8 Best Vegan BCAAs For Optimal Results (The Truth Of BCAAs)


Are you looking for Vegan BCAAs? If you are a vegan in the fitness world, you probably know that protein is made up of amino acids and 9 of those are considered essential. This means that they can not be produced by your body and therefore, should be gotten through food.

Of the nine essential amino acids, three are the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They make up for 35% of your muscle mass and must be present for molecular growth and development to take place.

BCAAs supplements have proven to help with workout recovery, either from fatigue or muscle damage and thus, are a very popular supplement in the bodybuilding community.

But, what are BCAAs made of? Are regular BCAAs vegan?

In this article, I’ll tell you the truth about where do regular BCAAs come from as well as what are the best Vegan BCAAs you can find out there.

Best Vegan BCAAs Editor’s Choice

Clean Machine Vegan Clean BCAAs

vegan bcaas

Why we like it:

  • 2:1:1 BCAA’s ratio
  • Made from 100% Fermented Non-GMO corn.
  • Only 4 ingredients
  • Delicious Fruit Punch Flavor
  • Coconut Water Electrolytes
  • Certified Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Soy Free.

What are BCAAs?

Branched Chain Amino Acids are some of the most well-known, well-researched, and beneficial fitness supplements for its benefits on performance, recovery, and nutrition.

They’re widely used by the world’s top strength and power athletes, marathon runners, boxers, tennis players, bodybuilders and physique competitors, and millions of recreational gym-goers.

Also known as Branched Chain Amino Acids, BCAAs help with anabolic strength and muscle growth. That is because BCAAs, especially leucine, stimulate protein synthesis helping boost strength and energy making them ideal for pre and post workouts.

How Do BCAAs Supplements Work?

While vegans and non-vegans can get BCAAs from the food we eat, some people prefer using a BCAA supplement before or after their workouts to help with muscle recovery, strength, and endurance.

When found on food, BCAAs are bound to other amino acids so they must first be broken down via the digestive system. On the other hand, BCAAs found in supplements, bypass the digestive system, and go straight to the bloodstream, where they can get to work faster.

BCAAs have been proven to:

  • Increase physical and mental performance during exercise
  • Reduce fatigue
  • Prevent muscle breakdown
  • Increase fat oxidation
  • Increase exercise output
  • Reduce muscle soreness after a workout

There is no doubt that BCAAs are one of the most effective supplements. But not all BCAA supplements are created equally…

What are BCAAs made of?

As a vegan myself, I am used to assuming everything is not vegan unless it explicitly says so. But when I started looking into BCAAs I couldn’t find any information about their source on the packaging or sites of the ‘regular’ brands.

Later on, I discovered an investigation by the Vegetarian Resource Group, which found that ‘regular’ branched-chain amino acids are synthesized from duck feathers, kitten fur, and even human hair.

In 2013, another study by the American Journal of Food Sciences found that the Chinese market for BCAAs (where most brands purchase from due to the low prices) has become notorious for using pig fur and duck feathers as the source of their amino acids.

vegan bcaas

These materials are naturally high in keratin which in its simplest form, is a fibrous protein and is responsible for our hair and skin sticking together and not just falling apart. Keratin is essentially pure protein and by using certain acids and solvents, they can easily extract proteins and amino acids from keratin.

For years, this has was a well-kept industry secret but thankfully, there are better, ethical, and more sustainable ways to get your BCAAs than from feathers and hair.

What about Vegan BCAAs?

Thankfully for vegans, there are plant-based BCAAs that are derived from either soy or corn, the latter being a more popular material since it is not considered an allergen like soy.

These are usually manufactured in Japan or Korea and used to be about 4 times more expensive than traditional Chinese BCAAs.

However thanks to the high demand for BCAAs, manufacturers have improved their processes over the last few years lowering the costs and making this alternative much more appealing.

Additionally, the raw materials used to make these free-form amino acids is so much more sustainable than human or animal skin/hair/feathers and the process is also much gentler because there are no harsh chemicals involved.

When looking to buy your next BCAAs, make sure to check the label to see where the manufacturer is sourcing their amino acids from and preferably, choose one that is clearly marked as vegan.

Vegan BCAAs Benefits

1. Vegan BCAAs Increase Muscle Growth

This is probably the number bodybuilder love BCAAs! As mentioned before, leucine is the most important of the three BCAAs for initiating muscle protein synthesis (MPS), which is necessary for muscle building.

In one study, people who consumed a drink with 5.6 grams of BCAAs after their resistance workout had a 22% greater increase in muscle protein synthesis compared to those who consumed a placebo drink (1).

2. Vegan BCAAs Decrease Muscle Soreness

After a workout, It is not uncommon to experience muscle soreness, called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Researchers believe DOMs are the result of tiny tears that occur in the muscles after exercise (23). Since BCAAs have been shown to decrease muscle damage, some studies suggest BCAAs can help reduce the length and severity of DOMS.

In one study, people who supplemented with BCAAs before a squat exercise experienced reduced DOMS and muscle fatigue compared to the placebo group (4).

3. Vegan BCAAs Reduce Exercise Fatigue

Fatigue is a natural and expected consequence of exercise but how quickly you experiences it depends on factors like exercise intensity and duration, environmental conditions, and your nutrition and fitness level.

Since BCAAs help restores levels of tryptophan in your brain, a chemical that converts to serotonin and causes fatigue during exercise, research suggests BCCAs can fight the rate at which you tire from exercise.

In two studies, participants who used BCAAs improved their mental focus during exercise, which is believed to result from the fatigue-reducing effect of BCAAs (56).

4. Vegan BCAAs Prevent Muscle Wasting

Muscle wasting or breakdown occurs when protein breakdown exceeds muscle protein synthesis.

During exercise, muscle protein breakdown, and in particular, BCAA breakdown is increased for energy so by providing your body with supplemental BCAAs, it is less likely to consume its own amino acid (protein) stores.

BCAAs have also shown to preserve muscle mass under conditions of extreme protein breakdown and muscle wasting, like ultramarathons and high altitude mountaineering.

5. Vegan BCAAs promote fat loss

Leucine has been shown in studies to increase fat oxidization and energy expenditure, which is thought to lead to increased fat loss.

Of course, the best vegan BCAA supplements will also naturally give you more energy and endurance in the gym, making it easier to burn more fat anyway.

6. Vegan BCAAs helps your immune system

Amino acids are digested by your body to help support your immune system by pumping protein-enriched white blood cells throughout your system to help fight infections.

7. Vegan BCAAs keeps your hormones balanced

Amino acids found help maintain adequate productions of chemicals like testosterone, serotonin, and dopamine which help improve your overall mood. On the other hand, when these levels get low you will feel moody, tired, and depressed.

8. BCAAs lowers your blood sugar levels

BCAAs increase insulin secretion especially, leucine, and isoleucine, they actually make your muscles absorb sugar from your body. Which, in return will drop your blood sugar levels.

Best Vegan BCAAs

1. Best Vegan BCAAs Editor’s Choice:
Clean Machine Vegan Clean BCAAs

vegan bcaas

Why we like it:

  • 2:1:1 BCAA’s ratio
  • Made from 100% Fermented Non-GMO corn.
  • Only 4 ingredients
  • Certified Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Soy Free.
  • Naturally flavored.
  • Money-Back Guarantee

Clean Machine BCAAs are made from organic corn, sunflower seeds, and coconut water. They contain a 2:1:1 BCAA’s ratio to increase Muscle Protein Synthesis, reduce Muscle Breakdown, and promote Muscle Recovery & Repair.

The dehydrated coconut water helps your body to naturally replenish electrolytes and endure longer through tough gym sessions.

It comes in a naturally flavored fruit punch that most customers seem to enjoy and they offer a 100% money-back guarantee if If for whatever reason you are not satisfied.

Take it during your pre and post-workout for best results and enjoy its benefits without the kick of caffeine.


  • Good for both pre-workout and post-workout
  • 100% plant-based ingredients
  • Naturally flavored, colored, sweetened.
  • Contains Coconut water electrolytes


  • Customers mentioned not receiving a scoop and not knowing what the serving size is.

What customers are saying

These are the best vegan BCAAs that I have ever tried. The taste is pretty good, it mixes up well and the ingredients are great.

2. Transparent Labs Vegan BCAA Glutamine

Vegan BCAAs

Why we like it:

  • 8 grams of BCAA 2:1:1.
  • 100% formula transparency 
  • 5 grams of glutamine per serving.
  • Coconut Water to replenish electrolytes.
  • Its potent formula makes it great for muscle repair and recovery
  • No artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives.
  • Available in two unique flavors.

Transparent Labs Vegan BCAA Glutamine contains 8 grams of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio. This makes it the most potent formula in our list.

According to the manufacturers, its blend of Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine, Glutamine, and Coconut Water Extract, is ideal for fitness fans who want to stimulate protein synthesis, speed up muscle recovery post-workout, reduce fatigue, and accelerate fat loss through fasted training.

The active ingredients, are included at clinically effective dosages associated with published scientific research, and contain zero colored dyes, unnecessary fillers, or harmful additives.

It also contains glutamine is a naturally occurring nonessential amino acid that contributes to protein synthesis and appears to inhibit protein breakdown.

Each serving includes 14 grams, and includes 5 active ingredients that are designed to reduce muscle fatigue, and increase post-workout muscle growth, all while enhancing your overall performance.


  • 100% vegan-friendly
  • Added coconut water and glutamine.
  • Potent formula makes it great for muscle repair and recovery
  • No artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives
  • Reputable company


  • Some customers consider it too sweet for their liking.

What customers are saying

The BCAAs with Glutamine have been a nice addition to my workout routine. I’ve been working pretty hard and haven’t had the usual soreness which allows me to keep getting after it the next day.

3. The Genius Brand BCAA Vegan Bcaa Powder

vegan bcaas

Why we like it:

  • Supplies 5g of 2:1:1 BCAAs
  • Added Nootropics for improved focus and attention.
  • Added adaptogens support the nervous system.
  • Naturally-sourced caffeine.
  • Two flavors to choose from.
  • Money-back Guarantee

Genius BCAA supplies 5g of 2:1:1 branched-chain amino acids, but they have also added naturally-sourced caffeine, nootropics, and adaptogens to help provide mind and body with what they need to perform at their best.

These BCAAs also contain Glutamine which, in combination, helps repair muscles faster, improve glycogen replenishment, prevent muscle breakdown, and avoid soreness.

The added nootropics and adaptogens in this brand support brain function and help your nervous system deal with stress while boosting cognitive function and performance.


  • Added ingredients offer more benefits than just BCAAs.
  • Consumers seem to like the flavors.
  • Money-back guarantee.


  • Contains caffeine which some might not like.

What customers are saying

“Seriously drink this almost every day. I drink BCAAs usually during/between training sessions and sometimes drink right after my post workout shake. The Genius BCAA flavors are both great but I’m partial to the grape limeade. It does give me a boost of energy which is great, but I take because I know how important it is for muscle recovery during long, tough sessions in the gym. It’s a must have in my gym bag! (Even more than pre-workout)”

4. Vivo Life Sustain Vegan BCAA & Coconut Water

Why we like it:

  • 5g plant-based BCAA per serving to enhance muscular strength
  • Fast acting hydration from coconut water and pink Himalayan salt
  • Enhanced with cordyceps mushroom to improve focus and endurance.

Vivo Life Sustain Vegan BCAA & Coconut Water provides 5g plant-based BCAA per serving to enhance muscular Endurance and promote sustained performance during exercise.

It also contains Coconut Water Powder and Pink Himalayan Salt help you replenish minerals lost during your workouts more efficiently. Additionally, it is enhanced with Cordyceps Mushroom to Improve focus and endurance

Vivo Life Sustain Vegan BCAA dissolves instantly in water. It is Flavoured with real freeze dried blueberries and baobab fruit and it is sweetened with stevia so that is something worth considering depending on your taste.

All ingredients are 100% vegan and grown without herbicides, pesticides and fungicides


  • Certified by The Vegan Society
  • No artificial colours, sweeteners, flavourings, preservatives, fillers, or binders. 
  • Natural electrolytes from coconut water and Himalayan salt
  • Added cordyceps.


  • Some customers do not like the stevia aftertaste.

What customers are saying

“I use the Sustain and Perform to help with Ironman training. They are fantastic on all of my training sessions and aid recovery. Plus they taste fantastic. Cannot recommend it highly enough. Customer service is wonderful too – answering all of my questions quickly and professionally. Really helpful.”

5. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Vegan BCAAs

vegan bcaas

Why we like it:

  • 5G BCAAs with a 2:1:1 BCAA ratio of leucine, isoleucine, valine.
  • Supports muscle function and reduce fatigue
  • 5 G CARBS and 0G SUGAR
  • Banned Substances testes
  • Available in 4 flavors: cranberry lemonade, strawberry & kiwi, watermelon, fruit punch

These BCAAs come from a high-quality and well-known brand and offer 5 grams of high-quality BCAA’s to help kick-start protein synthesis. They also contain a blend of electrolytes, Rhodiola for endurance support, and immunity blend to offer through intense workouts.

It is distinctly made to help stave off fatigue and tiredness so you can make the best out of every workout. 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.

It comes in 3 flavors and blends easily with water si you can prepare it in your shaker and drink while you work out.


  • 5g of this BCAA serving provides a 2:1:1 ratio of amino acids
  • Supports muscle function and reduce fatigue
  • Comes in several flavors to select from
  • Suitable for all heavy-duty workouts


  • Some customers do not like the taste

What customers are saying

I really like the taste of this product and it mixes well. The additional glutamine really seems to help with working out and not being as sore either. I only take this before longer harder workouts and it seems to make a difference. I am able to push myself harder and not get as tired.

6. Truth Nutrition Vegan BCAA

vegan bcaas

Why we like it:

  • 100% all-natural plant-derived formulation
  • 5 grams BCAA in 2:1:1 ratio
  • No artificial flavors, colors o sweeteners
  •  Designed to increase strength, speed & endurance
  • Reduce muscle recovery time

Truth Nutrition Vegan BCAA is a 100% all-natural plant-derived formulation of branched-chain amino acids in the most proven 2:1:1 ratio (L-Leucine: L-Isoleucine: L-Valine).

They are designed to increase strength, speed & endurance, reduce muscle recovery and support lean body goals.

Truth Nutrition takes pride in its unique fermentation process that ensures you’re getting maximum purity without the use of any harsh chemical solvents.


  • Customers love the taste.
  • 100% vegan company.
  • Free of artificial ingredients.
  • Contains electrolytes.
  • Zero Sugar.


  • Pricier than other brands.

What customers are saying

“The watermelon flavor is light and dissolves quickly in a glass of water with a short stir. Now for the results: I have used this product after weight lifting and indoor cycling sessions with NO muscle soreness later on or the next day. As a vegetarian, I may be lacking BCAA’s in my diet and I suspect this product has filled a gap. I cannot believe the results. I am sold on this product!!”

7. Raw Barrel No Bull Vegan Bcaa Tablets

vegan bcaas

Why we like it:

  • Extra Strong 1000mg Per Tablet.
  • 2:1:1 ratio BCAAs.
  • No added fillers.
  • Vegan and keto-friendly, GMO, soy, and caffeine-free.
  • Reduce muscle recovery time.
  • USA made in a GMP certified and FDA registered facility.

According to Raw Barrel themselves, each one of these tablets contains twice as many amino acid components as the other leading brands, so you take half the caps for the same dose and get twice the bang for your money.

Raw barrel says their BCAAs have been shown to maintain and boost your lean muscle mass with an increase of protein synthesis. “You’ll notice a difference in lean muscle development, definition, and growth within weeks.”

These BCAAs are pure, clean and Third Party laboratory tested. They also have a money-back guarantee if you don’t see results or are not happy for any reason.


  • Natural and clean lab-tested ingredients.
  • Good value for money.
  • Money-back guarantee.


  • Some customers say pills are not super easy to swallow.

What customers are saying

“I have been doing a slight calorie deficit while lifting heavy to maintain my muscle but burn fat to lower my body fat. I take these in the morning and after a workout. So far I haven’t lost any strength or muscle and am losing weight and fat gradually. Highly recommend Raw BCAA tablets.”

8. Performance Lab Vegan Bcaa Tablets

vegan bcaas

Why we like it:

  • Sunflower Lecithin, one of the purest sources of BCAAs around.
  • 2:1:1 ratio BCAAs.
  • Absorption-enhancing ingredientes including probiotics, fiber, enzymes, and antioxidants.
  • Reputable company.

Performance Labs is a respectable UK company known to produce several high-quality supplements. 

One of the claims Performance Lab makes is that their chosen ratio of 2:1:1 for L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine is scientifically backed as stronger doses could have adverse effects.

According to them, their BCAAs are a blend of the world’s two most technologically advanced forms tha create “the most bioavailable muscle-boosting branched-chain amino acids on the market”.

These BCAAs are delivered in vegan-friendly capsules that are a clean, convenient alternative to artificial flavors, sweeteners, and synthetics other supplements use to mask BCAAs’ bad taste.


  • Sourced from Sunflower Lecithin, one of the purest sources of BCAAs available.
  • Vegan-friendly capsules free of flavors and fillers.
  • Good for both pre-workout and post-workout
  • Made by Opti-Nutra, a reputable supplements company


  • Some customers find taking 4 capsules inconvenient.

What customers are saying

“Very good. I took it starting in a bad shape. No side effects so far nearly 4 weeks in. Feeling great, I’m caffeine sensitive so this was perfect. I did feel the boost every time. And I went from 1 lap gradually to 5 with exercise in between abdomen, pushups so on. Lots of energy. I feel like going over 5 laps now.”

What to look for in a Vegan BCAA Supplement?

When choosing your BCAA’s, keep in mind the following recommendations

1. Amino Acid Ratio 2:1:1

A 2:1:1 Ratio Of Leucine, Isoleucine, And Valine is thought to be the optimal blend of amino acids for plant-derived BCAAs.

With studies suggesting that this blend helps the ingredients to work synergistically with one another in the best way.

This has become pretty much the norm in the BCAA market and the brands who follow it will probably mention it in the packaging so just make sure to keep an eye for it.

2. Avoid Gelatin In Capsules

All of the products mentioned in this list are gelatin-free since they are 100% vegan. But if you decide to buy a different one, especially capsules, make sure to check for the ingredients or the vegan badge.

Unlike vegan capsules that are made from vegetable cellulose, gelatin capsules are made from the crushed-up bone marrow of cows and/or pigs, which is obviously not veggie or vegan-friendly.

3. Look For Possible Allergens

Vegan BCAAs are commonly made out of corn, soy, or sugar but If you have an allergy, to soy to one of those ingredients, like soy, make sure to check the label for the specific source.

If that if your case, do not worry, you can definitely find a BCAA from other of the many sources like sesame seeds, turnip greens, soy, sunflower seeds, figs, avocados, raisins, apples, and much more.

How Do Vegans Get BCAAs Naturally

If you’re looking to receive your BCAAs through natural whole foods you’ll have to create a diet plan that includes Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.

I’m going to break down the foods into which plant-based choices are highest in each category.

Vegan Foods High In Leucine

Type Of FoodServing SizeCalories
Whole oats1 cup603
Soybeans1 cup251
Lentils1 cup235
Peanutshalf cup411
Sunflower seedshalf cup407
Chickpeas1 cup269
Sesame seedshalf cup410
Spinach1 head81
Corn1 ear121

Vegan Foods High In Isoleucine

Type Of FoodServing SizeCalories
Lima Beans1 cup208
Buckwheat Groats1 cup568
Swiss Chard10 leafs94
Navy Beans1 cup256
Adzuki Beans1 cup290
Kidney Beans1 cup227
Pumpkin seeds1 cup284
Mung Bean1 cup210
Rye Grain1 cup569
Eggplant1 eggplant137

Vegan Foods High In Valine

Type Of FoodServing SizeCalories
Cowpeas1 cup160
White Potato1 Potato250
Quinoa1 cup221
Pine nutshalf cup381
Hazelnuthalf cup420
Hemp seeds3 TBSP166
Fave Bean1 cup187
Lima Bean1 cup208
Pistachio Nutshalf cup210
Oats1 cup605

Vegans BCAA Frequently Asked Questions

Are BCAA vegan friendly?

Not all BCAAs are vegan firendly. As we have explained above traditionally BCAA have been made out of hair and feathers which are obviously not vegan.

However, there are BCAAs supplements suitable for vegetarians and vegans that are commonly made out of corn.

All of the BCAAs mentioned on this page are vegan friendly. With that in mind, if you look for a BCAA in a store, make sure to check the labels for the sources of the amino acids as well as non-vegan ingredients like gelatine, and other animal-derived products.

What are vegan BCAAs made from?

Vegan BCAAs are commonly made from fermented corn, sunflower lecithin, coconut water extract, and sesame seeds.

How many BCAAs Do You Need Per Day?

The average daily intake of BCAAs is between 5 and 12 grams per day, but people who are performing strength training routines or high-intensity cardio sessions should try to aim for 10 to 20 grams per day.

You are probably already getting some BCAAs from your foods so I’d advise you to get one or two servings or Vegan BCAAs preferably before and after your workouts.

Are BCAAs good for vegans?

Yes, BCAAs are necessary and important for anyone trying to support their muscle growth and performance.

With Vegan BCAAs, now people who follow a plant-based diet can also enjoy the benefits of these supplements without worrying about unethical practices or nasty ingredients.

Do vegans need BCAAs?

Vegans and non-vegans need BCAAs since they are the type of amino acids our body can not produce, so people need to consume them via food sources.

People on a vegan diet can meet their BCAA needs through foods but a supplement can help to meet those requirements especially for athletes and bodybuilders.

Are vegan BCAAs safe to take?

Yes, Vegan BCAAs are generally safe to take assuming you do not have any allergies or sensitivities to their ingredients.

When choosing vegan BCAAs supplement, make sure to check the ingredients and pick the one with the most transparent labels.

Do all vegans BCAAs have glutamine?

Not all vegan BCAAs will contain glutamine, but there are many vegan-friendly BCAA products that do indeed contain glutamine.

Glutamine is an essential aminoacid that your biyd can not make on its own so it is benefitial if a BCAA suppllemtn has it.

However, do not assume a certain brand contains glutamine if it doesn’t explicitly says so.

Do I need BCAA if I take protein?

It depends on the benefits you are looking for. A vegan protein powder will contain BCAAs among its amino acids but it won’t necessarily have it in the ratio or amount that a BCAA does. will not provide you with the optimum benefits of a separate BCAA supplement.

The amino acids in BCAA supplements are designed. tobe easily absorbed by your body and provide fast support to your performance and aesthetic goals.

Should vegans take protein supplements?

While vegans can meet their protein needs through whole foods, some of them choose to add a protein shake to their diets as a convenient protein source when on the go or because they have a lifestyle that requires a higher protein intake.

Nowadays, many vegan protein powders are made with clean, organic ingredients and offer amazing added benefits. If you are looking for a protein powder make sure to check out our list with nothing but the best ones available out there.

Are BCAAs better than protein?

They are not better or worse since they have different purposes. If you are already getting enough protein from your diet then BCAAs can give you an extra advantage of

They are also more readily available than whey protein is, and can help premature fatigue when training fasted.

Have more questions about Vegan BCAAs? Check out the video below!

Best Vegan BCAAs Editor’s Choice

Clean Machine Vegan Clean BCAAs

vegan bcaas

Why we like it:

  • 2:1:1 BCAA’s ratio
  • Made from 100% Fermented Non-GMO corn.
  • Only 4 ingredients
  • Delicious Fruit Punch Flavor
  • Coconut Water Electrolytes
  • Certified Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Soy Free.

Vegan BCAAs Takeaway

BCAAs are one of the most well-researched and effective supplements with proven benefits when it comes to promoting muscle growth and physical performance and alleviating muscle soreness.

Traditional BCAAs supplements are made out of hair and feathers making them a no-no for vegans. Luckily, there are many vegan options for BCAAs made out of plants and without any nasty ingredients so vegans can get all the benefits without any of the harm.

Moreover, you don’t need to be a vegan in order to find a good reason to switch from traditional BCAA supplements made out of duck feathers, animal skin, and pig hair.


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