Following a vegan diet means many things to many people, firstly you need to be aware of every ingredient in your food, be sure you are eating a well-balanced diet, and most importantly, you must be sure to supplement any missing nutrients in your diet, to keep yourself as healthy as possible.
If you lead a vegan lifestyle and working out is part of your daily schedule, this will be of great interest to you.
Going vegan is one of the best decisions you can make for a host of reasons, and you can rest assured you are doing your bit for the environment, your body, and animals, of course, but there is so much more to being vegan than you might think.
One of the key ways to keep yourself healthy is to work out and get regular exercise, and you need to make sure your body has enough energy to keep you going.
if your main focus is to build muscle, then this article will be filled with crucial essential information, tips, and facts, which will significantly benefit you on your fitness journey.
So, if you are keen to learn more about veganism and fitness and how they can go hand in hand, stick around for our vegan BCAA guide on maximizing your workout results.
But first, if this is all new to you, let’s start with the meaning of BCAA and, most importantly, what vegan BCAA actually means.
What is BCAA Versus Vegan BCAA? -The Main Differences
BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids, and put simply, these are a group of three essential amino acids the body needs to repair muscles, but also to build them in the first place, so you can see how these can be important for those who work out.
We label these chain amino acids as essential because our bodies cannot make them, so we must make sure we eat the right foods to support our bodies, especially if we are leading a vegan diet.
Since BCAAs have only been discovered by scientists in the mid-1800s, there is ongoing research into how they help the body, all of which are continuously expanding, which means that this is a subject we should keep an eye on as it evolves.
However, for the most part, we know these elements are necessary for repairing muscles after exercise and supporting the immune system.
Therefore, while some believe using BCAA supplements can enhance your performance, this is a myth. With this being said, taking supplements will undoubtedly maximize your workout results, allowing your muscles to recover nicely, but we will discuss this further.
So, where do BCAAs come from?
If you are not leading a vegan diet, you can source BCAAs from eggs, beef, chicken breast, tuna, and wild salmon, to name a few; however, it does not stop there.
Even those who don’t follow a vegan diet take supplements of BCAAs because it is not guaranteed that you will get all the grams needed from these food sources since they have to be broken down and absorbed by your body.
Supplements of BCAA mean that you get the total amount directly, which in turn has a more significant impact on your body and ensures your requirements are met.
What about Vegan BCAAs?
Considering the primary food sources in which you can obtain these essential amino acids are all non-vegan, vegans must source their BCAAs from a vegan source.
Don’t get us wrong, there are various ways to ensure you get your hands on natural BCAAs, such as by eating soybeans, spirulina, hemp seeds, mung beans, lentils, oats, nuts, and seeds, but it does not stop there.
One major thing to note is that vegans may not absorb the BCAAs present in these foods that easily, and this can lead to feeling fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, and even frequent injuries when taking part in sports, so it is essential to be in tune with your body to figure out if you are deficient in vegan BCAAs.
Therefore, it is necessary for both vegans and non-vegans to ensure they have enough of these three amino acids – Valine, Leucine, and Isoleucine in their diet, not just if they are regular exercise enthusiasts, but for general overall health.
When it comes to BCAAs, it is worth knowing that they are necessary for brain health as well as immune health to maintain a healthy weight and quick recovery from injuries.
Still, if you are an athlete or work out frequently, vegan BCAAs are essential to maximizing your efforts. So let us tell you a little more about the benefits of vegan BCAAs right here.
The Benefits of Vegan BCAA – How Vegan BCAAs Can Help
We all know that working out takes a lot out of you, which is why it is called ‘working out, so of course, it is important not to strain your body to the point of injury or slow recovery.
Vegans are more susceptible to being deficient in these essential amino acids, so it can be worth considering your current diet and making any necessary changes or amendments.
Let’s discuss the benefits of vegan BCAAs in detail from both food sources and supplements to understand why these are so essential for the body.
- Leucine allows protein synthesis, which in turn leads to muscle building.
- Isoleucine promotes the absorption and use of glucose.
- Valine helps recovery during and after intense physical exercise.
- Taking vegan BCAAs allows athletes to follow ethics, convictions, and diet.
- Taking BCAAs will increase your energy levels.
- You can promote weight loss and maintain a healthy weight by taking vegan BCAAs into the diet.
- You will experience less muscle soreness and improved recovery time after your workout.
- Prevents muscle wasting
- It dramatically supports those who may have liver diseases.
You can benefit significantly by taking vegan BCAAs from food, supplements, or both, especially if exercise is a part of your lifestyle or you have noticed some symptoms associated with BCAA deficiency.
However, when it comes to vegan BCAAs and the foods from which they are sourced, there are some things you need to know.
BCAAs have a whole host of benefits, which we have mentioned, but they cannot do their job correctly unless you are receiving complete proteins in your diet, and that is why you should focus on having a well-balanced diet, as well as BCAA supplements.
Let us explain how you can benefit from natural sources.
Soy Beans have a host of benefits, especially for those who want to maximize their workout; given that these readily available foods are packed full of protein, they are the only complete protein in a vegan diet.
While chia seeds, hemp seeds, and even quinoa grains are close contenders, it is worth noting that soya beans are a fantastic source of vegan BCAAs and ensure you are getting all the essential acids you need in one go.
You can source these from various foods if you have a varied diet, but if you don’t, this is a surefire way to feel complete again. So, get those soya beans! Tofu, tempeh, and soya milk are excellent ways to add vegan BCAAs into your diet and reap the rewards, especially as an athlete.
We could talk all day about the benefits of mung beans and why you should add them to your diet, but we are sure that once you start incorporating these beans, which are one of the richest in vegan BCAAs, you will see what we mean.
Apart from controlling your blood glucose levels, reducing cholesterol, and promoting weight loss, these magic beans are guaranteed to maximize your workout results since they are full of healthy goodness.
This highly nutritious food is typical in Asian dies=ts and is well known for its a
Spirulina is one of the best food sources for vegans, given that it is jam-packed full of vegan BCAAs and vital nutrients that our bodies need.
Featuring proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins, carotenoids, minerals, and essential fatty acids, spirulina has come to be known as a superfood – and that it is.
It generally comes in a powder form, which is easily sprinkled on food, added to smoothies or juices, and this superfood is, in fact, one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the entire planet and has been used for Centuries.
Otherwise known as hemp protein, hemp seeds are a great way to include vegan BCAAs into your diet and should be had if you want to increase your intake of healthy fats, proteins, and minerals.
There is a wide range of health benefits when it comes to hemp seeds, and you can expect to notice an improvement in digestion, joint health, skin condition, and many more benefits.
In addition, you will increase your fiber and mineral, and vitamin intake by including hemp seeds in your diet, so these are worth getting your hands on.
Not only are lentils readily available, affordable, tasty, and versatile, but they are full of the necessary vegan BCAAs and are high in zinc, iron, and protein, which vegans can lack.
In addition, split lentils are the best variety to eat a few times per week as they are easily digested, leaving your body’s available energy to support other systems.
Nuts and seeds are standard in vegan diets, but did you know that they provide more than just omega-three fatty acids and protein? Not all nuts are the same, so it is best to source a variety of nuts and make your trail mix that can be eaten on the go as a healthy snack and a healthy source of vegan BCAAs. Here are our recommendations of where to get the most vegan BCAAs:
- Walnuts – in that order.
Growing up, we’ve all been told that eating oats every morning makes for a healthy outcome, but did anyone ever mention just how great our everyday oats are for vegan BCAAs?
In addition, many studies have been done to see the effect of oats on the body.
For example, this study shows that athletes supplemented with oat-sourced protein reduced muscle soreness and quicker recovery after exercise.
So, if you are looking for the best ways to support your body and maximize your workout routine, then make sure to eat your oats each day.
Vegan BCAA Supplements – Plant-Based Options
While many vegan food sources are high in vegan BCAAs and a host of other nutrients vegans can lack, supplements are still recommended to ensure you get the right amount in your diet.
Vegans are encouraged to take certain supplements such as Vitamin B12 and sometimes Iron and Zinc, with B12 being the most important since it is hard to get into a vegan diet.
In addition, when it comes to exercise and maximizing your workout routine, you must take good care of your body, especially your muscles, which will lead you to better results.
If you are wondering how to maximize your workout results, then don’t fret because this is coming up soon, but for now, let’s explain a little more about vegan BCAA supplements and what it means to include them in your diet.
Why include vegan BCAA supplements in your diet?
Yes, there may be many food sources out there that can give you plenty of protein, including essential amino acids.
However, a vegan diet tends to lack a ‘complete protein’ intake, which is where supplements come in. BCAA supplements are prevalent amongst those who incorporate fitness into their lifestyle and bodybuilders looking to gain muscle.
If this is your aim, supplements can significantly benefit your muscles’ health and overall results.
You will notice a considerable difference with regular use of organic and ethically sourced BCAA supplements, increasing your energy, speeding up your recovery, and promoting other bodily processes.
Vegans need to watch out, though, as many BCAA supplements are not vegan and can be sourced from keratin – a protein found in hair, feathers, skin, etc. and is sourced from animals in this case.
Don’t worry; there are plenty of plant-based, ethically sourced vegan BCAAs, which we will discuss now.
Are you choosing the right vegan BCAA supplements?
Not all BCAA supplements are the same, so it is essential to always look for an organic brand that relies on plant-based sources – and there are many.
In addition, many vegan BCAA supplements are synthesized by fermented vegetables rather than animal sources, which will align with your core concept of veganism.
Top organic and sustainable choices
- Snap Supplements BCAA Powder
This pomegranate and watermelon flavored protein powder are just delicious and entirely cruelty-free.
This option ticks many boxes since it has the required vegan BCAAs and a nitric acid booster which will aid your concentration when working out – and we all know how important focus is.
As well as this, it guarantees to replenish any lost electrolytes during your workout, which is a bonus and saves you from having to source a separate supplement for this.
- Performance Lab BCAA Vegan Capsules
This vegan BCAA supplement comes in capsule form and is ideal if you want a quick and easy addition to your diet without needing to conjure up a protein-based drink.
This also has a 2:1:1 proportion ratio of the essential amino acids, which have been proven to help with athletic endurance.
As well as the usual benefits concerning muscle health, the outer shell, which is made from fermented tapioca, has some added benefits since it has prebiotic fibers and can significantly improve your body’s nutrient absorption.
We’re all about those bonuses, right?
- Truth Nutrition Vegan BCAA powder
This delicious protein powder, jam-packed full of goodness, comes in four flavors, so it is ideal for those who want something tasty before hitting the gym.
Who said protein powders had to be boring? It contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and is 100% plant-based, which is what we are looking for when finding an ethical vegan supplement.
You will reap all the benefits, including increased endurance, better performance, more focus, and quick recovery after each workout, which you will notice very quickly.
- Naked Nutrition Vegan BCAAs Amino Acid Powder
This vegan BCAA supplement powder is flavorless and perfect for anyone who doesn’t seek out the fruitiest flavors when adding a protein powder to their diet.
This option has nothing to hide and features many benefits, including being gluten-free, free of preservatives and artificial colors, and entirely cruelty-free. What more could you want?
- Genius Brand BCAA Powder Focus & Energy
Judging by the name, you can almost assume that this option has something to do with brain health, right?
Well, it’s true; the Genius vegan BCAA has a specialized formula that increases focus, relieve stress, and provides all the necessary benefits that a usual BCAA supplement would.
Therefore, it is ideal as a pre-workout option, especially for those looking to maximize their workout results and provide their body with all the essential and additional benefits.
- Clean Machine BCAA
This could be an excellent choice for those who work out hard and tend to sweat a lot since this option guarantees to put all those lost electrolytes and water back in your body instantly.
If you know about the importance of electrolytes in the body, you will see that they need to be replenished quickly to avoid any adverse effects, and that is where Clean Machine comes in.
But, of course, this has to be considered if you are a keen gym goer.
- Kaged Muscle BCAA
This 100% plant-based vegan BCAA supplement is GMO-free and gluten-free. It provides the ideal ratio of 2:1:1 for all three essential amino acids and enhances muscle growth, endurance, and recovery.
The bonus of this particular supplement is that it also helps to reduce muscle tension post-workout, which any athlete will agree, is welcomed.
How to Maximize Your Workout Results – The Key Components
Yes, BCAAs have many overall benefits, but if you are a bodybuilder, avid gym goer, or an athlete, then knowing about these essential amino acids is crucial for maximizing your workout results, and your muscles will thank you.
In a study from 2013, researchers put BCAAs to the test.
They created two groups of men of similar physical fitness and told them to cycle until they became exhausted. In this experiment, one-half of the group had consumed a pre-workout drink with BCAAs, while the other half had a placebo (bottled water only), and the results were proof enough that BCAAs made a big difference.
During the results, researchers discovered that during the cycling stage, blood levels of serotonin (which plays a role in exercise fatigue) were low in the group who had taken BCAAs beforehand.
But, at the same time, it also improved energy metabolism, exercise performance, and lower levels of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase – which would indicate muscle damage.
By taking vegan BCAA supplements, you can gain significant advantages if you want to maximize your workout results.
Here are some of the main things you will benefit from when these are taken frequently and in the correct dosage.
- Lean Muscle Mass
- Reduced Muscle Damage
- Increased Endurance
- Weight Loss
- Increased Brain Function
- Decreased Exhaustion
- Reduced Muscle Soreness
- Increased Energy
How can BCAAs benefit bodybuilders and sportspeople?
Bodybuilders and athletes can benefit from taking BCAAs for many reasons, primarily with the support it gives to their muscles.
We have mentioned this earlier, but let’s get into detail, so you can fully understand how these essential amino acids can help you on your fitness journey.
These three essential amino acids make up 35% of muscle protein, and you could say these three are the building blocks for muscle gain, so bodybuilding and BCAAs go hand in hand.
However, each of these proteins has a different aim.
For example, while leucine is more focused on building muscle proteins, isoleucine and Valine are more focused on increasing your energy levels throughout your routine.
Another bonus is that Valine also brings more glucose to your muscles which aids a more robust and more vigorous workout without causing damage to your muscles.
You might wonder why you should take them, how much you should take them, and when you should take them, so let us answer these critical questions.
Firstly, there is no specific dosage you should take; this all depends on your muscle-building goals, but it is essential not to take too much but instead follow the guidelines of the supplements you have chosen.
Secondly, it is not easy to know if you are getting enough of these essential amino acids from foods, especially from plant-based foods, and by taking these supplements, you can be sure to support your body when working out.
Any bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast looking to build muscle knows that protein synthesis is the crucial feature of leucine, which helps to create complete proteins needed to gain lean muscle.
Working out puts a lot of pressure on your body, especially your muscles, and if you have big fitness goals, you will strive to push your body to its capacity, which can have damaging effects if you are not fully supporting it.
Taking BCAAs can reassure you that you are preventing overuse of your muscles, long-lasting injuries, and muscle fatigue which can occur quickly with a strenuous routine.
How can BCAAs help with regular workouts and staying healthy?
Of course, you don’t need to be on a hardcore fitness journey or be a bodybuilder to benefit from BCAAs, since any exercise strains our muscles.
Of course, the dosage and how often you take the supplements will depend on your fitness goals, but that is not to say that the average joe who works out 3-4 times per week cannot benefit from these.
If you thought BCAAs were purely linked to muscle gain, then you would be wrong because these essential amino acids promote weight loss, too, in a healthy way, since leucine increases fat oxidation. In addition,
Valine increases your energy levels which will strengthen your workout. Many of us have suffered from muscle fatigue or muscle tension and pain after a workout, no matter how strenuous.
All bodies are different, and introducing BCAA supplements into your diet will significantly reduce this common occurrence. It will instead protect your muscles and prevent further injury.
Our Top Tips – Things to Take Note of
We have some top tips for you to keep in mind when introducing BCAA supplements into your diet, and if you are vegan, you will need to remember these things.
- Continuously research, research, and research to ensure that you are getting BCAAS from a plant-based source since many of them come from animal sources.
- It is best to source BCAAs from the vegan food sources we mentioned earlier, as well as taking supplements to support your body fully, and having a well-balanced diet is vital.
- Try which is best for you. There are wide varieties of vegan BCAA out there that come in capsule or powder form, as well as a host of flavors, so check out what is available and see what best suits your tastes and lifestyle.
- BCAAs are suitable for everyone; whether you are a pro athlete, a bodybuilder, or just like to keep fit, your body will reap the benefits and stay supported for longer.
- The best ratio to follow is 2:1:1 for Leucine to Isoleucine to Valine, so check this when choosing a good supplement.
- A supplement is not a replacement for regular food, so always add these to your already balanced diet rather than think that you can cut out plant-based sources for protein powder. These work well together and will help to maximize your results in weight loss, muscle gain, and overall health.
- Six grams of BCAAs should provide about 3 grams of leucine and 1.5 grams of isoleucine and Valine.
- The best time to take BCAA supplements is 30 minutes before working out and 30 minutes after, both to increase energy, increase muscle gain, and soothe the muscles afterward.
- Drinking your mixture throughout the day is not advised, as consuming too much can have the opposite effect and lead to health issues. Instead, always take in moderation and listen to your body.
So, there you have it, our guide to using vegan BCAAs to maximize your workout results. It is something vegans should take advantage of since the vegan diet can lack various nutrients.
If you are ready to get into a fitness routine or are already an exercise enthusiast, then BCAAs can help you out.
As we mentioned, there are various ways to get BCAAs naturally and from supplements, and the benefits from each of these sources.
Hence, it is best to see what suits you and focus on sourcing plant-based vegan BCAAs from ethical brands.
One of the key ways to know if you are lacking in these essential acids is to listen to your body, and if you notice signs we have mentioned before, then chances are your body is trying to tell you something.
In addition, once you introduce these essential components into your diet, you will notice significant differences in energy, muscle gain, and quick recovery after workouts.
This will let you know that this addition is proving beneficial.
Lastly, vegan BCAA supplements are a fantastic way of enhancing your physical performance but should not replace your well-balanced diet or plant-based sources of BCAA foods; combining these is precisely what your body craves.
These can also benefit those who notice they get fuller quickly, lack energy, or find it hard to maintain a healthy weight.
Hence, the advantages of supplementing vegan BCAAs into your diet are endless.
So, if you are embarking on a fitness journey or want to support your body, you need to get your hands on some vegan BCAA supplements and ensure your diet is adequate – and in turn, your body will thank you.