The fact that you are a vegetarian and that you have cut out all animal products is not a reason to lack an adequate supply of amino acids. Truly, amino acids are abundant in protein foods, which are mostly from animal sources. That’s why most amino acid supplements are made from animal products. However, several plant products contain amino acids too. So, there are supplements from plant products as well. If you are vegetarian, you can always take a vegetarian amino acid supplement. These plant-based products also work well for athletes and bodybuilders. You can also use them just to meet up with your recommended daily requirement of amino acids in case you are not getting enough from your diet.
Let’s face the truth. It is a little bit more difficult for vegetarians to meet up with their amino acid requirements. As a vegetarian, you would have to combine two or more plant foods to get a complete supply of amino. You most likely would need supplemental amino acids if you are vegetarian. But then, most of the supplements out there are also animal-based products. Are there good plant products too? Can you take amino acids and maintain your vegetarian state? Yes, you can.
How to Choose the Best Vegetarian Amino Acid Supplement
When you want to buy a plant-based supplement, you should check the amino acids it contains. You should also check the ratio of the amino acids.
For instance, the best ratio of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) is 2:1:1 of leucine to isoleucine to valine. You will get a full load of benefits from BCAA supplements if you opt for the 2:1:1 blend.
When you go for the 2:1:1 blend; you will notice reduced fatigue as well as an improvement in your endurance. You will also be able to shed off excess fat.
The 2:1:1 blend is not the only blend of BCAAs on the market. Other blends include the 8:1:1 and 4:1:1 ratio.
However, the other blends are not usually as effective. When leucine is too high, it may counter the positive effects that you should get from the other two amino components.
As a vegetarian, you would want to read the label very well before buying a supplement. If you find gelatin on the label, then avoid the product.
Gelatin is usually from animal connective tissue, mostly from pigs and cows. This makes it an animal product.
Another source of gelatin is glyceryl monostearate. This is also usually a derivative of animal fats. Unless “vegetable glyceryl monostearate” is written clearly on the label, don’t buy such products.
Take note of the source that the amino acids are gotten from. Be sure that the supplement is purely made from vegetarian sources.
As funny as it may sound, some BCAA supplements are made from pig hair, duck feathers, and the likes. These are not only absurd but also quite gross for a vegetarian. Make sure that the supplement you are getting is from a vegetarian source such as corn.
A few brands include natural ingredients in their mix. Examples of such ingredients include coconut water and sunflower lecithin. They use these ingredients to enhance the electrolyte content of the mix.
These ingredients may not be harmful. However, you are safer with a product that has a very short ingredient list. With such a list, it is less likely to sneak in animal products.
As much as possible, get only the products that have “plant-based” or “vegan” clearly written on the label. This will help clear any form of confusion.
The Top 9 Vegetarian Amino Supplements
This list will be in two groups. We will first talk about the top 5, and then we will talk about the other supplements that make the top 9. The first 5 on the list of top 9 vegetarian amino supplements are as follows:
1. Raw Barrel Brand
Each tablet of this product contains 1,000mg of net BCAAs. Half a pill will give you the same dose of amino supplements as capsule supplements or one serving of traditional powders.
This brand does not contain added bull or fillers, so it won’t weigh down your body. It is a pure plant product, so it is very good for vegetarians. More so, the tablets are very easy to swallow.
2. Micro Ingredients Brand (Pea protein)
This supplement comes from non-GMO corn. It is not only plant-based, but it is also purely organic. This means the BCAAs in this product is 100 percent clean, pure, and vegetarian.
It is an ‘instantized’ powder that contains sunflower lecithin. This is also a plant-based product. It helps to make an easy mix with the powder.
What’s more, the Micro Ingredients brand is the 2:1:1 optimal blend of BCAAs. It contains no preservatives, artificial sweeteners, or additives.
3. Clean Machine Brand
This brand boasts of being a whole-food product. The formula is unflavored and makes an easy mix. You can mix it with water, juice, or protein shake.
Furthermore, it has no sugar and contains zero net carbs. It is free of gluten, soy, GMOs, additives, sweeteners, and preservatives. You can take this formula either before or after your workout.
4. Solgar Brand
The market name of this brand is BCAA plus. It comes in the form of a gel capsule and is made exclusively from vegetarian ingredients. Even the soft gel is 100 percent plant-based. It is also kosher parve and gluten-free.
Aside from the three BCAAs, Solgar also includes vitamin B6 in their product. Vit. B6 is essential for the metabolism of amino acids. That’s an added advantage you get from this product.
5. FundAminos Brand
This brand is also 100 percent plant-based. It contains essential as well as non-essential amino acids. There is a natural strawberry and lime flavor in it. It contains no artificial ingredients.
The other supplements that make the top 9 are as follows:
- Optimum Nutrition Brand (Gold standard; 100 percent organic)
- Elevate Plant-powdered supplements (BCAAs)
- Truth Sports Brand (BCAA powder supplement)
- Sport Organic Supplement (100% Plant-based with chocolate flavor)
Other Relevant Information
It doesn’t matter whether the supplements if flavored or it is plain. What matters the most is that it is completely plant-based. So you should also make sure that the flavor is natural and not from additives.
If you are going for a powdered supplement, be sure about how to mix it. Various options would range from water to juice, smoothies, non-dairy milk, oatmeal, and so on.
As you take your time to explore different vegetarian amino acid supplement brands, don’t forget to compare prices. However, remember that the overall price is not as important as the price per weight. That’s how you get the best value for your money.