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  Have you ever taken a pre-workout to get the motivation to work out, then hours later, find yourself staring at the ceiling calculating the number of hours of sleep you would get if you fell asleep immediately? Some pre-workouts are great at getting you energized for your gym session, but they have the side effect of keeping you awake for hours after you take them.
What about those hours after lunch during the day when you start to feel drowsy? Another cup of coffee sometimes isn't the most appealing thing, but you need some sort of kick to get you moving again. 

 

There is a category of supplements that can be used in either of these situations very successfully. Caffeinated Amino Acid supplements provide a mild dose of caffeine and amino acids. This combination makes them very versatile and they can be used as either a light pre-workout, or a great coffee substitute. USP Labs AminoLift was one of the first, and Optimum Nutrition's Amino Energy is one of the most popular in this category, but my newest favorite is Amino Stim by USN. 

Energy. Without too much Energy.

I was a big amino energy fan for a long time, with so many delicious flavor options it's really easy to not get bored. The problem I realized was 1 serving wasn't quite enough energy, but 2 servings would make me jittery. It was too much of a caffeine energy blend, but didn't have enough cognitive support to balance it out and help keep me focused. I also liked the original USP Labs AminoLift because it was balanced between focus and energy, but since it was reformulated I never got the same effect from it. After bouncing around different supplements for awhile I found USN's Amino Stim. The blend was pretty interesting, so I gave it a shot, and was pleasantly surprised.

Amino Stim contains 104mg of Caffeine Anhydrous, which doesn't sound like a lot, but it is the type that is important. Anhydrous caffeine is the easiest for your body to absorb and therefor kicks in the fastest and is felt first. There's also a combination of 50mg of Green Tea Extract, and 25mg of Theacrine (TeaCrine). Both of these help provide a longer lasting energy to help keep you from crashing, but they are lightly dosed so they shouldn't keep you awake at night. An added bonus of TeaCrine is that you won't build a tolerance to it, so you won't end up needing a higher dose. 

Mental Alertness

 For mental focus Amino Stim combines L-Phenylalanine, L-Tyrosine, and L-Theanine among others help balance out the stimulants. Phenylalanine is an amino acid that helps create chemical messengers in the bloodstream. Tyrosine is known to release dopamine into the body, resulting in increased energy and alertness along with improved mood. Theanine supports neurotransmitters, and can aid focus in that fashion.  

Flavor Selection

While USN doesn't have the same number of flavor options as Optimum, they have a few great options already out. The first one I tried was the pink lemonade, and I was hooked. I may mix it up and use one of the other flavors once and awhile, but the pink lemonade is my new go to. It's refreshing without being overly sweetened. The mango pineapple is a little sweeter taste wise, but it is still very good. All in all USN did a great job in flavoring so it is definitely a product you want to be drinking. 

 

Overall USN did a solid job putting this product together. They added in just enough stim to give you energy without the jittery effect of too much caffeine. Then they compliment it well with amino acids that aid in creating a mental alertness and allowing you to focus, be it in the gym or for the last few hours of the day at work. To wrap everything together the flavoring is awesome, and very enjoyable to drink. If you want a light pre-workout, or a coffee substitute, give Amino Stim a try. I really enjoy drinking it and think it's an upcoming popular item.

USN Amino Stim