What are Vegan BCAA’s? Marketing hype, or an essential supplement?

Today we take a look at just what Vegan BCAA’s actually are, if you need them, and the best ones to go for.

In a Hurry? Here are the top 3 Vegan BCAA’s that we’ve picked:

Vegan BCAA Supplement – Xellerate Nutrition

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BCAA, 120 Capsules Premium BCAA – FoodSpring

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Vegan BCAA Powder Fruit Blast – 10X Athletic

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Also known as Branched Chain Amino Acids, BCAAs are supplements that help with anabolic strength and muscle growth. This is because they contain leucine, isoleucine, and valine amino acids that synthesize proteins in the body to help boost strength and energy. Thus, the BCAAs are ideal for pre and post workouts. For most vegans finding the best vegan BCAAs isn’t an easy task since they have to adhere to a diet that’s free of any animal products. But the good news is that we have done thorough research to bring you some of the industry’s finest Vega BCAA’s. These BCAA supplements are formulated using natural ingredients that are GMO-free, Gluten-free, and Dairy-free to safeguard your health. Better yet, they are available in various flavours to ensure you enjoy every tablet for optimum results.

How to choose the best Vegan BCAA’s

If you are wondering how to find the best BCAA’s, the following are a few factors for you to put into considerations

Taste

A supplement with a bad taste is not desirable and can prevent people from consuming it. So it is important to consider whether the BCAA supplement comes in capsules, pills, or powder form. This is because pills and capsules are convenient to take since you don’t have to mix them with water. Powdered supplements, on the other hand, may leave an after taste since you have to mix with water.

Brand

When it comes to getting the best vegan BCAAs the company behind the product matters. A well-known brand normally offers a pure product that is free of banned substances or harmful contaminants. Therefore, choose a product whose manufacturer is reputable and popular with most buyers to get a supplement you can trust.

Value for Money

BCAAs are not the cheapest of supplements but this does not mean you pay more than what the supplement is worth. Therefore, to get great value for your money, choose a supplement that offers a lot of servings in a single purchase irrespective of the quality of the ingredients.

Here are Nutral’s top 9 Best Vegan BCAA Supplements:

1. Xellerate Nutrition – 1000mg BCAA’s 425 Tablets

Unlike many BCAA supplements that have been imported, the Xellerate Nutrition BCAA Tablet is made right in the UK to safeguard the highest standards in the world. It is made without fish, nuts, lactose, milk, soya, wheat, or gluten for you to buy with no second thoughts. This BCAA supplement contains 425 high-quality tablets to keep you replenished with a 2:1:1 ratio. Each tablet has a massive 1000mg which is much stronger than leading brands to help you reduce the number of tablets you need to take.

2. FoodSpring 120 Capsules Premium Vegan BCAAs

The foodspring 120 Capsules Premium Vegan BCAAs is a 3-piece power pack consisting of leucine, valine, and isoleucine. All the ingredients are plant-based and 100% vegan to create all-rounder amino acids with excellent bioavailability.  Thus, this supplement will provide you with a constant power level to support your active regeneration. Moreover, it has undergone a sustainable and nutrient-friendly process to reassure you of the highest quality standards.

3.  10X Athletic Vegan BCAA 240g, Fruit Blast

The Vegan BCAA supplement from 10X Athletic comes as part of their fantastic offering of a full stack of vegan-friendly supplements. We’re a big fan of the entire range of supplements that 10X bring to the market, and the fact that their products are informed sport certified is testament to the overall quality and attention to detail that has gone in to their product development.

This Vegan BCAA supplement is completely sugar free and can be taken at any time of the day. Furthermore thanks to using sucralose as the sweetening agent, this product is also suitable for those that are intolerant to sugar alcohols or Stevia.

4. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA Powder

For a supplement that will hit your target areas, consider the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA Powder. It is distinctly made to help stave off fatigue and tiredness so you can go the distance. This supplement has a combination of vitamin C, magnesium, and supporting electrolytes that come together to help push you through to reach your fitness goals. Better yet, it is delicious and refreshing to encourage regular sipping while you work out.

5. Opal Fitness BCAA Tablet – 1200mg

Whether you are pushing your body to its limits in an intensive gym session or taking part in high-energy sports, the OPALFITNESS BCAA Tablet will come in handy. It is composed of vitamin B6, which is vital for the metabolism of BCAA to help increase its absorption. This supplement contains Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine in ratio 2:1:1 to aid muscle growth. Furthermore, it delivers exceptional results with just 2 to 4 takes per workout.

6. Scivation XTEND Hydrasport

Whatever your fitness goal or sport choice is, the Scivation XTEND Hydrasport BCAA Powder can help you train harder, recover quicker, and get back in the game sooner. It contains a unique blend of performance ingredients and hydrating electrolytes to help you repair, refuel, and recover. And unlike most products that contain 5g of BCAA per serving, this supplement has 7g to provide enough leucine to effectively stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

7. VegaVero 270 Tablets Vegan BCAA

In addition to BCAA, the VEGAVERO 270 Tablets Vegan BCAA contains zinc, chromium, and B vitamins to support the function of the amino acids. It is made with high-quality ingredients following strict German guidelines to safeguard your health. This BCAA supplement has a ratio of 2:1:1 of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine with no bulky agents and additives. Plus, it comes in a 270 tablet bottle to give you great value for money.

8. G&G Vitamins Full Spectrum Amino Acid Capsules – 120 Capsules

Featuring full-spectrum amino acids, the G&G Vitamins Full Spectrum Amino Acid Capsules provide all the 20 amino acids utilised by the human body at an ideal ratio. Being freeform the amino acids do not require digestion to allow for faster delivery into the body. These amino acids are made through fermented enzymes, meaning they have no animal products. Furthermore, they are GMO-free, gluten-free, and free from colouring and artificial preservatives.

9. Love Life Supplements Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s)

The Love Life Supplements Essential Amino Acids boasts a new formula derived completely from fermented corn. It is, therefore, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO for you to buy confidently. This BCAA supplement comes in 300 tablets per tub to give you up to 1-2 months’ supply. As if that’s not enough, each serving contains 5 to 10g of EAA to ensure that a little goes a long way.

10. MyProtein/MyVegan BCAA Sustain – 250g

One portion of the MyProtein Vegan BCAA Sustain Supplement provides 4g of BCAAs and magnesium for electrolyte balance. It contains three amino acids that occur naturally in protein to help build muscle. They include Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine in the ratio of 2:1:1 to ensure optimum performance. Moreover, this supplement is composed of natural ingredients to give you a high-quality product free of additives and animal products.

Anyone who has ever spent more than 5 minutes browsing the supplement category on Amazon will have come across Vegan BCAA or Branched Chain Amino Acid supplements. They are literally everywhere, and to the uninitiated, they can all look very much the same.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) come in all shapes, sizes and flavours (literally), and yet they all seem to do the same thing.

So obviously the real question here is, What are BCAA’s, and why do I need them? Well that’s why we’re here.

We wanted to answer some of your most burning questions and also hopefully recommend to you what we believe to be the best vegan-friendly and plant-based BCAA’s on the market today.

So let’s get right down to it, and start with one of the most important questions about BCAA’s:

What are Vegan BCAA’s?

Okay, so let’s start right at the top.

BCAA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids. These amino acids account for up to 35% of your muscle mass, and act as the ‘building blocks’ of muscle growth and protein synthesis.

BCAA’s are ‘Essential’, meaning that your body is not able to synthesize them on its own through what you eat and drink, as opposed to ‘Non-Essential’, which basically means that your body is able to synthesize these Amino Acids simply through what you eat and drink. BCAA supplements are made up of the 3 essential amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine typically in a 2:1:1 ratio.

Why do I need BCAA’s in my Diet?

BCAA’s play an essential role in helping to rebuild, grow and repair muscle tissue. In addition to this, the supplementation of BCAA’s can help to reduce muscle damage, soreness and DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) post-workout.

There have also been a number of studies indicating that BCAA’s may have medical uses also. BCAA’s have been used to help treat ALS and other muscular diseases. They have also been thought to benefit brain function in people with advanced liver disease and anorexia.

 

How are BCAA Supplements Made?

There has been a lot of discussion and controversy over the manufacturing process of traditional BCAA supplements, and in most cases, quite rightly too.

For BCAA products that are of the ‘non-fermented’, non-vegan variety, the primary source is Keratin.

Most of you will know that Keratin is primarily found in hair and fingernails. It is a fibrous structural protein that is one of the most concentrated sources of Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine.

So where is Keratin obtained from in such large quantities?

Well, the answer isn’t too appetising.

Two of the main raw ingredients in commercial Keratin production is Duck & Bird feathers and Human Hair.

Yep – Human hair. What the actual Vegan-Heck?!

Supplement Manufacturer Natural Stacks has stated:

“human hair is often used because it’s cheaper and can still be classified as vegetarian”.

In fact, health and dietary supplements are the only example of humans intentionally eating and digesting other humans. The supplement manufacturers use a process that extensively uses solvents and other chemicals to separate the amino acids from the dead tissue.

Another source of Keratin is from Pig skin. The hairs and outer layers of Pig skin are both rich sources of Keratin, and are occasionally favoured for the manufacturing of BCAA powders.

So is this something that you may be looking to avoid in your supplementation? Well read on, because we are going to show you some of the best vegan BCAA alternatives so you can avoid anything ‘hairy’.

“Stop, stop, stop – I’ve had had enough. How can this be Vegan?”

Fortunately there absolutely are Vegan alternatives to this madness. BCAA’s from fermented sources are typically made using corn, fermented alongside a specific type of bacteria to produce the BCAA trio of amino acids.

Here is an extract from the supplement manufacturer Innobio about how the organic fermentation process works:

“L-Leucine is obtained via fermentation of glucose and corn steep liquor using Corynebacterium glutamicum which has been safely used in industrial production of amino acids for a long time. For L-leucine production, sterilized glucose and corn steep liquor are fermented with a nonpathogenic, non-toxigenic species and strain of Corynebacterium glutamicum (MD0032) at 28-30ºC for 2-3 days in a fermentation tank. After fermentation, the broth is passed through an ion exchange resin.”

What should You be Looking for In a Quality BCAA Supplement?

When shopping for BCAA’s, it’s important to keep in mind a few basic requirements.

Firstly, you should always check that the 3 essential amino acids have been included in the generally accepted ratio of 2:1:1.

Secondly, as you should be doing with any supplement that you’ll be putting in to your body: CHECK THE INGREDIENTS! What you put in to your body has a direct effect on how you feel, make sure it’s all good.

Thirdly, SOY. Even though it is technically plant-based, a lot of people are starting to steer-clear of this hidden ingredient, and for good reason too! We won’t dive in to the ins and outs of Soy in this post, however if you’re trying to avoid it then you may be shocked to see it is in a lot of BCAA products!

Soy Lecithin is used to help the supplement mix more effectively, prevent clumping and also separation.

However, Vegan alternatives are available! Sunflower Lecithin is the generally favoured option, and completely eradicates the nasty soy from your lovely Vegan BCAA supplement.

Finally, if you’re opting for an all-Vegan BCAA supplement, check for any hidden nasties. Sometimes flavourings, sweeteners and filling agents can make a product ‘Un-Vegan’.

To save you the hassle and stress of finding the best Vegan BCAA supplement, we’ve done the research for you and have compiled this list of what we recommend you to use.

Conclusion

Choosing the best protein powder doesn’t have to be a difficult task, especially if you know what to consider. And in the above reviews, we have highlighted some of the key features of high-quality protein powders so you know what you are getting into.

Also, there is a buyer’s guide included to make your search easy and quick, good luck.

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Comments
  1. Have you looked into Naked Nutrition’s BCAAs? Wondering if they truly are vegan and where are they manufactured since I understand we may want to steer clear of those products manufactured in China. Thanks for the great list.

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