My concern is regarding BCAAs and if they are needed within a “no red meat” diet?
Three of the essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine share a common characteristic of chemical structure and are thus known as the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).
Amino acids are the end product of the digestion of protein. The body uses these amino acids to produce new proteins by a process called protein synthesis. The body makes chains of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds to create a new protein molecule. There are 20 different amino acids used in these chains. Nine of the amino acids are called essential amino acids because the body must obtain these from the diet alone. The other eleven amino acids are called non-essential amino acids because the body can produce them. Since the BCAAs are essential amino acids it is important the body receives an adequate daily supply. So the answer is yes they are really needed.
BCAAs are present in all protein-containing foods, but the best sources are red meat and diary products. Since your diet excludes red meat it is reasonable to supplement your diet with BCAAs. This is particularly sound advice if you are physically active. BCAAs are unique in that they are metabolized directly by muscle tissue as a fuel source. The result being that the more active you are the more important it is to supply the body adequate amounts of BCAAs.
The typical dosage of BCAAs is one to five grams daily. I recommend a supplement that contains all three of the amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine rather than taking them individually.
BCAAs are very safe. Excess amounts of the BCAAs are simply used by the body to make the non-essential amino acids used in protein synthesis.