Reviews

Cobra Labs Daily Amino: An Evidence-Based Review

Daily Amino is an amino acid supplement by Cobra Labs which features a few ingredient intended to provide users with a boost of energy in addition to the benefits that BCAA supplements typically offer.

Cobra Labs positions it as “the new standard in Energy Amino blends”…

Cobra Labs Daily Amino

Claims/Benefits

Like most BCAA/Amino supplements, Cobra Labs claims Daily Amino will:

  • Support recovery before/during/after exercise
  • Improve endurance
  • Increase energy and focus

Needless to say, these are the usual claims attached to energizing BCAA/Amino supplements.  So, does the Daily Amino formula support these claims?

Daily Amino Ingredients

Daily Amino contains several ingredients you might expect to find in a typical BCAA/Amino supplement as well as some that are not so common in the BCAA/Amino category but can be found in plenty of other supplements such as pre-workouts and fat-burners…

L-Leucine

Leucine is the most important amino acid when in comes to stimulating protein synthesis.  It is just one of the many amino acids that form complete proteins (and is quite plentiful in the diet of anyone who eats a lot of protein) but is more potent than any other amino acid at directly stimulating muscle protein synthesis.  It accomplishes this by activating the signaling protein mTOR which essentially tells your body to start constructing proteins from individual amino acids.

Leucine has been shown to reduce muscular wasting in instances of protein deficiency but can be useful for any athlete/bodybuilder/gym-attendee who isn’t getting enough dietary protein to support their muscle-building goals or who is interested in obtaining the fat-loss benefits of fasted training.

Related: How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

Related: Best Supplements For Fasted Training

Unfortunately, the amount of Leucine present in each serving of Cobra Labs Daily Amino (1250mg) falls a bit short of the clinical range of 3-5g so there are certainly BCAA/Amino supplements out there which will provide more muscle protein synthesis for your buck.

L-Isoleucine and L-Valine

Isoleucine and Valine are the other two branched chain amino acids which is why they are commonly grouped in with Leucine in BCAA supplements.  While Isoleucine appears to have some sort of an impact on muscle glucose uptake and there is some evidence to suggest that Valine may help reduce Serotonin induced fatigue, neither of these amino acids has much of an impact on muscle protein synthesis rates.

So, while it can’t be stated with absolute certainty that Isoleucine and Valine are unncessary, they shouldn’t be used in place of Leucine.  A better approach would be the use a clinical dose of Leucine and than throw Isoleucine and Valine on top of that.

Related: Best BCAA Supplements

With only 625mg of Isoleucine and 650mg of Valine in each serving of Daily Amino, Cobra Labs has left us kind of disappointed.  2.5g of total BCAAs is pretty low relative to other BCAA/Amino supplements.

Taurine

Taurine, while not particularly effective as a performance enhancer or muscle-building supplement, has shown a lot of promise when it comes to enhancing exercise recovery.  It’s a fairly powerful antioxidant which has been shown to reduce oxidative damage resulting from exercise, ultimately creating a more favorable environment for muscle recovery.

The benefits of Taurine are oftenn over-stated–some companies claim it improves performance, reduces anxiety, and burns fat–but it does have it’s place in the world of recovery supplements so Cobra Labs definitely made a good decision tossing it in the Daily Amino formula (and 1000mg qualifies as a clinical dose).

Beta-Alanine

Beta-Alanine is commonly found in pre-workout supplements, but as the line between pre-workout and amino acid/bcaa supplements becomes more and more blurred, it makes sense that Cobra Labs would include it in Daily Amino.

Beta-Alanine is a precursor to Carnosine, a dipeptide (combinatino of two amino acids) which increases musclar endurance by reducing Lactic Acid build-up in muscle tissue.

It has been researched quite extensively over the years specifically for this purpose and study after study has demonstrated that Beta-Alanine supplementation increases muscle Carnosine concentrations at doses of 3-6g/day and this increase in muscle Carnosine translates directly into better muscular endurance.

The issue here is that Cobra Labs has included just 350mg of Beta-Alanine per serving in Daily Amino, far below the clinical range of 3-6g and probably not even worth taking to be honest.

Guarana

Guarana, though often touted as a “natural form” of Caffeine, is essentially just Caffeine.  There is no particularly sound research which indicates it is more effective than the synthetic Caffeine (Caffeine Anhydrous) used in most energy supplements, but one study noted some minor differences and the authors suggested it may provide more stimulation.

Caffeine causes the release of Catecholamines, a group of chemicals which includes Noradrenaline and Dopamine, which provide the sensation of enhanced alertness and focus.  This is primary driver in most pre-workout/energy supplements, as is the case with Daily Amino.

Green Tea Extract

Green Tea Extract is often used in conjunction with Caffeine in weight-loss supplements and energy products because, while it does contain Caffeine itself, it also contains EGCG–a compound which helps stop the degradation of Catecholamines (released by Caffeine).

In this way, it is synergistic with Caffeine and is therefore a useful addition to the Daily Amino formula.

L-Glutamine

Glutamine has been used for decades by bodybuilders as a recovery-aid, but recent research indicates it’s actaully pretty overrated.  Cobra Labs is clearly just not aware of this fact and is using Glutamine because users of these types of products are accustomed to seeing it.

Micronized Citrulline

Citrulline is an amino acid which can increase Nitric Oxide levels as well as reduce Ammonia build-up in working muscle tissue, thereby extending time to fatigue at a given weight.  It is one of the most under-dosed ingredients typically found in pre-workout supplements and is almost always SUPER under-dosed when it comes to BCAA/Amino supplements.

In fact, the only BCAA supplement that uses a clinical dose of Citrulline is Amino Beyond by Momentum Nutrition, but hopefully more companies will begin dosing it correctly because it is quite useful for improving exercise performance.

Cobra Labs lists the amount of Citrulline in Daily Amino at 300mg, less than 10% of what could be considered a clinical dose.  At such as a low dose, it’s useless here.

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive Leaf Extract is a generally standardized the active compond Oleuropein.  Actually, Cobra Labs was on the first companies to use this ingredient in The Curse, but it has since been included in tons of other energy suppleements.

Research on Olive Leaf Extract is still in a nacent stage, but preliminary evidence indicates it can increase Noradrenaline release.  This would of course increase focus and concentration but since not much research has been conducted on Olive Leaf Extract (or Oleuropein by itself) there is no known “effective dose”.

Daily Amino Ingredint Takeaway

Daily Amino contains all the right ingredients but mostly at the wrong doses.  We would agree with Cobra Labs that it is the new standard in Energy Amino blends if it contained about triple the amount of BCAAs and about 10 times more Citrulline, but given the low doses of the non-stimulant ingredients, there a many BCAA supplements out there that are superior.

The energy aspect is fairly unique though and may provide the average non-Caffeine resistant individual with a noticeable boost of energy without getting too overwhelming.

Is Daily Amino Safe?

Daily Amino does not contain enough Caffeine or other stimulants to be considered dangerous and even multiple servings would be unlikely to cause any negative side effects.

What To Expect In Terms Of Energy

If you’re looking for an extreme surge of energy, you’ll probably be dissappointed with this one, but for those who seek a more mild, steady release of energy, Daily Amino may be right up your alley.

Compared to most other Amino Energy supplements, the stimulant level is toward the higher end of the normal range.  You probably won’t tweak out or crash with this stuff.

Where To Buy

You can find Cobra Labs Daily Amino at:

If you know of any other retailers who carry this product, or are a retailer yourself and would like to be added to the list, let us know in the comments below…

The Bottom Line

Daily Amino is fairly well formulated in terms of the individual ingredients, but the doses are far less than what we’d ideally like to see.  For that reason,  we have to give it a pass.

If you’re looking for a BCAA/Amino supplement that provides energy, you’d be better off just buying BCCAs, dosing them right, and popping some Caffeine pills.

If you’re looking for the best of the best in the BCAA/Amino category, check out our Best BCAA Supplements List.

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