Should You Add Liquid Amino Acids to Your Diet?
You may have seen bottles of liquid aminos on the shelves at your local health food store and wondered what it is. People use liquid aminos as a seasoning in foods, because they look and taste just like soy sauce. They add a delicious, savory, umami flavor to meals, but they’re less salty and sweeter than soy sauce. Also, liquid aminos are considered to be a healthier alternative to soy sauce, because they’re gluten-free and do not contain chemical preservatives. But, what is liquid aminos, though? Should you consider adding them to your daily diet?
What Are Liquid Aminos?
Liquid aminos are basically concentrated amino acids made from soybeans and water. Amino acids are protein’s building blocks, which are extremely important because they help boost your immune system, build muscle, reduce your appetite, and recover quickly. Therefore, it goes without saying that consuming liquid amino acids is beneficial for your health, but especially if you’re on a vegan or vegetarian diet. And for those who are allergic to soy, there are also coconut aminos, made from fermented coconut sap, water, and salt and they offer the same benefits.
Your body needs twenty different amino acids in order to work properly. Eleven are non-essential acids that your body produces on its own, but the other nine amino acids are essential and you should get them through your diet. These essential amino acids mostly come from protein, so if you’re not eating enough food that contains protein, liquid aminos can help compensate for the shortage of essential amino acids in your body. But, even though liquid aminos contain both essential and non-essential amino acids, they’re often used in very small quantities, so one can’t rely only on them for their daily essential amino acid requirements. However, you can always include them in your diet as a substitute for table salt or soy sauce. Liquid aminos have a savory flavor and are very versatile so they can be used as an ingredient in salads, stir-fries, dressings, soups, gravies, or as a dipping sauce. They don’t contain wheat, so if you’re on a gluten-free diet, they’re a perfect alternative to standard tamari or soy sauce. It should also be noted that liquid aminos are not appropriate for people who are allergic to either soy or coconut.
Liquid Aminos’ Health Benefits
Let’s take a look at some of the most important health benefits of liquid aminos.
1. They contain amino acids and can boost the diet of vegans and vegetarians
Again, liquid aminos contain both essential and non-essential amino acids, which are extremely important when it comes to building muscle, preventing illnesses, transporting nutrients, and the synthesis of hormones. According to various manufacturers, soy-based liquid aminos contain 16 amino acids and coconut aminos contain 17 amino acids. Therefore, liquid aminos can be very beneficial , especially for vegans and vegetarians, who find it difficult to get all of the essential amino acids from a plant-based diet. Even though it’s possible to get enough protein from plant-based sources of protein like nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, or tofu, you can always use liquid amino to ensure that you’re getting enough complete proteins.
2. They’re free of gluten
Liquid aminos are made by soybeans or fermented coconut sap with water, which means they’re naturally gluten-free. Therefore, liquid aminos are excellent for people who are allergic to gluten or people who follow a gluten-free diet. Since almost 5% of the world population has some kind of gluten intolerance, they can be a useful supplement, especially as a substitute to soy sauce, which normally contains gluten. Coconut aminos are also great for people who follow a paleo diet and can’t eat legumes.
3. They can improve exercise performance and speed up weight loss
Athletes who want to improve their performance and speed up muscle recovery after a workout can benefit from liquid aminos. Studies have shown that liquid aminos can contribute to quicker recovery time, increased energy levels, and relieving fatigue. But, are liquid aminos good for weight loss? They will give you more energy and boost your exercise performance, so that you can maximize your workouts to burn more calories and lose weight. You may be wondering: “When should I take liquid aminos?” Many athletes claim that they have increased energy and decreased tiredness after taking a dose of liquid aminos before or after exercise.
4. They don’t contain chemical preservatives
Commercial soy sauces usually contain sodium benzoate – a preservative that is often added to sodas or packaged foods to prolong their shelf life. According to experts, this is safe if it’s consumed in small amounts, but there are people who are allergic to it. Liquid aminos, on the other hand, do not contain any chemical preservatives, which makes them a good choice for people who need to avoid this type of preservatives.
5. They may reduce hunger
Umami, salty, bitter, sweet, and sour are the five universally accepted basic tastes. Umami is a savory and meaty flavor, triggered by the presence of free glutamate. Liquid aminos contain natural glutamate, so they provide an umami flavor sensation and make any food taste more delicious and enjoyable. According to some studies, consuming umami-flavored soups or broths before meals can reduce the feeling of hunger and decrease the desire to snack throughout the day. Liquid aminos are very easy to add to your diet, and can be used in a variety of dishes to add a mouthwatering flavor.
6. Excellent for people with sodium deficiency
Liquid aminos are high in sodium – there’s about 320 mg of sodium per teaspoon of soy-based liquid aminos, and around 90mg per teaspoon in coconut aminos. This makes them an excellent choice for people suffering from sodium deficiency and are looking for ways to boost the sodium content of their food.
Are Liquid Aminos Healthier Than Soy Sauce?
Soy sauce is a salty sauce of Chinese origin and is made by cooking soybeans with wheat and fermenting them in a salty brine. This means that soy sauce is not gluten-free. Liquid aminos on other hand, are made of soybeans and water, or fermented coconut palm sap. They contain both essential and non-essential amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins and are vital for many biological functions. Liquid aminos have a milder umami flavor and are gluten-free and keto-friendly, which makes them healthier than soy sauce.
Liquid aminos offer more health benefits than soy sauce. They contain amino acids which are necessary for muscle repair, energy boost, and stronger immunity. Also, unlike soy sauce, liquid amino acids don’t contain chemical preservatives like sodium benzoate, which often leads to inflammation and other health issues. Liquid aminos are non-GMO, grain-free, and gluten-free, whereas standard soy sauce is made with wheat. And if you’re allergic to soy, coconut aminos are a great alternative for you and they provide all of the benefits of soy-based liquid aminos.
How to Use Liquid Aminos?
Liquid aminos, both the soy and the coconut variety, are a great and healthy replacement for salt or soy sauce in many recipes that need that umami flavor. They need to be kept in a cool and dark place for 3 to 6 months after opening and can be easily used in stir-fries, noodle dishes, as a dipping sauce, in salad dressings, or in marinades for meat or tofu. They are a great option for people who follow a vegetarian and vegan diet to get that extra boost of nutrients. Liquid aminos are a flavorful ingredient you should definitely add to your diet, but be aware that they can be high in sodium and they don’t contain all of the essential amino acids. In order to reap all of the essential amino acids benefits, it is not enough to rely only on liquid aminos – it is still recommended to eat a varied, balanced diet and get amino acids from whole food sources.