Are you getting enough vegan amino acids? It’s estimated that about 1% of the world’s population is on the vegan diet. Humans need to get all the amino acids needed. This can be tougher if you don’t consume meat, eggs, and dairy. That’s because those foods are “complete proteins.” In other words, they have enough of all 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) required daily. If you’re not consuming animal products then you might need amino acid supplements. That’s because they can help to boost your intake of the building blocks of proteins. Some supplements have all EAAs and others with blends like branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
When picking vegan-friendly amino supplements it can be tougher than normal. That’s because you’ll have to pick dietary supplements that are free of all animal products. That can be tougher than taking any supplements that have animal/plant-based ingredients. It’s important to know some of the best products in the market worth over $115 billion (2018). The good news is many supplements do not cater to vegans/vegetarians and label their products as being as such. This can help you to determine which amino supplements are vegan-friendly. This allows you to get all the nutrients you need.
Vegan Amino Acids
People need to consume enough amino acids during the day. That includes 9 essential amino acids (EAAs). These are aminos that the body doesn’t produce naturally. So it’s required for people to get them from food and supplements.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. The two main kinds of protein sources include “complete” and “incomplete proteins. Complete proteins are mostly animal-sourced foods. They include:
There are some plant-based complete proteins like quinoa and soybeans. However, in most cases, 2+ plant-based incomplete proteins must be combined to make them complete proteins. Some examples include whole-wheat bread + peanut butter, bean soup + crackers, and whole wheat naan + hummus.
It might be tougher for vegans to get enough aminos from food. This is due to various reasons like most plant-based foods being incomplete proteins. The good news is there are amino acid supplements that can add to the total intake of amino acids.
It’s worth noting that the best source of protein/amino acids is always real food. Vegan and non-vegan must get most of their nutrients from food. That includes amino acids. While there are natural/organic dietary supplements they’re not whole foods and still made in a factory.
The function of dietary supplements should only be to add to a healthy/well-balanced diet. When picking a supplement vegans must search for supplements that are 100% plant-based. In other words, they should contain no meat, eggs, dairy, etc.
There are several amino supplements on the market. Some are complete proteins and include all 9 EAAs. Others like BCAA include a blend of amino acids but not all of the EAAs. Then there are single amino acid supplements that only include one amino. It’s important to consider your dietary needs.
Top Vegan Amino Acid Supplements
1. L-Isoleucine by Nutricost
This amino acid is less-known but important and one of the BCAAs. It’s important for building muscle, regulating energy, and muscle recovery. This product is non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free.
2. L-Threonine/B6 by Health4All
This EAA is important for proteins like collagen/elastin. It’s also important for the skin/muscles. The amino acid can also boost the immune system and help turn fat into energy.
3. L-Lysine HIS by Natural Nutra
L-lysine is an EAA that can help to process protein, absorb calcium, and produce energy. This substance is also rare in plant-based foods.
4. L-Tryptophan by Pure Science
This product is a good option for vegans. The supplement provides outstanding value. It has a vegan-friendly formula to promote a positive mood, increase relaxation, and reduce anxiety.
5. L-Tryptophan by Now Supplements
Tryptophan is an EAA that must be consumed from the diet. It has many key functions and helps to make a neurotransmitter that controls sleep, appetite, and mood.
6. L-Tryptophan by Doctor’s Best
This product might meet all your needs for a tryptophan supplement. The manufacturer is well-established. The product is vegan, non-GMO, and gluten/soy-free. This product can improve behavior, sleep, and mood.
7. Fermented Vegan BCAA by Truth Nutrition
This product offers good value for the price. It provides benefits like building muscle mass, increasing endurance, burning fat, etc. The product is 100% natural, plant-based, and fermented.
8. L-Lysine by Rejuvenation Therapeutics
This is one of the toughest amino acids to find in plant-based food. So this is a dietary supplement to consider. This product includes a blend to build muscle and boost the immune system.
9. L-Lysine Supplement by Pure Encapsulations
This product is allergy-friendly. It’s designed to boost the immune system, strengthen bones, etc. The product includes high-quality ingredients and is plant-based, non-GMO, and gluten-free.
10. PerfectAmino XP by BodyHealth
This powder supplement offers all 9 EAAS. You can add it to breakfast smoothies and pre-workout smoothies. There are no added flavorings/sweeteners and it’s sweetened by stevia.
Key Supplements on Vegan Diet
This is a nutrient for making red blood cells and new DNA. It also helps to move oxygen throughout the body via the blood. Iron is also required to process energy. Low iron levels can cause fatigue and anemia.
It’s important to consume enough iodine in your diet. It’s critical for various functions including metabolism and thyroid. A lack of iodine can cause health issues like over-active thyroid. A lack of iodine can cause side-effects like dry skin, hand/feet tingling, weight gain, and memory loss. So it’s critical to make sure you’re getting enough iodine.
The amount of iodine in plant-based foods is based on the amount of iodine in the soil. An example is food grown near the ocean is higher in iodine versus plants that grow farther away.
This is a vitamin that’s found in various foods like dairy. It’s an important vitamin for absorbing phosphorus and calcium. The vitamin is also important for other body functions like memory, mood, and muscles so it’s a critical one. You can get Vitamin D from various plant-based foods and supplements.
More specifically it can be tougher to get long-chain omega-3s when you’re on a plant-based diet. This includes fatty acids like DHA and EPA. The body needs to have enough healthy fat. That’s because if that’s not the case, there’s a higher risk of inflammation, cancer, ADHD, etc. You can find various dietary supplements with this omega-3s.
Various plant-based foods include this vitamin including organic produce, mushrooms, and yeast. There’s some debate about whether or not vegans should be concerned about a Vitamin B12 deficiency. However, many studies show that vegans/vegetarians are at a higher risk of Vitamin B12 so supplements are a good idea like vegan aminos.