What are lacto-vegetarian sources of BCAAs?

Can consume the following:

  • Dairy based - Work for lacto - veg
  • Honey
  • Plant based - Work for Vegans as well


  • No eggs or animal / meat/ fish
  • 1
    Voted to close as too broad. Almost every food which contains any amount of protein contains some BCAA, you'd be hard pressed to find exceptions. Lactovegetarian diets typically supply sufficient protein, so an answer would have to list some (or all) of the foods you can typically eat, which is nonsensical. If you experience no symptoms of protein deficiency, you have no deficiency of BCAA either.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 8, 2016 at 11:51
  • I was told I need to be including BCAAs first thing in the morning before working out etc.
    – Alex S
    Jan 8, 2016 at 11:54
  • Then you'd have to eat breakfast first thing in the morning. It would really be hard to find a breakfast which doesn't have BCAA, maybe something highly processed. Pure fruit or veggies will also have very little, just because they are mostly water, and have a really low proportion of protein.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 8, 2016 at 11:55
  • 1
    Retracted close vote and wrote an answer instead, using broad food groups instead of listing foods which might be a source.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 8, 2016 at 12:20
  • @AlexS - WHY were you told BCAA's had to be consumed in the AM before working out? And by who? I'll take a look, but I'm not aware of any current studies that show it's more effective for a workout. The smell test says "bro-science by marketing to sell more stuff".
    – JohnP
    Jan 8, 2016 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


Branch chain amino acids is a term used for three of the essential amino acids. They are not something exotic, but something humans need to survive, and contained in most human foods. In fact, if they were missing from your diet, you'd have a protein deficiency, something practically unheard of in the Western world in our times.

As long as you are eating protein from sufficiently varied sources, avoiding these amino acids would be almost impossible even if you tried to do it on purpose. So listing the foods which contain BCAA makes no sense, the list is almost as long as the foods you can eat.

If looking at main food groups, you will get them from

  • dairy
  • grains
  • legumes
  • nuts

You won't be able to get them from fruit and vegetables, because they are almost all water and no protein, or from honey or maple syrup, because these are sugars, and have no protein. For the food groups listed above, assume unprocessed variants. That is, whole wheat berries will contain them, wheat starch won't, and for any other product "in the middle" you'll need to know the exact type of processing, or just look it up in a standard nutrition database. Dairy is the exception, it will keep them when processed into cheese or yoghurt (but not butter).

If you buy labelled food, the amount of BCAA will correlate well with the amount of protein given on the label, with variance between foods being leveled out by a varied diet.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.