Liquid aminos are concentrated amino acids. People use liquid aminos as a seasoning in cooking, and they are similar in appearance and taste to soy sauce. There are a number of possible benefits to liquid aminos that make them a good alternative to soy sauce.

A person can make liquid aminos by treating soybeans with an acidic solution to extract the free amino acids. They can also come from fermented coconut sap.

Liquid aminos add a savory, umami flavor to meals. They are very similar to soy sauce, but tend to be less salty, milder in flavor, and slightly sweeter.

In this article we discuss the potential benefits of eating liquid aminos and some possible downsides.

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Below are some of the potential benefits of liquid aminos.

1. They contain amino acids

Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins inside the body. They play a role in building muscle and producing some hormones.

Amino acids are also involved in producing neurotransmitters, which are the body’s chemical messengers that help the nervous system transmit messages around the body.

There are two types of amino acids: essential amino acids and nonessential amino acids.

The human body can create nonessential amino acids. However, a person must get essential amino acids from their diet.

Liquid aminos contain a number of nonessential and essential amino acids. This makes them a source of essential amino acids.

However, the different types and amounts of amino acids present in liquid aminos may vary from product to product. Protein sources can provide a much higher amount of amino acids to the diet than liquid aminos.

2. They are gluten-free

There has been a significant increase in the number of people adopting a gluten-free diet in the United States over the last few decades.

People are reducing the amount of gluten in their diets or avoiding it entirely for a number of reasons.

For example, they may have celiac disease, which is a chronic digestive and immune disorder that damages the small intestine. If a person has celiac disease, then the consumption of gluten in their diet triggers symptoms like:

A person may also have nonceliac gluten sensitivity. Nonceliac gluten sensitivity is a food sensitivity that causes a person discomfort after they eat gluten.

Liquid aminos are similar in flavor and appearance to soy sauce. Soy sauce features fermented, cooked soybeans and roasted wheat. The wheat present in soy sauce means it contains gluten.

Liquid aminos come from treating soybeans with an acidic solution to extract the free amino acids or from fermenting coconut sap with water. This means that liquid aminos are completely gluten-free.

Due to their similar flavor to soy sauce, this makes liquid aminos a good gluten-free alternative to soy sauce in cooking and dining.

3. Coconut liquid aminos are suitable for a paleo diet

If a person is on a paleo diet, then they eat foods that may have been available during the Paleolithic era. This means they eat foods that people may have eaten around 10,000 years ago.

The focus of this diet is to eat foods that people could hunt or gather. This includes foods such as:

  • fish
  • lean meats
  • fruits
  • nuts
  • vegetables

People on a paleo diet avoid eating foods that are associated with agriculture and farming, such as:

  • grains
  • legumes, including soybeans
  • dairy products
  • trans fats
  • refined sugars and artificial sweeteners
  • salt

Liquid aminos that come from coconut sap are a good option for a person who is on a paleo diet. This is because coconuts are paleo-friendly.

Coconut-based liquid aminos are therefore a good paleo-friendly and gluten-free alternative to soy sauce.

4. Liquid aminos contain no chemical preservatives

Many foods, including commercial soy sauces, contain the chemical preservative sodium benzoate.

Sodium benzoate is a preservative that is designed to increase the shelf life of food products and prevent the growth of bacteria.

People generally consider sodium benzoates to be safe in small quantities. However, some people are allergic to it. There are also some possible concerns over the use of sodium benzoate.

Some animal studies suggest that very high doses of sodium benzoate may activate inflammatory pathways and increase inflammation. However, more research is required to determine the link between sodium benzoates and inflammation in humans.

Liquid aminos tend to contain no chemical preservatives. This makes them a good alternative to soy sauce for people who are trying to avoid consuming sodium benzoate.

5. Coconut liquid aminos contain less salt than soy sauce

Some people try to reduce the amount of salt (sodium chloride) in their diet.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if a person reduces their sodium intake to less than 2 grams (g) per day, they can reduce their blood pressure and their risk of:

People who are lowering their salt intake may avoid soy sauce due to its high sodium content.

Coconut liquid aminos are not low in sodium, but they are usually much lower in sodium than soy sauce.

There are a number of soy sauce products on the market, and the amount of sodium varies in each. However, in most cases, coconut liquid aminos contain a lot less sodium than soy sauce.

In this example, coconut liquid aminos have 480 milligrams (mg) of sodium per 15 g serving. On the other hand, soy sauce has 810 mg per 15 g serving. The coconut liquid aminos contain one-third less sodium than the soy sauce product, which is similar to many low-sodium soy sauce products.

This makes coconut liquid aminos a possible alternative for a person who is looking to reduce their salt intake.

6. Liquid aminos may reduce hunger

Umami is a taste sensation that people describe as being savory or meaty. It is one of the five major taste sensations that also include:

  • salty
  • sweet
  • sour
  • bitter

Liquid aminos have an umami flavor.

Some 2011 research has shown that consuming umami-flavored broths before a meal can help reduce a person’s feelings of hunger and their desire to snack. In this study, women drank a number of chicken broths containing different ingredients, one of which contained monosodium glutamate (MSG), which has a strong umami flavor.

The women who drank the broth containing MSG had significantly reduced feelings of hunger and desire to snack when compared with those who drank the other broths.

Another study suggests that eating a chicken broth containing MSG can have an effect on areas of the brain that are relevant for the support of balanced eating behaviors and food choice.

These results suggest that eating umami-flavored foods may help a person reduce the amount they eat, snack less throughout the day, and may potentially help with weight loss.

However, it is important to note that in both studies, the amount of calories consumed was the same between both groups, despite the umami group experiencing a decrease in hunger.

Additionally, both of these studies used a small sample size. This means that more research is necessary to determine if consuming umami foods can help with weight loss, balanced eating behaviors, and reduced calorie intake.

While there are potential benefits to liquid aminos, there are also some possible downsides.

In most cases, liquid aminos are more expensive than soy sauce. This means that while they may be a better gluten-free, paleo alternative to soy sauce, they also cost more money to purchase.

Coconut liquid aminos may be lower in salt content compared with soy sauce, but the soy-based liquid aminos still have high levels of salt.

High intake of sodium can cause a number of health risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ​​large amounts of sodium in the diet can increase a person’s blood pressure and put them at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.

It is important that a person avoids consuming too much salt in their diet to lower their risk of heart disease, stroke, and a number of other health issues.

Liquid aminos are concentrated amino acids that are similar in taste and appearance to soy sauce. They come from soybeans or fermented coconut sap.

Liquid aminos make a good alternative to soy sauce and have a number of benefits. They are gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and have no chemical preservatives. Coconut liquid aminos also contain much less salt than soy sauce.

Potential downsides include the fact that soybean liquid aminos have high levels of salt and are often more expensive than soy sauce.