Amino acids are both vital to health and serve as one of the building blocks of protein. Of the 20 amino acids our bodies are unable to produce nine of them on its own. These nine are commonly grouped together and referred to as the essential amino acids.
They are (alphabetical order):
- Builds Cells & Repairs Tissue – The body uses glutamine, the most abundant amino acid, as a vital source of energy in response to external stress. In addition, glutamine is the primary fuel source for rapidly dividing cells and repairing tissue cells with its potent antioxidant properties.
- Assists with Wound Healing – Did you know that you can speed the wound healing process with amino acids? Arginine (another amino) levels plummet after the body experiences a major trauma or sustains a heavy, serious wound. Large doses of arginine have been shown to increase tissue collagen content, which helps aid the healing process.
- Increases Athletic Performance –Athletes and bodybuilders will already know how detrimental caloric depravation is to reaching their fitness goals, but what they might not know is how certain amino acids can help them get back on track. To prevent muscle loss, it’s best to supplement with one of the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine and valine.
- Provides Efficient Protein Uptake — A lack of amino acids and protein can lead to protein-energy-malnutrition, or PEM. This occurs in parts of the world where malnourishment runs rampant and what little food is available does not supply the amino acids that the body needs. Severe PEM, also known as kwashiorkor, can cause liver deterioration, anemia and skin inflammation