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Amino Acid

Essential Guide

Your guide to building a stronger
and healthier YOU!

Are amino acids the superheroes of the nutrition world? We think so!

They’re like the bricks in a house – without them, our bodies would crumble!

Discover how these tiny compounds can help you reach your fitness goals and feel amazing!

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are organic compounds that are considered the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are the primary building material of all living cells: muscles, skin, hair, nails, blood cells in a word, all body tissues are composed of proteins.

They are an irreplaceable material that enables tissue growth, regeneration, and development. That is why they are called building materials. There are 100,000 proteins made up of different combinations of amino acids.

Amino acids are involved in almost every biological process in the body and help wound healing, immune function, muscle growth, energy production, and more.

Many people who engage in physical activities use amino acids as a dietary supplement in order for their muscles to recover more efficiently and faster after strenuous training. However, amino acids are not exclusively related to improved athletic performance.

Some most important
functions of amino acids

Amino acids play numerous important functions in the body. Here are some of the most important functions of amino acids:
  1. Protein Synthesis: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which are essential for the growth, repair, and maintenance of tissues throughout the body. Amino acids link together through peptide bonds to form long chains called polypeptides, which ultimately form proteins
  2. Enzyme Production: Enzymes are proteins that facilitate biochemical reactions in the body. Amino acids are required for the production of enzymes, and deficiencies in certain amino acids can lead to impaired enzyme function.
  3. Hormone Synthesis: Amino acids play a role in the synthesis of hormones such as insulin, growth hormone, and thyroid hormones.
  4. Immune Function: Amino acids are important for immune function, as they are involved in the production of antibodies and white blood cells.
  5. Energy Production: Amino acids can be broken down and used for energy production when glucose stores in the body are depleted.
  6. Neurotransmitter Production: Amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine are precursors for neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, respectively.
  7. pH Regulation: Amino acids can act as buffers to help regulate the pH balance in the body.
  8. Wound Healing: Amino acids such as arginine and glutamine are important for wound healing, as they promote collagen synthesis and cell proliferation.
  9. Detoxification: Amino acids such as cysteine and methionine are involved in the detoxification of harmful substances in the body.
Overall, amino acids play a crucial role in numerous physiological processes and are essential for overall health and wellness.
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Types of amino acids

There are 20 different types of amino acids that are used by the human body to build proteins and carry out various other functions. These amino acids are categorized into three different types based on their chemical structure and how the body uses them:

  1. Essential Amino Acids: These are amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own and must be obtained through the diet. The nine essential amino acids include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
  2. Nonessential Amino Acids: These are amino acids that the body can produce on its own and do not need to be obtained through the diet. The nonessential amino acids include alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.
  3. Conditional Amino Acids: These are amino acids that are typically nonessential but may become essential in certain situations, such as during illness or periods of high stress. The conditional amino acids include arginine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and tyrosine.
It’s important to consume adequate amounts of essential amino acids in your diet to ensure that your body has the building blocks it needs to support growth, repair, and overall health. A varied and balanced diet that includes a variety of protein sources can help to ensure that you’re getting all of the essential amino acids your body needs.

Food sources of amino acids

Most people can easily obtain enough amino acids through a balanced diet. That includes a variety of protein sources, as amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.

Foods rich in amino acids can be divided into two types based on the source of the amino acids:

1. Foods of animal origin: This food are generally considered as the best sources of complete proteins, as they contain all the essential amino acids that the body needs to function properly.

Here are some examples of animal-based foods that are rich in amino acids:

  • Meat (beef, pork, lamb, etc.): Meat is a rich source of all the essential amino acids. It also contains high levels of protein, iron, and zinc.
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.): Poultry is another excellent source of complete protein. It is low in fat and can be prepared in many different ways.
  • Fish and seafood (salmon, tuna, shrimp, etc.): Fish and seafood are rich sources of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients. They are also low in saturated fat.
  • Eggs: Eggs are an affordable and versatile source of protein. They contain all the essential amino acids, as well as vitamins and minerals.
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.): Dairy products are rich in protein and calcium. They are also a good source of other nutrients like vitamin D.

It’s important to note that while animal-based foods are rich in amino acids, they can also be high in saturated fats and cholesterol. It’s recommended to consume these foods in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

2. Plant-based foods: Unlike animal-based sources, plant-based sources are often incomplete proteins, meaning they do not contain all of the essential amino acids in the right proportions.

However, by combining different plant-based sources, it is possible to obtain all of the essential amino acids. For example, combining rice and beans or eating hummus with whole grain pita can provide a complete protein.

Here are some examples of plant-based foods that are good sources of amino acids:

  • Legumes (beans, lentils, peas, etc.): Legumes are a rich source of protein and contain some of the essential amino acids. They are also a good source of fiber, iron, and other nutrients.
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, etc.): Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein and healthy fats. They also contain some of the essential amino acids and other nutrients like magnesium and vitamin E.
  • Grains (rice, wheat, quinoa, etc.): Grains are a good source of carbohydrates and some essential amino acids. Quinoa, in particular, is a complete protein source.
  • Soy products (tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.): Soy products are a complete protein source and a popular alternative to animal-based protein sources. They are also rich in other nutrients like calcium, iron, and vitamin B12.
  • Seitan: Seitan is a popular meat substitute made from wheat gluten. It is high in protein and contains some of the essential amino acids.
  • Spirulina: Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids. It is also a rich source of other nutrients like iron and vitamin B12.
  • Nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast that is high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids. It is also a good source of vitamin B12.
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What is BCAA?

What is BCAA? BCAAs or  Branched chain amino acids, are

Amino acids are like puzzle pieces, and when they come together, they create the beautiful picture of life.