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Maximizing Athletic Performance: The Vegan Supplement Advantage

Maximizing Athletic Performance: The Vegan Supplement Advantage

When you think of non-vegan sports supplements, you might picture the milk derivatives used in many protein powders or the gelatin used in countless capsules and protein bars.

But there are many more animal-derived ingredients hiding in your supplements, from fatty acids sourced from fish and vitamin D sourced from sheep’s wool to glucosamine extract from marine sources.

It can be a minefield, but there are a growing number of vegan sports supplements that aren’t sourced from animals or animal byproducts.

These plant-based performance boosters can support overall health and well-being and may enhance athletic performance.

Key Takeaways:

  • Plant-Based Supplements Overcome Non-Vegan Limitations: Vegan supplements provide essential nutrients like BCAAs, electrolytes, and creatine without relying on animal products, catering to ethical and health-conscious athletes.
  • Specific Vegan Supplements Boost Performance: Products like Clean Machine Cell Block 80 and Ahiflower oil offer targeted benefits for muscle growth, recovery, and overall well-being, demonstrating the effectiveness of vegan formulations.
  • Vegan Supplements Align with Ethical and Health Standards: Choosing vegan supplements supports not only personal health and performance goals but also ethical standards, highlighting a commitment to cruelty-free and environmentally sustainable practices.

Check out this vegan supplement guide to learn more.

The Best Plant-Based Performance Enhancers

These supplements provide plant-based training support. They are primarily targeted at gym-goers and focus on giving you an edge inside the gym. It’s a vast category that spans many supplements, the most notable of which include:


Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of essential amino acids (valine, leucine, and isoleucine) that play numerous roles in the body. They are associated with improved recovery, growth, and performance.

In one study, BCAAs were shown to improve muscle synthesis by over a fifth while another found that they could greatly reduce muscle soreness (the aches and pains you feel in the days following a workout). (1)(2)

BCAAs are found in many common foods, including meat (beef, chicken), dairy (whey, milk), and plant-based foods (beans, corn, lentils, wheat). However, supplementation ensures optimal doses are consumed, which in turn provides maximum efficacy.

Many of the BCAAs on the market are synthesized from duck feathers and even human hair, but vegan BCAAs (including Clean BCAA) use plant-based sources like fermented corn.


In addition to high-quality BCAAs, Clean BCAA also contains electrolytes from coconut water. “Electrolytes” is an umbrella term that describes a combination of essential minerals, including potassium, sodium, and magnesium. If you exercise a lot and sweat a lot, the concentration of these compounds drops and may cause a fluid imbalance.

Consuming a balance of electrolytes in combination with lots of water helps to maintain performance levels and prevent dehydration.(3)

Typically, people think of electrolytes in the context of sports drinks. But while these drinks can be beneficial during intense exercise, they are usually high in sugar and other additives.


Creatine is one of the most widely-studied sports supplements. It’s created by the kidneys and stored in the muscles. Research suggests that increasing creatine concentration via supplementation can aid with muscle growth, strength, and recovery.(4)

Creatine is found in meat products, so vegetarians and Vegans typically have lower concentrations. However, supplements are created by synthesizing cyanamide and sarcosine, which don’t contain any animal derivatives. As a result, it’s suitable for use as a vegan workout recovery aid.

In one study on vegetarian subjects, creatine supplementation improved strength, endurance, brain function, and more.(5)

Cell Block 80

Clean Machine Cell Block 80 increases free testosterone levels and could help with muscle strength and size. It may also support prostate health and reduce cortisol, resulting in better gains and enhanced performance.

It targets all 5 stages of testosterone production and is manufactured using all-natural, non-GMO, and 100% vegan ingredients.

Click the link to learn more about this plant-based performance enhancer.

Vegan Well-Being Supplements

In addition to vegan sports supplements, there are also a number of well-being and “health” supplements. These are not exclusively targeted at gym-goers but can be utilized as part of a sports stack.

One of the most promising is Ahiflower. Ahiflower is the richest non-GMO plant source of Omega-3 and Omega-6, providing an optimum ratio of 4:1 Omega 3 to Omega 6. It also contains GLA to support a healthy inflammatory response. (6)

Furthermore, emerging research has linked high omega-3 and low omega-6 substances like Ahiflower with improved muscle synthesis. One such study found an “increase in the muscle protein anabolic response”, making it an essential compound of any plant-based fitness nutrition program. (7)

Many vegans also take vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplements. These supplements are a great way to ensure you’re meeting your daily values. Take a look at our USDA-certified organic vitamin D3 for a premium source of this essential vitamin.

What about Protein Supplements?

There was a time when “protein powder” was almost exclusively whey concentrate, a byproduct of the dairy industry. Eventually, vegan and lactose-free alternatives hit the market, but options were limited.

These days, there is a wealth of protein options out there, including vegan protein powders made from hemp, pea, soy, and brown rice. They deliver a large dose of protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair.

If you feel like you’re not getting enough protein, consider adding a vegan protein powder to your diet. You can buy these powders flavored and unflavored, and there are single-source versions and ones that combine different protein sources. Generally speaking, vegan protein powders produce less digestive discomfort than dairy-based powders and have even become popular among meat eaters and vegetarians.

For more information on protein and dietary planning, check out this guide to advanced vegan meal planning for bodybuilders.

Vegan Supplement Benefits

One of the biggest selling points of vegan supplements is that they are natural and ethically sourced. There is no meat or animal derivatives and no animals were harmed in the production or manufacturing process.

But there are other benefits.

Supplements that are naturally sourced, for instance, have better bioavailability than their synthetic counterparts. This means that your body absorbs and uses more of the active compound. (8)

How Do Vegan Fitness Supplements Compare?

In terms of effects, vegan sports supplements are just as effective as those derived from animal ingredients, if not more so. Many vegan sports supplements are manufactured to a higher standard, as there are more considerations to take into account. Vegan consumers are also more likely to scrutinize product labels, so you’ll typically see fewer fillers and synthetic additives.

It's also good to know that you’re not putting unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals in your body, especially if you’re prone to allergies and are worried about potential reactions.

A handful of pills won’t negate the effects of a poor diet, of course, but vitamin supplements support can help with certain deficiencies.

Summary: What to Consider When Taking Vegan Sports Supplements

As you can see, there are clear benefits to taking vegan sports and well-being supplements, and there is no shortage of options on the market, either.

Whether you’re using vegan sports supplements to boost energy levels, stimulate muscle growth, or as part of a plant-based athletic recovery program, remember the following:

  • Supplements should be used to support health and not replace diet and exercise
  • Stick with reputable brands backed by trustworthy individuals
  • There are vegan supplements designed for people of all ages and to meet many different needs
  • Most common sports/health supplements have a vegan alternative
  • Vegan supplements are usually manufactured to a higher standard and with fewer additives

Finally, make sure you read the label before starting a new supplement and check with your doctor if you take prescription medication or have a pre-existing health condition.


Study: Branched-Chain Amino Acid Ingestion Stimulates Muscle Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis following Resistance Exercise in Humans

Study: Branched-chain amino acid supplementation before squat exercise and delayed-onset muscle soreness

Study: American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and fluid replacement

Study: Branched-chain amino acid supplementation before squat exercise and delayed-onset muscle soreness

Study: Benefits of Creatine Supplementation for Vegetarians Compared to Omnivorous Athletes: A Systematic Review

Study: Ahiflower Oil—The Rising GLA Alternative to Evening Primrose for Women & Vegans

Study: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augment the muscle protein anabolic response to hyperaminoacidemia-hyperinsulinemia in healthy young and middle aged men and women

Study: Human plasma and tissue alpha-tocopherol concentrations in response to supplementation with deuterated natural and synthetic vitamin E

Vegan Athlete Profiles: Inspiring Stories of Plant-Powered Success
Optimizing Your Health with Vegan Meal Planning: A Comprehensive Guide