BCAA, short for ‘branched chain amino acid’ is a term collectively used for a group of three essential amino acids namely leucine, isoleucine and valine. The intake of these amino acids is recommended for people that lack ‘complete protein’ in their diet. As vegans, our food choices are known to be sources of ‘incomplete protein’. This simply means that the protein amounted from vegan food options lacks some amino acids and hence has an incomplete ‘amino acid profile’.
Now, it is only natural for vegans to think of supplementing with synthetic BCAAs to make up for the evident lack of these three essential amino acids in their diet. However, like the majority of the mainstream products, synthetic BCAAs aren’t synthesized in a way that we’d deem ‘ethical’. Most supplement companies source their BCAAs from keratin, a compound extracted from animal hair, feathers and hooves. If you were to consume a BCAA supplement without prior scrutiny, you’d sure be compromising with your values and a dedicated vegan.
Coming back to the matter at hand, is there any vegan BCAA supplement brand? Or can you find a plant based BCAA amidst the hoard of non-vegan alternatives? I’m delighted to answer these questions on a positive note. Yes! there are indeed plant-based organic BCAA alternatives available. Being synthesized from fermented vegetables, these vegan BCAA powders align with the core concept of veganism where no animal is even minutely harmed in its making. This article lists down the best vegan BCAA brands for you to consider the next time you’re looking to supplement with these essential building blocks.
What are BCAAs?
BCAAs are a group of three distinctive essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce but are integral in critical bodily functions including muscle protein synthesis, blood sugar regulation, production of growth hormones and more. The ‘leucine, isoleucine and valine’ trio is distinguished amongst other essential amino acids because of their unique branched molecular structure. These three EAAs are also different from the other six due to their higher influence in stimulating muscle hypertrophy. This is why, BCAA supplements are renowned in the fitness and bodybuilding community.
Meat, poultry, fish and dairy being the richest sources of BCAAs, vegans are in a greater need of supplementing with organic BCAA supplements. Below is a comprehensive list of completely plant-based vegan BCAAs that are 100% cruelty-free.
Related: Vegan Mass Gainers
Are BCAAs Vegan?
Yes, BCAAs can be vegan. Although, they are made from both vegan and non- vegan ingredients, there are a number of plant-based BCAA supplements made out of glucose, corn or soy which might give you similar effect of its non-vegan alternatives.
Top Vegan BCAA Supplements
Embarking on the vegan lifestyle keeps you from consuming certain products. Specifically, the ones that are either directly derived from animals or harm/hurt animals at any stage of their production. However, this noble concern may seemingly deprive you of certain nutrients that your body needs. Thanks to the scientific development that we have today, there can be found vegan-friendly alternatives to almost all foods and supplements out there. Have a look at the best vegan BCAA supplements here –
This vegan BCAA powder from Genius Brand not only strengthens your body, it also relieves stress and increases focus. Apart from the vital BCAAs, it’s also packed with rhodiolarosea, cognizin citicoline and taurine which enable this supplement to work on both body and mind.
You can have it with the Bubble tea smoothie for a better taste of it. This all-natural Genius Brand BCAA powder is free from any artificial dyes or flavors and is made out of only organic ingredients which make it a perfect choice for vegans. It also comes with 100g of natural caffeine to increase your energy level.
“Loved this stuff. The flavor isn’t that great but I’ve certainly have had the worse and I don’t actually mind this flavor. Hard to describe it but almost seems like an unflavored, vitamin flavor.”
- Reduces stress and enhances focus
- Contains fermented BCAAs
- Doesn’t contain any fillers or additives
- Has natural caffeine to provide more energy
- Has an awful taste according to some reviewers
Clean Machine’s vegan BCAA powder is one of the best amino acid supplements you can get in the market. It significantly helps in muscle growth and also encourages the muscles repairing process. It contains 4g of leucine per serving which is a great amount to promote protein synthesis in your body.
Clean Machine BCAA powder is best-suited for enhancing your performance at the gym and build strength. Clean Machine’s amino-acid supplement has a fruit punch flavor which is completely organic and tastes heavenly.
It’s easy to blend with any dairy-free milk to have a delicious smoothie like the quinoa smoothie or even water. It also contains dehydrated coconut water to provide your body with vital electrolytes.
“It is so easy to prepare, not so heavy on stomach and I feel healthy and fit all day. I completely loved the product!”
- Made with totally vegan fermented amino-acids
- Easy to mix with milk, smoothie and water
- Features dehydrated coconut water that supplies electrolytes
- Has great taste
- Available only in small quantities
- Some reviewers complain about the powder’s strong, overpowering smell
This Truth Nutrition organic BCAA powder is nutrition and flavor packed in a jar! With a new balanced profile, you will have all the amino acids your body craves for. Truth Nutrition’s BCAA supplement not only provides you with essential amino acids, but it also contains electrolytes that help to maintain the hydration of the body during intense exercises.
It is completely a natural vegan BCAA with no artificial sweeteners included. With a fruity taste, this Truth Nutrition Vegan BCAA Protein Powder enhances your performance and endurance, strengthens muscle and keeps you energized for a long period of time.
It’s totally free of any added colors, chemicals or flavors whatsoever. So, you’ll only get plant-based BCAAs that will encourage you to reach your fitness goals.
“Really a great product! Clean as well as refreshing taste. Best of all, this stuff works! I haven’t been nearly as sore after my intense workouts since taking BCAA and feel a little extra boost in my performance! I absolutely love the peace of mind knowing this is a clean product. Highly recommend!”
- FDA certified 100% vegan
- Features fruity taste without any horrible aftertaste
- Doesn’t contain fermented BCAAs
- Doesn’t mix well with liquids
The NAKED Nutrition’s Naked BCAAs Amino Acids Powder comes in a big jar containing 5g of BCAAs per serving and it provides more than 100 servings which is actually a worthy investment. With the essential amino acids as valine, isoleucine and leucine, it also comes with easy dissolving fats to give you a lean body or the muscles you long for.
It also reduces fatigue and muscle soreness which you get from spending hours at the gym. Naked Nutrition has developed an amazing 2:1:1 amino acid ratio which strengthens your body before a tough workout routine and also repairs muscle damage after a workout in no time.
This vegan amino acid powder is totally an unflavored BCAA supplement which is gluten-free, GMO-free and contains no soy and artificial sweeteners.
“When you open the jar, it definitely smells like ass and a chemistry lab. However the taste really isn’t that horrible at all. I use the zero calorie drink enhancer when I drink it and it’s fine, I cannot even smell it after I add it in the drink. Definitely has helped me with soreness and recovery a lot.”
- Contains the perfect BCAA ratio to provide fast and visible results
- Provides enough product that lasts long
- Effectively repairs muscle soreness
- Features pharmaceutical grade ingredients
- Many reviewers complain about its nasty smell
- May contribute to increased blood pressure
The Kaged Muscle amino acid supplement contains fermented BCAAs and is a GMO-free and gluten-free product. It enhances your muscle growth and endurance. With the perfect 2:1:1 ratio of amino acids, this product offers up to 72 servings which will last long.
Kaged Muscle BCAA powder also works magically to reduce muscle tension from your body after intense muscle-building workout sessions to help you stay energized throughout the day.
“This stuff is absolutely just amazing. I always get very sore after workouts. Taking this stuff, completely eliminates any muscle fatigue and so I am ready to hit the gym again the next day. I mix it with my favorite flavored protein powder, and so I can’t even taste it.”
- Offers the perfect ratio of BCAAs for effective results
- Enhances the recovery of muscle damage
- Maximizes muscle mass with fermented BCAAs
- Many buyers complain about its sour taste
What Are the Benefits of BCAAs?
Branched-chain amino acids, also known as BCAAs, are important nutrients that create building blocks for muscle growth appreciating the vital protein synthesis. Apart from helping in building muscles, BCAAs also benefit your body in many ways. These are –
1. Weight Loss Effect
Among the three amino acids, leucine helps in increasing fat oxidation. Thus, it helps in weight loss. A good quality BCAA supplement stimulates weight loss to burn the unwanted fat and have a healthy body.
2. Improves Workout Sessions
BCAA supplements draw a great impact on your workout sessions. It burns fat and makes the muscle recovery process quicker so that you feel more energized during strenuous workouts. Many athletes consider taking a BCAA supplement before or after their workout sessions. You can try out some good vegan pre-workout supplements too like the StrongGirl Supplement or Motiv8 Supplement for a better workout session and weight loss.
3. Reduces Muscle Soreness
BCAA supplements evidently reduce muscle soreness which you get after long intense workout sessions. Your body usually takes much time to repair the damage. But a BCAA supplement repairs the damage faster and relieves the soreness and tiredness which you get after doing an intense muscle building workout. Also, you’re most likely to feel less fatigue and more energized the next day. To improve your workout performance and muscle strength, you can take Creatine supplements.
What Makes Vegan BCAAs Different
The main source of non-vegan BCAAs is Keratin. Now, two of the raw ingredients which are used to produce this keratin are – duck feathers and human hair!
But, the manufacturing process of vegan BCAA supplements does not resemble any of the squeamish ingredients. The method of making plant-based BCAA supplements is known as microbial fermentation which takes several days and the raw ingredients used in this method are glucose, corn or soy. Many vegetarian BCAA supplements include dairy. So, an amino-acid supplement which is made out of plant-based ingredients and is completely GMO-free,dairy -free and gluten-free, can be called a perfect vegan BCAA supplement.
How to Choose the Best Vegan BCAAs
There are many things which you have to keep in mind when you are in search of a plant-based organic BCAA powder. After going through the ingredient-list, when you don’t find any non-vegan elements, you heave a sigh of relief out of utter satisfaction. But, vegan ingredients are not the only thing you should look for before buying any supplement. There are many things which can cause trouble if not taken seriously before purchasing. So always consider these factors below in order to choose the perfect BCAA supplement for you –
Brand plays an important role in selecting any product. A brand which is known to make genuine and high-quality products, will always attract consumers. Many a time’s vegans get betrayed by brands that are not clear about their ingredients or the manufacturing process. So, we should stay away from those self-proclaimed ‘best vegan’ brands and trust our eyes and ears more.
Though it seems quite childish, taste is an important factor in choosing any amino acid supplement. Because we can’t keep shoving down any drink which has a terrible taste. Flavor plays a vital part especially in the case of supplements which we have to take very often. So try not to neglect this factor and always see what other customers are saying about the taste of a particular supplement if you can. For the once looking for taste more and an overall nutrient rich supplement, you can try out vegan spirulina supplement.
There are some brands which make over-priced products claiming to incorporate better ingredients than other brands. But you should always do the math on how much you are spending compared to how many servings you get before investing in an amino acid supplement.
A vegan BCAA supplement enhances the growth of muscle mass and stimulates protein synthesis in your body. It’s best to incorporate an amino acid supplement in your diet if you want to be lean or muscular or even if you are trying to lose weight.
The whole article might seem quite long but it’s necessary to research about every kind of supplement before consuming it to avoid causing any potential harm to your health. Because your health is your most valuable possession and it cannot be handled carelessly at any cost.