First of all, what really are Amino Acids? They are referred to as the building blocks of protein. They are needed for processes in building protein and synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. They can also improve athletic performance and even mood.
There are 2 types of Amino Acids: Essential and Nonessential. Your body needs 20 different ones in order to grow and function properly. However 9 of them are not made in the body and need to be obtained through our diet. These are Essential Amino Acids.
Nonessential Amino Acids
These amino acids can be produced by our body, not needing to follow any type of diet.
There are 11 nonessential amino acids:
--Alanine - Aids in metabolism and provides energy for muscles, brain and central nervous system.
--Arginine - Stimulates immune function, fights fatigue, and optimizes heart health.
--Asparagine - acts as a diuretic and optimizes brain and nerve cell function.
--Aspartate - helps produce several other amino acids like asparagine, arginine and lysine.
--Cysteine - Used for collagen production and skin health, which is the main protein in hair, skin, and nails.
--Glutamate - acts as a neurotransmitter in the CNS.
--Glutamine - supports many metabolic processes and provides energy for the cells in the body.
--Glycine - acts as a neurotransmitter to support brain health.
--Proline - found in collagen which promotes joint health, metabolism, and skin elasticity.
--Serine - crucial for fat metabolism, immune function, and muscle growth.
--Tyrosine - helps synthesize thyroid hormones melanin and epinephrine.
Essential Amino Acids
Foods rich in in amino acids include meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fermented soy. Supplements also offer a quick way to boost EAAs in the form of protein powders, bone broths, or isolated amino acids supplements.
There are 9 essential amino acids:
--Histidine - maintains the health and myelin sheaths, protecting nerve cells.
--Isoleucine - aids in detoxification, immune function, and hormone excretion.
--Leucine - Aides in protein synthesis, wound healing, blood sugar control, and metabolism.
--Lysine - needed for growth and tissue repair; also aids in production of many hormones, proteins and enzymes.
--Methionine - keeps skin elastic and helps strengthen hair and nails.
--Phenylalanine - helps produce other amino acids as well as a neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.
--Threoninie - forms the foundation fo connective tissues like collagen and elastin.
--Tryptophan - increases levels of serotonin which aides in mood, pain, appetite and sleep.
--Valine - supports brain function, muscle coordination and calmness.
The term BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAAs) is commonly seen with athletes and fitness enthusiasts. They are compromised of Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine. It has been talked about that they provide increased muscle growth decreased muscle soreness, reduced exercise fatigue, and prevents muscle wasting; however, research has yet to verify any significant signs that it is optimal in training.