Amino acids are a crucial component of your body’s ability to perform many essential functions. Amino acids are organic compounds that are the building blocks that make up protein, which accounts for roughly 20% of the human body. Of the 20 amino acids there are nine essential amino acids which can only be obtained via food sources or supplementation, which include-> histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methinonine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and vailine. The remaining 11 amino acids are considered non-essential because they are able to be produced by the human body and are therefore not required in your daily diet.
Whether it’s contributing to the function of organs, glands, arteries, playing a vital role in cell structure or aiding in the transport and storage of nutrients, amino acids play a critical role in your health every day.
7 Amino Acids Benefits
Accelerates muscle repair
When you work out or engage in a strenuous physical activity, you can cause muscle damage and muscle fibers can be broken down and used for fuel or energy. Amino acids can protect your muscles from damage by promoting healthy protein synthesis.
Aids muscle growth
As many weightlifters can attest, amino acids - particularly branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) - are highly effective at boosting muscle growth. Since amino acids stimulate protein synthesis after you work out or engage in physical activity, your muscles are given an ample amount of nutrition to start increasing in mass.
Supports a healthy mood
Amino acids have a few different ways in which they promote healthy brain function, and one way is by helping a healthy mood. This is, in part, because mood-elevating neurotransmitters are synthesized from the amino acids our bodies get from protein-rich food. Further, the amino acids 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and L-tryptophan are both important for boosting serotonin levels within the brain.
If you’re looking to get your immune system running like a well-oiled machine, the amino acid N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is more than up for the challenge. That’s because NAC is a building block for glutathione, the principal antioxidant within your body.
Promotes healthy blood pressure within the normal range
An excellent amino acid for keeping blood vessels healthy and supporting healthy blood pressure levels is L-arginine, which functions as the precursor to nitric oxide. L-arginine is notable for its ability to boost blood vessel flexibility.
Branched chain amino acids, particularly leucine, are great at allowing the human body to store an important polysaccharide known as glycogen. Glycogen is responsible for energy storage and is found within liver cells and skeletal muscle.
Helps maintain a healthy weight
Along with regular exercise and a healthy diet, amino acids are an excellent way to promote a healthy weight. While studies are ongoing, it is known that arginine, glutamine and methionine promote stimulation of the growth hormone known as somatotropin, which supports protein synthesis and fat oxidation.
How are Amino Acids Used?
Found in dietary proteins, vitamins and supplements, amino acids are utilized by the body to make tissue proteins, some of which are broken down to produce energy. The body uses food proteins and breaks them down into amino acids, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream and are used by the body’s cells to create new proteins for energy.
Essential Amino Acids Food Sources
Essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by the human body and must be obtained by diet or supplementation. Fortunately essential amino acids are abundant in a healthy diet and can be found in animal products such as red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy. Plant-based essential amino acid sources include quinoa and soy (each offers all of the essential amino acids), beans, nuts and seeds.