For all its benefits, a vegan lifestyle comes with its share of challenges as well. Animal-based ingredients are the foundation of most foods, drinks, and supplements, making it difficult to find products that a vegan can enjoy. Take the most popular protein powder on the market, whey protein; whey is derived from milk, meaning that whey protein is off-limits to a vegan, effectively eliminating the most readily available workout supplement. Thankfully, there are a few options still available to those who might not otherwise have a pre- or post-workout powder that fits their needs, but what is a good pre-workout powder for vegans?
Are Pre-Workout Powders Vegan?
Pre-workout powders are a popular source of energy for many active people around the world. These supplements are frequently used to boost motivation and stamina in those about to do some kind of physical activity, whether it be strength training, a long bike ride, or any other form of exercise that may require prolonged exertion. However, not all pre-workout supplements are created equal, in part because the contents of these products face little in the way of regulation.
Many of these supplements have two particular ingredients in common: caffeine and creatine. These two compounds are popular for a reason; caffeine is well-known for its ability to impart energy, while creatine can improve athletic performance and reduce recovery time. That said, both of these ingredients also have a few drawbacks, especially in the large doses common to fitness supplements. Excessive caffeine use can lead to anxiety, stomach issues, an increased heart rate, and even muscle tremors; too much creatine can leave you feeling bloated and cause you to retain water weight.
On the plus side, caffeine and creatine supplements are usually vegan, though some products feature additives that are animal-based. In fact, the majority of pre-workout mixes are vegan, though it is always worth checking the label for animal-based additives, regardless of where the basic ingredients come from. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer with questions.
Amino Acids in Vegan Pre-Workout Powders
A third ingredient found in many pre-workout mixes is amino acids. These compounds are the building blocks of proteins and provide a number of benefits, either on their own or when used along with other pre-workout ingredients. Because they are already in their most basic form, amino acids don’t need to be digested in the same way that whole proteins do, so they can be put to use by your body right away. Like protein itself, amino acids can be vegan or not, depending on the source.
Like caffeine, amino acids can provide energy as you get ready to exercise, but they do so in a more measured, deliberate way; instead of hitting you with a jolt of energy right away, then leaving you to crash, amino acids give you steady, consistent energy throughout your workout. This lets you operate at your peak level from start to finish, keeping your intensity up without jitters, nervousness, or an upset stomach.
The kind of amino acid you use matters as well, though, as some are more effective for fitness than others. The most powerful group of amino acids for supporting an active lifestyle are a type called branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs. These compounds – called leucine, valine, and isoleucine – offer a number of advantages to active vegans looking for an energy boost, and they do so without the need for stimulants.
Advantages of BCAAs for Active Vegans
As effective as each BCAA is individually, these three amino acids make for an even more potent supplement when combined. The effects of BCAAs on an active person – vegan or otherwise – include a boost to the body’s fat-burning processes, less soreness after even the most rigorous exercise, and reduced fatigue during the body’s recovery phase. There’s more, though:
- Leucine provides a serious improvement to the gains you see after working out. This amino acid spurs the body’s muscle-making processes to increase the growth of those tissues after exercise.
- Valine serves more of a support role, though it is no less important than the others. From regulating the immune system, increasing the flow of glucose to the muscles, and supporting cognitive functions, this amino acid does it all.
- Isoleucine helps your muscles stay energized during periods of activity, plus it streamlines the recovery process so you can get right back at it.
The Fast Charge pre-workout blend from aminoVITAL includes all three BCAAs, along with the amino acids glutamine and arginine. All the amino acids used in aminoVITAL products are of the highest quality, and we produce them through an entirely plant-based fermentation process, so you can be sure that all our products are vegan.
Vegan Pre-Workout Blend for Fast, Powerful Energy
For fast-acting fuel guaranteed to be free of any animal-based materials, try the Fast Charge pre-workout mix from Amino Vital. Our amino acid drink mix doesn’t even need water; just open the pouch and pour the powder directly onto your tongue, and you’re ready to go. And not only is it convenient, but Fast Charge avoids the highs and lows of stimulants to give you smooth, consistent energy from start to finish. To learn more about aminoVITAL products and how they can help active vegans meet their health and fitness goals, visit us online or call (888) 264-6673 today.