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Amino Acids 101
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On the path to better health, you may encounter several obstacles. Everything from the temptation to eat more sugary foods to sitting on the couch instead of hitting the gym will try to throw you off course. Letting yourself stray for a moment or two is one thing, but often these moments turn into days or weeks off the right track. Increasing certain foods and supplements in your diet may help you walk the straight and narrow towards a healthier body. Discover what amino acids can do for you now to help fuel your body.

Basics of Amino Acids

Amino acids are compounds that occur in food and supplements. They are commonly separated into essential and non-essential amino acids. The body creates non-essential varieties. However, essential amino acids need to come from an outside source, either through food or supplements. Amino acids are typically a component of proteins and are released into the body upon digestion and broken down to perform a variety of crucial functions.

Nine Amino Acids and the Roles They Play

While there are well over 20 types of amino acids created either by the body or elsewhere, there are nine that the body considers crucial for sustaining basic life systems. The following is a summary of each and the system affected.

Valine – If you ever feel sluggish and need a boost, Valine is one amino acid that can help. It is a component in the production of energy.

Phenylalanine – Neurotransmitters carry signals from the brain to their intended destination through a series of pathways. These message carriers cannot form without phenylalanine. It helps protein function properly in the body and also is crucial in creating other amino acids.

Threonine – Your skin and ligaments are made up of proteins like elastin and collagen. Threonine is a foundational element required for these proteins to exist. It also aids the metabolism of fat and immune system function.

Methionine – The body has a natural detox system that flushes out chemicals that do more harm than good. This couldn’t happen if it weren’t for methionine. This amino acid also helps build tissue and aid in the body, getting selenium and zinc.

Leucine – Blood sugar needs regulating, and leucine gives the pancreas some assistance in the task. Along with that, it stimulates muscle growth and repair and reduces healing time for cuts.

Tryptophan – After a big turkey dinner, you may start to feel drowsy as tryptophan is released. It doesn’t just help you take a nap, though. It is a necessary building block for serotonin, the hormone responsible for regulating mood, sleep and hunger.

Isoleucine – Building muscle is a constant process, and isoleucine is found in large doses the body's extended network of muscles. It can be found helping to keep energy levels regulated and boosting immunity.

Lysine – One of the most diverse and heavily used amino acids is lysine. It is used in enzyme and hormone creation, synthesizing protein and helping the body get calcium absorbed. Not just that, but it boosts immune system function, energy synthesis and collagen and elastin creation.

Histidine – Protecting the cells that make up the nervous system is the primary job of histidine. It is a building block of the neurotransmitter, histamine, which helps white blood cells respond to areas needing repair. Histidine aids in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle.

Places To Get Amino Acids

If you are looking to boost the amount of these nine amino acids, you may want to try taking a supplement like bcaa or eating more poultry, fish and eggs. These are the sources that supply the most amino acids. The higher the protein content, the more likely it is to contain these fundamental compounds your body needs to function correctly.

Building muscle is one way to improve the way your internal body system works. Amino acids can help aid in muscle production and repair, along with performing other vital roles throughout the body’s internal systems.

By Paisley Hansen
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.


Biography: Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health fitness beauty and fashion. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.

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