
- L-Threonine 580 mg
- L-Lysine 500mg
- L-Phenylalanine 179 mg
- L-Histidine 154 mg
- L-Tryptophan 148 mg
Note that this also includes the three branched chain amino acids (BCAA's); L-Leucine, L-Valine and L-Isoleucine, which are also classed as EAA's.
As an intra-workout (and pre/post-workout) product, the idea of having a blend of EAA's is important to support a positive nitrogen balance while training, which minimises muscle breakdown, and aids performance and recovery.
The inclusion of all the essential amino acids is a big plus for this product (many intra-workout products only include BCAA's). If you are deficient in any of these amino acids, it may have an impact on your performance and recovery.
L-Leucine is often found in abundance in most intra-workout formulations due to its role in preserving lean mass, promoting insulin levels and in activating mTOR to promote muscle protein synthesis. While many other formulations often have at least twice as much L-Leucine as the other BCAA's (typically it is a 2:1:1 ratio), Amino Switch has a comparable amount of L-Leucine. Interestingly, whey protein isolate will also typically have almost twice as much L-Leucine than L-Valine and L-Isoleucine. This relatively lower amount of L-Leucine may be a drawback to some people.
The product does also feature an electrolyte blend of sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium which can have an impact on performance and hydration during your training. This is a typical and worthwhile inclusion for an intra-workout product.
Finally there is also an "Anti-Cortisol Recovery Matrix" which includes Schisandra Chinensis (10:1 Extract) and vitamins C, B6 and B12. There is some limited research to suggest that Schisandra Chinensis can assist in reducing stress and cortisol production which may inhibit muscle growth and recovery. This is quite unique for Amino Switch having not seen this included in an intra-workout formulation before. Meanwhile, there is a bit more research on the role of Vitamins C, B6 and B12 to manage stress and cortisol production, which may reduce recovery.
Another big plus of this product is that it contains no artificial flavours or sweeteners, using stevia as the sweetening agent. Further, no colouring is used which does mean there will be a greater concentration of active ingredients.
When we tally up all in the ingredients in the raspberry flavour, the total active ingredients listed comes to 5.16g (out of a 7g serve), yielding a total of 74% active ingredients. This means that 26% of the ingredient weight is attributed to the flavouring and sweetener, which is typical for an amino acid formulation.
All in all, the ingredients stack up for a well rounded intra-workout product.
Per serve there are 12.2 calories coming from the 4.5g of amino acids per serve. It's fat and carbohydrate free. Not much to complain about here.
What I love about the label is that all the active ingredients are listed with their respective amounts per serve (and per 100g). It is clear and concise - exactly what we would expect to see in a transparent label.
The label also clearly states some other benefits of the product, such as being gluten free, lactose free, soy free, naturally sweetened and vegan.
There are however two area's on this label that I feel could be clearer.
The first is where it states that this product "contains all 9 EAA's in the perfect ratio to support nutrient recovery". The problem is in defining exactly what "perfect" is for there are no universal standards. It certainly is a very good ratio, but whether or not this could be improved upon is certainly arguable.
Secondly, the label does state that 1 scoop of amino switch equals 30g of whey protein isolate. There is no explanation as to how this conclusion has been drawn. This may refer to the enhanced bioavailability of the free-form amino acids and thus just 4.5g (from one serve) is comparable to the approximately 26g found in WPI. Suffice to say, it is certainly not equal for a 30g serve of WPI will contain more protein, more calories, different ratio's of amino acids, as well as all the non-essential amino acids.
Directions & Servings
The label suggests to consume 1 serving before, during or after training in 500-700mL of water. You can certainly take this at all stages throughout your workout though the primary use will be during a training session.
A single serve does seem adequate and the amount of water suggested is ideal to fill up your shaker and keep you hydrated during your session.
One level scoop comes out at approximately 7g, which equals one serve.
Taste & Texture
There are five flavours available in Amino Switch:
- Green apple
- Mango Kiwi
This is a relatively diverse flavour offering and within the intra-workout category, this product ranks in the top 15% of products for flavour options available.
I have been really impressed with the flavours from Amino Switch. Most impressive is the lemonade which isn't too sweet and has a pleasant tang to it (much like a traditional lemonade flavour).
However my favourite flavour is the Mango Kiwi which is a very unique blend that we don't often see. The mango is quite prominent and very pleasant to be consuming during training.
Apple and watermelon are both very good and not overly sweet. For me, these are very hit and miss flavours across products, but the Amino Switch pulls it off quite well.
The raspberry flavour tastes just like a red frog (if you remember them from a kid). Personally, I find this flavour to be excessively sweet and would not recommend if you don't enjoy something that is super sweet - instead opt for the mango kiwi or lemonade flavours.
There is a subtle stevia aftertaste which I find to be most prominent in the raspberry flavour. And you can taste the bitterness from the L-Leucine and L-Isoleucine, though it has been masked fairly well.
Looking at our customer flavour rankings, green apple and watermelon both score perfect marks with mango kiwi and lemonade coming in at 98% and 97% respectively. These are all amazing user scores. However in-line with my notes on the raspberry flavour, it does rate significantly lower at 89%.
Flavour Rating Consistency
Unfortunately, the raspberry score at 89% does decrease the flavour rating consistency for this product as there is an 11% range of scores here from our customer ratings. This positions the product in the top 45% of the category.
Solubility & Texture
Amino acid formulations are notorious for not dissolving well in water. As you can see in the photo's this product does not entirely dissolve in water, but it gets most of the way there. This is only a very minor complaint as there is no graininess or unpleasantness when drinking the solution.
Within the amino acid category, Amino Switch is quite popular and sits within the top 8% of products that customers purchase.
Rate of Repurchase
Customers are very likely to repurchase this product. In the amino acid category, it sits in the top 7% of all products.
The average review score for this product is 96% which is an exceptional score. This positions itself within the top 16% of all products within the category.
Value for Money
Switch Nutrition's Amino Switch comes in two sizes - 30 serves (210g) and 60 serves (420g). For the amino acid product category this is quite good as competitors typically offer between 1-3 sizes. This does place Amino Switch within the top 8% of products.
The packaging is solid being a black plastic HDPE jar. This is a product that you can take to the gym or travel with, without worrying about the product spilling out.
Also included within the product is a scoop which almost perfectly measures the serving size of 7 grams.
After weighing a 60 serve (420g) raspberry jar, the product came out short at 411g, yielding approximately 98% of the claimed package contents.
Amino Switch is positioned right at the top of the category. Per serve, you're looking at around $1.67-$2 depending upon the size that you purchase. As compared to the remainder of the category, this positions the product in the bottom 33% of amino acid products on an amount per serve basis.
But does this make the product expensive? We also need to consider that it is one of the very few all-natural amino acid blends and is a more premium EAA product which does make it stand out from the crowd. This certainly isn't cheap, though it is unique and I do believe that this is a very good quality product.
Amino Switch is one of the few EAA's on the market that gets a lot of things right. It's all-natural, free from many allergens (soy, lactose, gluten), has a high active ingredient to flavour/sweetener ratio and also appeals to the vegan category. On the flip side, the amount of L-Leucine is lower than one would typically expect and although most of the flavours are outstanding, the red raspberry is going to be too sweet for some. This is a product that is loved by customers and recommended by us.