Amino Acids – A Beginners Guide

amino acids

Amino acids are vital to the importance of building muscle. They can help you in bodybuilding and help you grow muscle. Without adequate amounts of them or without the right combination and ratios of them, your body simply cannot build proteins or muscle.

What Are Amino Acids?

It is an understood fact that amino acids are essential components of all living things, whether they are microbes or humans. There are exactly 20 different types of amino acids that are found in all living organisms.

In our bodies, amino acids make up approximately 20% of our body mass. They are the second most plentiful substance after water in the body. Protein is constructed from amino acids. There are more than one hundred thousand different types of proteins which are all constructed from different combinations of the 20 amino acids.

The foundation or building blocks of life are amino acids and proteins. Upon digestion or breaking down of proteins, individual amino acids are the byproduct. Amino acids are utilized by the body to make proteins that the body needs and uses to survive and function. It is also possible for amino acids to be used by the body as a source of energy.

How many amino acid groups are there?

Three types of amino acid groups exist, Essential, Semi-Essential and Non-Essential.

What Are Essential Amino Acids?

Essential amino acids can’t be synthesized by the body from other amino acids or other molecules. In other words, essential amino acids are those that the body can’t make. The human body cannot synthesize these amino acids on its own; they must come from food or supplements.

There are eight different essential amino acids.

Isoleucine

Is a type of amino acid that your muscles use to create energy. Isoleucine is vital in creating hemoglobin. it is one of the the BCAA

Leucine

Is used as energy and even helps to reduce the amount of muscle protein loss you endure. It can also help your body to heal broken bones and skin damage. It is another member of the BCAA group

Valine

Is not processed by your liver but taken directly to your muscles. Valine is the third amino acid that makes up the BCAA

Histidine

Can be used to treat anemia, allergy diseases, digestive ulcers, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is vital in producing red and white blood cells.

Lysine

Helps your muscles and connective tissues. Lysine is often used to treat herpes simplex and helps to destroy other viruses. It helps in bone growth by helping your body grow collagen. When Vitamin C is combined with Lysine, it will help your muscles use oxygen more resourcefully and even hinder fatigue.

Phenylalanine

Helps suppress your appetite, which can be helpful if you are trying to shed fat. Phenylalanine aids in the formation of collagen in the body.

Threonine

Helps reduce the amount of fat built up in your liver and aids in the creation of collagen.

Tryptophan

Helps keep you calm and helps release growth hormones.

What are Semi-essential Amino Acids?

Arginine, Cysteine, and Tyrosine are the three amino acids that make up the semi-essential amino acid group. During stress-induced times such as infancy, illness, surgery, or after an operation, the body tends to run out of these semi-essential amino acids. That is why they are referred to as semi-essential because the body can make them, but not fast enough during times of stress. This is key for athletes who train a lot or at high intensities, as this can deplete the semi-essential amino acids faster than the body can make them.

There are three different semi-essential amino acids.

Arginine

Arginine helps growth hormones, builds your immune system, creates collagen, and is a precursor for creatine.

Cysteine

Helps your body detoxify certain chemicals, can prevent body damage from tobacco and alcohol, and helps to build white blood cells.

Tyrosine

Helps elevate your mood, helps growth hormones, and even helps as a precursor for dopamine and epinephrine.

What Are Non-essential Amino Acids?

By using other amino acids, the human body is able to synthesize non-essential amino acids. A healthy person who consumes enough protein will be able to produce more than enough of the non-essential amino acids their body needs.

There are ten different non-essential amino acids.

Alanine

Is the main amino acid in helping your connective tissues, helps your immune system, and helps facilitate your muscles and other tissues to get energy from amino acids.

Aspartic Acid

Helps to turn carbs into energy for your muscles. Following exercise even helps your immune system and limits your body’s ammonia levels.

Cystine

Strengthens your connective tissues, helps in inflammation pain, helps to build more white blood cells, and helps in healing processes.

Glutamic Acid

Is a possible energy source and important for your brain and amino acid metabolism.

Glutamine

Helps you with your memory and concentration. It is an important energy source for your intestines, kidneys and more.

Glycine

Helps to create other amino acids. It can even eliminate sweet cravings.

Ornithine

Ornithine helps your growth hormones, helps the body to heal, and helps to improve your immune system and liver.

Proline

Helps your heart and connective tissues, gives your muscles more energy and creates more collagen.

Serine

Helps your cells’ energy creation, helps your nervous system and memory, and even helps your immune system.

Taurine

Helps reduce fats.

Citrulline

See article on citrulline