Branched chain amino acids or BCAAs are formulated for athletes and bodybuilders who push their muscles to the limit. These nutritional supplements promote endurance and muscle growth while facilitating recovery. There are many benefits to using BCAAs, particularly when the product you choose is sourced from high-quality ingredients suitable for your dietary preferences or restrictions. Whether you eat a vegan or vegetarian, plant-based, or omnivorous diet, you may prefer a BCAA formulation derived from plant sources. Read on to learn why plant-based BCAAs are the best choice for athletes seeking to promote overall health and nutrition.
Optimal BCAA Ratios
Plant-based BCAAs can provide the optimal 2:1:1 BCAA blend. This research-supported ratio of two parts leucine to one part isoleucine and one part valine corresponds to the balance which naturally occurs in muscle. Leucine plays an important role in boosting muscle growth by initiating protein synthesis, isoleucine stimulates fat burning and inhibits fat storage, and valine limits the amount of tryptophan that enters the brain to be converted into serotonin. When combined, these amino acids allow muscles to be worked longer without fatigue. It is important to take BCAAs around workouts, whether before to promote endurance and limit fatigue, during, or afterward to refuel.
No-Calorie Natural Sweetener
Plant-based BCAAs have very little sugar – sometimes as little as one gram with no added sugars. If you want to reduce sugar as much as possible while maintaining a delicious taste, look for a product that uses monk fruit sweetener. This no-calorie sweetener sourced from monk fruit or lo han guo, which grows in Southeast Asia, is 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar and does not impact blood sugar levels.
Monk fruit reportedly gets its sweetness from mogrosides, which are antioxidants which may help to reduce oxidative stress. This sweetener may be less risky than crude stevia extracts or other stevia products that are not made from the glycoside Rebaudioside A. Other stevia-sourced sweeteners may impact blood sugar levels or overall health. Some individuals complain about the aftertaste or side effects of stevia, which could make monk fruit a preferable sweetener. Monk fruit sweetener is suitable for people with diabetes or those seeking to manage their weight.
A Balanced Supplement Profile
BCAAs sourced from plants feature a uniquely balanced nutritional profile suited to the needs of athletes who adhere to plant-based, vegan, or vegetarian diets. Additional ingredients such as B12 and the amino acid glutamine help to fill potential deficiencies while providing the nutritional basis for better performance and quicker recovery. The balanced BCAA ratio, ideal source of sweetness, and delicious flavors of plant-based BCAAs can make them the best choice for athletes or health-conscious consumers.
If you are deciding between a standard BCAA formula and a plant-based BCAA version, consider the profile of both supplements and all of the ingredients. Depending on your preferences or dietary requirements, you may find that plant-based BCAAs are the best choice to go along with your plant-based vegan protein powder. Look for a product with a 2:1:1 ratio, monk fruit sweetener, and a performance supplement profile that meets the demands of your diet and exercise regimen.