Vegan Bodybuilding Supplements - Why Are They Important?
Like all other diets, a typical plant-based meal can lack the essential nutrition required to build muscle mass. Vegan bodybuilding supplements efficiently bridge this gap and help your consumers achieve their health goals.[i] [ii] [iii]
Global plant-based protein market size is projected to grow from $4.79 billion in 2019 to $7.08 billion in 2027 with a CAGR of 5.1%. This is a good sign for brand owners who plan to explore the vegan bodybuilding supplement marketspace.
Do You Need to Take Supplements as a Vegan?
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics research, a vegan diet offers all macronutrients and most of the needed micronutrients for all ages in adequate amounts. However, vegans also need reliable nutrition sources for specific nutrients, such as B12.[iv] Earlier, people had to resort to animal sources for B12 and creatine. Today, we can obtain these nutrients either organically from vegetable sources or synthetically from non-animal sources.
What Supplements Should a Vegan Bodybuilder Take?
Though the supplement need varies according to an individual’s fitness goal and diet, here’s a list of supplements that are useful in general.
- Omega 3
Omega 3 is vital for enhanced brain health, decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases, and anti-inflammatory qualities. Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are a few reliable O
- mega 3 vegan sources that primarily provide alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). However, they lack in docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) acid. Further, the conversion of ALA from legumes to DHA and EPA is significantly low compared to fish oils. Vegan Omega 3 supplements use seaweed and algae - the same sources used by fish to make these essential nutrients. Some of the algae sources do provide EPA and DHA.
Creatine is essential for improving muscle power, quick recovery between efforts, reducing muscle acidity, and enhancing performance. Creatine is not found in plants and is typically sourced from red meat. However, today, a vegan creatine supplement is made synthetically. Research suggests that creatine monohydrate can help improve performance if consumed before workout.
- BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
BCAAs consists of 3 (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) of the nine essential amino acids. Our body breaks down BCAA reserves to obtain energy during exercise through a process called catabolism. While leucine promotes insulin creation for protein synthesis, pre-workout BCAAs help prevent catabolism, thereby preventing fatigue and soreness. When consumed post-workout, BCAAs trick your body into working harder by increasing tryptophan levels. Vegan BCAA powder and supplements are popular amongst non-vegans as animal-based BCAAs are sourced from duck feathers - unappealing to many individuals.
- Vitamin D
Besides the benefits for mental health, bodybuilders need this sunshine vitamin to increase the bones' calcium level and regulate neuromuscular functioning for enhanced endurance, strength, and recovery. While most non-vegan vitamin D3 is sourced from sheep’s wool, vegan vitamin D3 supplement ingredients are derived from algae or lichen.
- Citrulline Malate
This non-essential amino acid is vital for the endogenous production of arginine and nitric oxide. The human gut readily absorbs vegan Citrulline Malate, and the produced nitric oxide helps reduce muscle soreness, boost muscle endurance, and increase aerobic performance.[v]
L-glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that enhances protein synthesis, supports immunity, and prevents muscle disruption. Though it primarily comes from animal products, some L-glutamine vegan sources are plant sources like tofu. L-glutamine can also be derived from wheat.[vi] [vii]
- Vitamin B12
This essential micronutrient is vital for promoting performance by enhancing red blood cell formation and increasing the oxygen-carrying capacity throughout the body. As it’s impossible to obtain B12 from plant sources, vegan vitamin B12 supplements are essential for fortifying your intake with this critical nutrient.
- Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 support arterial and bone health by helping to keep calcium in the bones where it belongs. Unlike K1, we can’t get vitamin K2 from plant-based sources – supplementation is a good idea.
Zinc is a versatile trace mineral required as a cofactor by more than 300 enzymes in every organ of the body. It is also plays important roles in growth and development, immune response, neurological function, reproduction, and wound healing. Many zinc-rich vegan foods contain phytates that hinder zinc absorption, making zinc supplements extremely essential.[viii]
- Rhodiola Rosea
Besides reducing exhaustion and fatigue, Rhodiola Rosea helps relieve stress and enhance agility.[ix]
This most active constituent of turmeric reduces muscle strain and soreness and aids weight management besides its many other benefits.
Essential for maintaining the health of thyroid glands, iodine deficiency can result in fatigue, weight gain, and mood issues, among many other symptoms. As most vegans prefer natural forms of salts that are not fortified with iodine, they need to depend on the supplement.[x]
How Can You Create a Vegan Bodybuilding Supplement?
The increasing trend of veganism and growing demand for plant-based supplements offer a bright potential for the vegan bodybuilding supplement market.
With over 50 years of supplement contract manufacturing experience, NutraScience Labs can help you create a high-quality vegan bodybuilding product. In addition to world-class contract manufacturing, we can also provide you with award-winning packaging design and fulfillment solutions under one roof – allowing you to save money AND bring your customized product to the market faster than the competition!