What Is Monster Amino?
Monster Amino is an amino acid supplement that is marketed toward bodybuilders and other intense athletes. The product comes in the form of a powder that is to be mixed with water to form a drink. It is to be taken once a day and used either before, during or after a workout. There are currently four flavors available: Fruit Punch, Grape, Watermelon and Blue Raspberry.
Amino acids are quickly becoming the VIPs of the supplement community. Their popularity may soon exceed that of protein powders which have ruled the supplement scene for decades. The success of amino acids is based on the many scientific studies that have shown their effectiveness with muscle gain, fat loss and increased endurance. This product is formulated based on these studies including the specific ratio of amino acids that have shown to be the most effective.
Although Monster Amino’s formula is designed from these scientific studies, it hasn’t produced any clinical trials. Without testing the formula in a laboratory environment, there is no way to guarantee its effectiveness. The product needs to undergo short term and long term testing to prove its claims regarding muscle gain and fatigue reduction followed by a third-party trial.
CytoSport is the manufacturer of Monster Amino. The company has been around since 1998 after it was founded by a father-son athletic duo. The family run business started out with a single product before making a name for itself with Muscle Milk, a protein powder designed to improve workout results. It has been so successful that Greg Pickett, co-founder of the company, landed on Goldman Sachs Top 100 U.S. Entrepreneurs in 2013.
Muscle Milk’s success resulted in the creation of a more advanced version of the product: Monster Milk. Monster Milk inspired the company to launch the Monster series of which Monster Amino is a part. This series also includes Monster Isolate, Monster Creatine and Monster Blend. The company’s other product series falls under the Cytomax label, which was the name of their very first product. The product lines differ base on ingredients and desired audience.
The company has no complaints filed against them through the Better Business Bureau. The BBB usually rates each company regardless of the state of their official accreditation, but CytoSport has no such rating. It’s not unusual to lack official accreditation with the BBB, but the lack of a rating is odd. The BBB cites the missing rating as a “lack of information” regarding the company. Since the company has been in operation for nearly two decades, the “lack of information” seems to actually mean a “lack of complaints”.
How Monster Amino Works?
Monster Amino works by creating an ideal internal environment for increasing muscle gain while aiding with recovery. Instead of loading the formula with elements based on their individual results, the product is designed in such a way that the each ingredient is chosen based on how efficiently it interacts with the others. There are many elements that function well in trials on their own but actually lose their effectiveness when combined with other ingredients. Monster Amino’s formula uses a specific amount of each component that results in them increasing each other’s functionality.
Each amino acid in this formula has its function. Upon digestion, the Citrulline provides a natural dose of energy. This energy is released throughout the entire duration of a standard workout and prevents the release of acids that typically cause muscle fatigue and pain. The three other amino acids work together to stimulate protein synthesis in the muscles, which results in muscle mass increasing quicker than it does naturally. Muscle tissue also recovers quicker, so an individual experiences less soreness and discomfort after their training session.
The supplement is formulated to work similarly to many of the other amino acid supplements. As amino acids have increased in popularity so has the research surrounding them. The product takes advantage of this because it uses a six to one to one breakdown of its three main amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. In scientific studies, these three elements have shown to work the most efficiently if they are present in a specific ratio. However, this formula isn’t patented, so the same formula ratio can be used by another company.
Ingredients of Monster Amino
The product’s ingredient list is short and composed almost entirely of amino acids. CytoSport is one of the few manufacturers that often provides full disclosure on their ingredients list, and Monster Amino is no exception. The main ingredients and their amount per serving are as follows:
- PepForm Leucine-Enriched Whey Peptides – 2g
- L-Leucine – 3.7 g
- L-Isoleucine – 550 mg
- L-Valine – 550 mg
- L-Citrulline – 1 g
There are four types of amino acids used in the product: L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine and L-Citrulline. In the PepForm Leucine, the formula combines free-form Leucine with Leucine derived from Whey Protein because the amino acid is more effective in increasing muscle growth when both forms are used. Another dose of free-form Leucine is added to increase the levels of the amino acid in order for them to work more effectively with the other amino acids. L-Isoleucine and L-Valine are used because of their proven effectiveness for muscle growth and recovery when combined with L-Leucine. L-Citrulline has shown to reduce fatigue and increase stamina.
Other ingredients in the formula consist of a handful of common elements included in the majority of supplement formulas. Natural and Artificial Flavors, Malic Acid, Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose are used to create the different flavor options. Fruit and Vegetable Extract and Carmine are used to create color, and the use of each varies by the flavor as each flavor option uses a different color. Citric Acid, Silicon Dioxide and Dimethylpolysiloxane are common among powdered supplements because they extend the shelf-life of the product and prevent cakiness.
Since the product is available as a powder mix and not a pill, it attracts a wider audience. There are many people who struggle with swallowing capsule forms of supplements. Monster Amino is mixed into a liquid, so there won’t be any issues administering the dosage. It is also available in four flavors to accommodate different tastes.
The product also has the advantage of holding an NSF certification. The certification guarantees that there aren’t any toxic elements used in the product or the facility where it is produced. This is particularly important for customers who are involved in athletic competitions because it certifies that the product doesn’t contain any banned ingredients. Since there are some natural elements that are banned by these organizations, the NSF Certified for Sport label allows athletes to avoid an unnecessary situation.
Another advantage of the product is its manufacturer. CytoSport has been in operation for nearly two decades, and it is well-known throughout the supplement community. Such an established company serves as an unwritten guarantee for customers that the product is safely designed compared to pop-up companies that can disappear if there are any safety issues with the product.
The supplement holds an NSF certification. The Certified for Sport certification is granted to products that skimp on quality by using toxic or harmful ingredients. The National Service Foundation (NSF) is a government organization that works with non-medical products. This particular certification also covers ingredients that are banned by major sports organizations.
There are two certifications that the product is missing: Patent and FDA Facility Certification. Patents are not common among amino acids, but there are becoming increasingly popular among the supplement community as a whole. Monster Amino has not been through any scientific testing, so the product can’t apply for a patent.
The product is also missing a facility certification from the FDA. Although the FDA doesn’t regulate the supplement community, they do provide certifications for facilities where the supplements are produced. To receive an FDA certification, the facility must pass hygiene and safety inspections.
After years of trying multiple products, I’m so thankful to have finally found this product. I’ve struggled with hitting a wall of fatigue mid-workout for years. The only products that seemed to work contained caffeine, but it would leave me jittery and restless after the workout was over. Now, I drink a dosage of Monster Amino about half an hour before my workout and I can make it through without any issues. I also avoid the side effects that I experienced with the other products.
– Michael J., Indianapolis, IN
As a personal trainer, I’ve tried just about every supplement product on the market. I need to be able to make through eight hours of workouts for my clients, but I’ve always struggled to maintain my energy levels. I take this product at the start of my day, and I’m good to go until I clock out. It’s also improved my muscle growth, so I’m now recommending it to all of my clients.
– Bert L., Portland, OR
I’m a professional bodybuilder, and in the past year, I’ve started to notice the muscle loss associated with age. I tried multiple products to fight against the loss, but this is the first product that actually worked. I’ve regained the muscle I had lost and added even muscle mass on top of it. It also has the NSF certification, so I don’t have to worry about any trouble with my competitions.
– Pete W., Memphis, TN
Awards & Media Coverage
The product hasn’t received media coverage from any of the prominent fitness publications. The supplement market is flooded with amino acid products, so it is challenging for a product to stand out. However, since the product is manufactured by a well-established company, it is odd that it has not received more attention. The product doesn’t have a widespread marketing campaign, so this could be a reason the product hasn’t received sufficient media attention.
The amino acid supplement hasn’t been the recipient of any awards either. Unlike media coverage, awards in the supplement community are virtually non-existent. There is a lack of organizations that provide awards outside of media publications. Media publications typically give awards based on votes of the readers or the opinions of their writers, but other countries have official organizations that provide awards based on tested effectiveness.
The manufacturer has received multiple awards. The Beverage Marketing Corporation awarded CytoSport with the Beverage Company of the Year acknowledgment in 2009. Muscle Milk, which is part of the same product line as Monster Amino, won the New Product of the Year award in 2005. Although they are not a direct reflection of the product, receiving multiple awards speaks to the quality of the manufacturer.
There isn’t a money-back guarantee for customers of Monster Amino. If a customer is unsatisfied with their results, they can return the used package for in-store credit. To request store credit, the customer needs to contact the customer support department within six months of purchasing the product. The team will supply the customer with a Return Item Number that is required to be visible on the product in order for the return to be accepted. The cost of shipping is not included with the in-store credit return.
The only instance where a full refund will be provided is if the product is unopened and if the customer didn’t purchase the product using a gift card or in-store credit. This option also must be requested within six months of the initial purchase being made. If a customer has received a damaged product, they will be sent a replacement item immediately, free of charge. They will also receive a free shipping label to return the original product.
International customers are also allowed to returned unused products for a full refund. Customer outside of the U.S. and E.U. do not qualify for free shipping on damaged products. All refunds are processed back to the card used in the original purchase, and customers can expect their refund within a week of the return being processed. International refunds may take up to a month depending on the backing bank and the exchange rate.
Shipping options are dependent on the customer’s location. For U.S. customers, one-day, two-day and standard shipping are the only available options. Standard shipping for this product is set at $6.22. One-day shipping costs $16.94, and the two-day shipping option can be picked for $12.50. It is important to note that products are only shipped Monday through Friday, and orders for the latter two shipping options must be placed before 2 p.m. EST or another business day will be added to the delivery time.
International customers deal with different degrees of varying timeframes because of the vast amount of territories where the product can be shipped. The three primary shipping options for international orders are standard, economy and priority. Standard delivery has a large delivery timeframe with 10 to 25 days. The economy option shrinks the delivery timeframe to between five and 10 days while the priority option offers two to six days for package arrival. The product can also be shipped to military personnel that are stationed on base.
The lack of free shipping is a disadvantage of the product. Since the product comes standard as a powder, it weighs more than amino acid products that are available in capsule form. The heavier weight results in higher shipping costs because shipping costs are typically based on weight and not the size of the item. This serves as a disadvantage because some of the product’s competitors offer their amino acids with free shipping.
The product has an impressive customer support offering compared to other amino acids on the market. Customers in the U.S. can reach customer representatives through the customer support hotline which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. International customers can also access a representative by phone, but they must use the international hotline number to avoid charges. Customers outside of the U.S. can also contact the customer service opportunities of the third-party distributors of each territory.
For customer who prefer to type over talking on the phone, there is also a click-to-chat option available. This option is also manned all day, every day. The final option is email which guarantees a reply within 24 hours. Since digital correspondence in this manner does not offer an instant reply, the company recommends that only questions and issues that aren’t time-sensitive be addressed through email. There is also the option of traditional mail correspondence, but this should only be used as a last resort.
Monster Amino’s customer service far surpasses that of the majority of its competitors. Most of the amino acids on the market only provide a limited number of options. Click-to-chat is a convenient outlet for customers, but it is not used by many other companies. Other support departments usually limit their operation hours as well. A high quality of customer support is one of the advantages that this product has over its competitors.
Safe & Secure Checkout
Monster Amino customers can purchase the product through a safe and secure checkout. PayPal is not an option through this feature, but the company does accept debit and credit card payments that are backed by Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. The checkout function uses a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to protect customer information. An SSL encrypts the web page in order to prevent any information that is required, like a credit card number, from being viewed by anyone illegally monitoring the website.
The company also uses an antivirus on their website. This is a necessary aspect of digital security in this day and age as hackers can use viruses to hack into the servers. The company uses both digital and physical servers to store customers information. Access to both servers is secured and all sensitive information is encrypted on the servers to prevent anyone without clearance from accessing it. The physical servers are stored in an offsite location that is also secured and monitored by guards.
The product is available in 10.6 ounce container for $17.77. Each container provides around 25 servings of the product which is slightly less than the average one month supply of other products. When the price is broken down, each serving costs about 80 cents. All four flavors are available for the same price, but the product is only available in one size. This product is only required to be consumed once a day, and the time of day can vary depending on the customer’s preference.
The majority of amino acid supplements are available in powder or capsule form, but there are also some products available in a convenient ready-to-drink option. However, most of these products are priced around 40 dollars. This is about double the price of Monster Amino. Some of the competitor products end up costing less per serving, but that is often a result of the customer being required to consume the product multiple times a day.