Amino acids: Building blocks of life for better mood and sex drive!

essential amino acids

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are a simple organic compound containing both a carboxyl (-COOH) and an amino (-NH2) group. About 500 naturally occurring amino acids are known, though 25 amino acids that link together into polypeptide chains to form proteins are necessary for all life.
Proteins are complex molecules that are used in the normal functioning of the human body. They are essential for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Proteins are made up of hundreds of smaller units called amino acids that are attached to one another by peptide bonds, forming a long chain.
Proteins are broken down into amino acids, which are used to help the body with various processes namely building muscle and regulating immune function. Amino acids are divided into 3 different groups namely essential, semi-essential, and non-essential.

Essential Amino Acids

amino acids foodsNine amino acids are classified as essential amino acids, namely Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine. Essential amino acids are not created by the human body and need to be supplemented in the form of diet.

Functions of essential amino acids in our body

Histidine: Histidine amino acid produces histamine. Histamine is a neurotransmitter that is essential for immune response, digestion, sexual function, and sleep-wake cycles. It is used in maintaining the myelin sheath, a protective barrier that surrounds nerve cells.

Isoleucine: Isoleucine amino acid helps in muscle metabolism and is concentrated in muscle tissues. It is important for immune function, hemoglobin production, and energy regulation.

Leucine: Leucine amino acid is used in protein synthesis and muscle repair. It regulates blood sugar levels, stimulates wound healing, and produces growth hormones.

Lysine: Lysine amino acid is used in protein synthesis, hormone and enzyme production, and absorption of calcium, which is important for energy production, immune function, and the production of collagen and elastin.

Methionine: Methionine amino acid is used for metabolism and detoxification, which is important for tissue growth and the absorption of zinc and selenium minerals, which are vital to our health.

essential amino acidsPhenylalanine: Phenylalanine amino acid is a precursor for neurotransmitters namely tyrosine, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, which are used in the structure and function of proteins and enzymes and the production of other amino acids

Threonine: Threonine amino acid is a principal part of structural proteins namely collagen and elastin, which are components of the skin and connective tissue. It also is used for fat metabolism and immune function.

Tryptophan: Tryptophan amino acid is needed to maintain proper nitrogen balance and is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates appetite, sleep, and mood. Tryptophan amino acid is also associated with causing drowsiness.

Valine: Valine amino acid helps stimulate muscle growth and regeneration and is used in energy production.

Semi-essential Amino Acids

Histidine and Arginine are semi-essential amino acids, which are required by growing children in the form of diet but are not essential for the adults.

Non-essential Amino Acids

The amino acids which are produced by the human body are called the non-essential amino acids namely Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Aspartic acid, Cysteine, Glutamic acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Proline, Serine, and Tyrosine.

Uses of non-essential amino acids

amino acids meatAlanine: Alanine amino acid is produced by other amino acids like pyruvate and leucine, valine and isoleucine. It is also known as L-Alanine and a more dense form called Beta Alanine. Beta Alanine is used in sports, as it is a performance improver. Alanine along with Glutamine helps maintain Amino Acid Metabolism in the body. It helps in maintaining glucose levels in the body and helps in the prevention of insulin shocks and low sugar levels in the blood.

Arginine: Arginine amino acid is also known as L-Arginine. Arginine changes to Nitric Oxide in the human body and serves as a powerful vasodilator. Arginine is used in the healing of wounds, detoxification of kidneys, immune and hormone maintenance, and artery dilation.

Asparagine: Asparagine amino acid is known as the first amino acid to be isolated from its source. Asparagine is known for synthesis of glycoproteins in the human body and is synthesized by the liver. Asparagine is used in transporting nitrogen inside the body, as well as cell building capability. It is the most important amino acid for neuron development. It can improve stamina in athletes.

Aspartic acid: Aspartate amino acid is commonly known as Aspartic Acid and it is a negatively charged polar amino acid. It is synthesized by the liver in the human body. Aspartate is a combination of iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc to produce dietary supplements. Aspartate is used to increase the solubility of minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc. It is beneficial in stimulating NMDA receptors.

Cysteine: Cysteine amino acid is widely used by the human body for various important functions. In supplements, it is usually in the form of N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC). The body converts it into cysteine and then into glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant. N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is administered when a person has acetaminophen overdose. It is used in the treatment of chronic bronchitis and COPD. N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) with nitroglycerin is used to treat angina/chest pain with patients suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD). N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is also used to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) which is developed post lung injury and can prevent disease growth.

Glutamic acid: Glutamate amino acid is also referred to as Glutamic acid. Glutamate is widely used as an ingredient known as MSG (monosodium glutamate). Glutamate is used as a very powerful neurotransmitter. Excess concentration of Glutamate is highly toxic. Glutamate is the major mediator of signal transduction in humans, as well as mammals in the central nervous system (CNS). It plays the role of memory vitalization, cognition, and learning. It acts as a neurotransmitter. Glutamate is mainly present in the brain at good concentrations. It plays a crucial role in brain metabolism. Glutamic acid is used in the treatment of schizophrenia. It helps in reversing the deficiency of the syndrome.

Glutamine: Glutamine amino acid is one of the widely known amino acids. Glutamine is commonly known as L-Glutamine. It is present in high amounts in the skeleton and Glutamine contains Nitrogen and is also known as nitrogen carrier. Glutamine is consumed after a workout by athletes, as it aids in faster muscle recovery. Glutamine helps in the prevention of infection with patients suffering from burns. Intravenous administration of Glutamine helps in killing bacteria post surgery and also helps to restore the immune system.

Glycine: Glycine amino acid is the smallest amino acid with respect to its structure. Glycine is manufactured by the body and a normal meal contains around 2 grams of Glycine in it. Glycine is combined with glutamate and other drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia. Glycine helps in the prevention of ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke is the most common type of brain stroke and it is caused by the blockage of a blood vessel in the brain. Oral administration of Glycine during the stroke helps limit the damage. Glycine is used in creams to treat leg ulcers.

Proline: Proline amino acid is known as L-proline. It helps in the formation of collagen. Collagen is very smooth and flexible tissue that helps in holding the bones together. It helps in the prevention of arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis is thickening or hardening of arteries, which leads to various heart diseases. Proline helps in the breakup of fat in the wall of arteries and thereby decreasing the chances of heart blockage.

amino acids sleepSerine: Serine amino acid is also known as L-serine. It is synthesized by the body from glycine and threonine. Serine is used by the body to produce tryptophan. Tryptophan is used to synthesize serotonin (the mood hormone). Deficiency in the levels of serotonin and tryptophan leads to symptoms like anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and depression. Serine is used in fat metabolism. It also helps in proper functioning of RNA and DNA. It helps in muscle formation and immune maintenance. Serine is used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that cannot be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity but does not improve with rest. Serine is used in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.

Tyrosine: Tyrosine amino acid is also known as L-Tyrosine. Tyrosine is one of the most important amino acids. Tyrosine is used for management of bodily functions and makes it one of the most important amino acid. Iron-rich food is the source of tyrosine. Tyrosine is used in the prevention of brain damage. Phenylketonuria is a rare genetic disorder where the body is unable to produce Phenylalanine, which can lead to brain damage. A supplement of Tyrosine helps in the production of Phenylalanine, which helps in the treatment of brain damage. Tyrosine supplementation is used for stress relief. Tyrosine restores neurotransmitter hormones such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, and with the release of these hormones, Tyrosine helps in stress relief. L-Tyrosine also helps in focus and energy. Excess levels of Tyrosine may also destabilize the production of thyroid hormones.

Which foods contain these essential amino acids?

  • Lean meat, poultry, and fish: Lean meat such as chicken and turkey and seafood such as fish are high in protein and low on fat. Seafood is a high source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is heart healthy and can reduce joint stiffness and inflammation.
  • Eggs: One medium egg contains around 6 grams of protein and is one of the highly rich sources of essential amino acids.
  • Dairy products: Dairy products are another high protein and calcium-rich source, which can be consumed on a daily basis.
  • Beans and legumes: Such as lentils and chickpeas. Beans and pulses are great protein sources. They are also a good source of iron and fiber.
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are also high in protein. Around 50 pistachio nuts provide 6 grams of protein, plus sodium and potassium, and the electrolytes lost in sweat during exercise. It can also be consumed as a quick breakfast.
  • Soy products in the form of tofu. People allergic to dairy products have an alternate food in the form of soy products. Foods in the form of tofu also help in lowering cholesterol and prevents heart diseases.

How much amino acids should you consume?

amino acids weight lossA daily quantity of around 0.8-1 gm of protein/kg of body weight is recommended. For weightlifters and strength athletes 1.4 – 2 gm of protein/ kg of body weight is recommended daily; with a recommendation of 1.2-1.6 gm of protein/ kg of body weight daily for endurance athletes. After exercise, protein is particularly important since muscles need it to recover and grow. A portion of protein (15-25 grams) is recommended within 30 minutes of exercise when your muscles are particularly receptive to protein synthesis. If you are keen on building muscles and/or a regular to the gym, you might want to up the intake of amino acids for better muscle growth.

 

 

 

Trending Topics

hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause…
50 common health conditions
What are the top 50 deadly and widespread diseases? A complete list of the top 50 most common and deadly diseases that plague humanity.…
low carb foods spinach
Low carb vegetables: A complete list of what to pick from during a keto diet Is your plate of veggies making you fat? Are all vegetables created equal? Research reveals…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
canola oil cooking
Canola oil: How safe is it to consume this popular cooking oil? Extracted from rapeseeds, Canola oil derives its name from Canadian Oil. Did you know that…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
waking up tired
10 reasons why you might be waking up tired Do you feel you are not getting enough sleep? Sleep-deprived and frustrated? Read on discover…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with…
IIFYM diet shopping
If it fits your macros (IIFYM) : A contemporary macro diet regime A diet that lets you eat everything- sounds unbelievable, right? Well, with IIFYM now you…
Kratom drug banned
Kratom: Why is this distant cousin of coffee banned in numerous countries? The name Kratom has often stirred controversies ; this psychoactive drug is both the cure…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
stress adverse effects
Fight, flight, or freeze: 8 ways stress can ruin your body Did you know that stress is in-built in our systems? It helped our ancestors respond…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body…
back pain relief
Don’t choose pain: 10 truths about your back ache (and how to get relief) Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world. Almost 80% of…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga…
Ketosis bad breath
Ketosis: A potentially dangerous side effect of the popular keto diet? Ketosis occurs when you have too low carb intake. Though it means rapid fat loss,…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
Panera bread steak arugula
Panera Bread: The truth behind this “healthy” restaurant chain What to order and what to avoid when dining at Panera Bread ? Know more…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail…
chia seeds weight loss
Chia seeds: How to consume this staple Aztec food to get a leaner body Chia seeds: What is the actual reason for its sudden popularity? Why are celebrities swearing…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
Whole30 diet fad
Whole30 Diet – Why eliminating certain foods just doesn’t cut it Whole30 Diet: Is this the ‘whole’-y grail of a disease-free body? Read more to find…
lose pregnancy weight
5 most effective ways you can lose those pregnancy pounds! Are you looking for ways to get back into shape? Scared of crash diets? Don't…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron…
kale
Kale: With more iron than beef, this superfood is the ultimate way to lose weight Checkmate meat-eaters; with kale, vegans now have the ultimate iron-rich superfood as their ally that…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
superfoods quinoa probiotics
10 fantastic Superfoods you need to include in your diet from today! What exactly are superfoods and how do they battle diseases? From losing weight to looking…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
Healthy pregnancy tips
How to have a healthy pregnancy: Essential tips to remember What to expect when growing a life within you? How important are prenatal vitamins anyway?…
top 5 deadliest cancers
A sneak peek into the top 5 deadliest cancers and the true nature of their origins Did you know that cancer is the 2nd leading cause of deaths globally? Among the…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
Nitric oxide: Why is this heart-healthy supplement every sportsman’s first choice? Once considered a vastly toxic substance, nitric oxide is now deemed to be a great…
gallbladder diet tomato
Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
common mental disorders
Common mental health disorders :The silent stigma surrounding millions More than 300 million sufferers and yet a silent and agonizing stigma; why are people…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too!…
low carb diet meal
Low carb diet : Go high on fats and low on carbs for a leaner body! Did you know that sugar is the new fat? Going low on carbs and high…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet…
boost brain health
The ultimate tips on how to boost your brain health Would you like to be smarter? Want a sharp memory but bored of doing sudoku?…
health benefits coffee
Dark, hot, & steamy: The remarkable health benefits of drinking coffee Coffee does more than just wake you up. One of the most widely consumed beverages…
matcha tea leaves
Matcha: The unthinkable health benefits of this unique green tea Did you know that a cup of matcha can boost your immunity against toxic diseases?…
Military diet
Military Diet : Why following a highly restrictive diet is a bad idea Is seiging your calorie intake the right way to attack fats? Read more about Military…
BCAAs powder
BCAA: Now get more out of your workouts with this miracle protein BCAAs are counted as one of the best supplements for increasing your physical endurance. Find…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
CBD oil safe
Cannabidiol benefits: Evaluating the “highs” of CBD Oil The word cannabis paints a picture of addicts. But did you know that CBD oil,…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…