(Review) What are BCAAs? Are there vegan options?

You here it all the time at the gym “I gotta have my BCAAs” or you may here them being called “branch chains,” right?

I bet you’ve overheard someone talking about their “pre-gym or post-gym” Well most likely they are talking about BCAAs.

So what is this and what’s the hype?

You’re really into fitness or bodybuilding and you want any and every advantage you can get, right?

So is this for you? Are there a vegan brands as well?

First let’s get into the hype, what are BCAAs?

This isn’t breaking news, but branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are just (3) of the 9 essential amino acids. There are 11 non-essential amino acids as well.

These (3) amino acids make up approximately one-­third of muscle protein, adds Koskinen.  Also,  “while other amino acids are metabolized in the liver, BCAAs bypass the liver and head directly to muscles located away from the core.

BCAAs are the building blocks of protein, which helps your body build muscle, repair muscle damage, and regulate immune function, among other things.  These  specific essential amino acids inhibit muscle protein breakdown and aid in glycogen storage:

See related article, for the list of all 20 non-essential & essential amino acids and their purpose:What is protein? Still a popular topic today.

BCAAs For Vegans

There are BCAAs supplements suitable for vegetarians and vegans. With that in mind, labels should still be checked for ingredients like Gelatine, and any animal produce, as some BCAA supplements source their amino acids from animal sources.

Natural vegan dietary BCAA product sources include some of the most common and efficient vegan proteins, including beans and soy. Both beans and soy offer a lot of easily digestible and usable BCAAs, making them efficient choices. You can also eat corn, cashews, brown rice, and almonds to integrate whole-food BCAA sources into your diet.

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The dietary BCAAs for vegans should be just fine for essential amino acids, but vegan athletes and bodybuilders may want a little more, without cheating… They maybe looking for quicker/better recovery, maybe looking to enhance their muscle growth and performance or just overall energy level boost.

Below are some top vegan BCAAs

These products are items from our Amazon affiliate:

These aren’t ranked, what your looking for in a product may vary, depending on your preference.  Here are some great top picks! Click on these for additional information, with no commitment to purchase.

When should you take BCAAs?


BCAAs can be taken before, during, and after workouts to rapidly increase amino acid levels in the bloodstream, promote protein synthesis, and prevent muscle protein breakdown.

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9 Comments

  1. More Vegan products coming out by the day it seems. Thanks for the comment. I’m actually working on a post for next week, with regards to soy. You would be surprised how beneficial it is. There is a myth about soy, really needs to be understood a little better.
    Thanks for taking the time to read these posts, very much appreciated.

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