Q: I’ve heard wellness enthusiasts touting the benefits of liquid aminos. What are they, and is it worth adding them to my diet?
A: Liquid aminos have definitely become more popular in the last couple of years.
Like apple cider vinegar, Bragg makes the most popular product. Like tamari, bottled liquid aminos are a great gluten-free alternative to soy sauce, since they have a similar salty, umami flavor that can punch up a stir-fry or salad.
What are they, though? Basically, just amino acids derived from soybeans, plus water. (No additives or sneaky sugars, yay!)
Liquid Aminos’ Health Benefits
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Your amazing body can produce 11 of the 20 that exist, but it has to get the other 9, called “essential,” from food. It’s got to do that on a regular basis, too, since it can’t store amino acids.
So, adding liquid aminos to your food is one way to accomplish this—but so is eating protein, in general.
Many people recommend liquid aminos to vegans and vegetarians, since it can be harder to get all of the essential amino acids from a diet that doesn’t include meat. Still, it is possible by eating a variety of plant-based sources of protein.
Finally, athletes often supplement with amino acids, since some studies have shown potential training benefits. The research is far from conclusive, though, and athletes often choose powdered supplements over liquid aminos.
The Bottom Line
I’d recommend stocking liquid aminos in your pantry to use once in awhile as a healthy flavor enhancer, especially if you don’t eat meat. Don’t start drinking from the bottle, though, especially since the salt content is very high.