Amino acids are chemical compounds that by forming various combinations make up the thousands of proteins that exist in our body. They help in building muscle structure and regeneration . There are two types of amino acids, “essential” and “non-essential”.
Essential Amino Acids:
Isoleucine, Phenylalanine, Valine, Leucine, Methionine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Lysine.
Non-Essential Amino Acids:
Glutamine, Asparagine, Alanine, Tyrosine, Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid, Histidine, Glycine, Cysteine, Serine, Proline and Arginine.
The “Essential” are those which the organism cannot produce by itself and must get them in some other way, e.g. through food, while the “unnecessary” can be produced. However, there are times when the body cannot synthesize some “non-essential” amino acids, so then we will have to find another way to get them.
Both the first and the second are necessary in our body and we should receive the correct amounts of amino acids that are proportionate to us from both types.
If we do not ensure that our body has enough “essential” amino acids, its functions will gradually deteriorate, since a chronic lack of proteins is not compatible with life. Just as fish cannot live outside of water, so our body needs proteins and amino acids.
Commonly used amino acid supplements are taken to increase muscle mass, however amino acids help the body in other functions as well:
They are a reserve source of energy for the body