Amino acids form the proteins that in turn form muscle tissue and increase fat metabolism. Look in the cupboard of just about any serious athlete, and you’ll likely find some kind of amino acid supplement or protein drink designed to help them increase strength, build muscle tissue, or otherwise enhance their athletic performance. However, amino acids are not just important to those who wish to “bulk up.” Without amino acids, all cellular development, respiration, or renewal would cease.
There are just 22 amino acids, but without them all of the metabolic processes necessary to spark and sustain animal life would simply not be possible. Long chains of amino acids combine to form up to 55,000 different proteins, and each protein is used to produce the enzymes, neurotransmitters, and hormones that support normal growth and functioning of all bodily organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and sex organs.
Today’s Western diet is composed largely of processed foods, and often sadly lacking in quality protein, so just about everyone could benefit from some form of amino acid supplementation. This section provides articles and information related to the role of amino acids in promoting and maintaining good health. Look to the menu on the right and to articles listed below to find out more about the health benefits associated with each amino acid.
 Amino Acid Information
Check that your amino acid supplement contains all the essential amino acids in the right proportions.
- If you are taking a single amino acid as a supplement, taking it with empty stomach may help its absorption.
- If you are taking amino acid supplements, L-Forms are recommended as they are more acceptable to the body.
- Keep in mind, the amino acid basics; amino acids work best when all of essential and non-essential ones are provided to the body.
- Gelatin is the only animal protein that is not considered a complete Proteins.
 Essential amino acids
Humans can produce 10 of the 20 amino acids. The others must be supplied in the food. Failure to obtain enough of even 1 of the 10 essential amino acids, those that we cannot make, results in degradation of the body's proteins—muscle and so forth—to obtain the one amino acid that is needed. Unlike fat and starch, the human body does not store excess amino acids for later use—the amino acids must be in the food every day.
The 10 amino acids that we can produce are alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine. Tyrosine is produced from phenylalanine, so if the diet is deficient in phenylalanine, tyrosine will be required as well. The essential amino acids are arginine (required for the young, but not for adults), histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These amino acids are required in the diet. Plants, of course, must be able to make all the amino acids. Humans, on the other hand, do not have all the the enzymes required for the biosynthesis of all of the amino acids.
 Amino Acid Function
Amino acids are found in many of the foods you eat. Knowing how they are beneficial to your body will make you want to get up and hit the nearest supplement store as soon as possible. In this article you are going to learn what amino acids are, what they do for your body, and in my opinion, the most effective amino acids for a better body.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When you eat a food that is high in protein, your body digests the protein into individual amino acids and short links of amino acids that are small enought to be absorbed into the bloodstream. The primary functions of amino acids are to build and repair muscle tiessue, but the benefits go beyond that. These things produce chemicals that allow our brains to function at its highest potential.
Now that you`ve learned what amino acids are and what they do for your body, it`s time to learn the difference between essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body. You can get them by eating complete protein foods or from a combination of incomplete vegetables. The nine essential amino acids include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and valine. The thirteen non-essential amino acids are alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, cysteine, cystine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, hydroxyproline, proline, serine, and tyrosine.
The most effective and beneficial supplements in any bodybuilder`s arsenal are branch chain amino acids or BCAA`s because they metabolize in the persons muscles, rather than in their liver. Other good amino acids that are sold seperately or combined in many of the supplements you buy are leucine, taurine, and glutamine. Leucine provides ingredients for the manufacturing of other components in the body, which are utilized for the production of energy, stimulants to the brain, and helps you feel more alert. Taurine supplements can be used to counter the effects cause by human aging. The effects of human aging taurine can help with are energy problems, digestive and mental problems, and premature death. Glutamine is another supplement used in the bodybuilding and fitness industry because of its ability to maintain muscle mass while trying to shed fat. However, bodybuilders are not the only people who benefit from the use of glutamine. Elderly people, those who suffer from trauma, cancer, and immune deficiencies also benefit from supplementing with glutamine.
Explaining amino acids in a non-scientific article was one of my goals before writing this, and I hope that the beginning bodybuilders could understand this article. Remember that consumption of to many amino acids is worse than consuming to little. Don`t think that just because something good for you that you need to take more than the recommended dosage
All amino acids have a similar chemical structure—each contains an amino group (NH 2 ), an acid group (COOH), a hydrogen atom (H), and a distinctive side group that makes Proteins more complex than either Carbohydrates or lipids . All amino acids are attached to a central carbon atom (C).
The distinctive side group identifies each amino acid and gives it characteristics that attract it to, or repel it from, the surrounding fluids and other amino acids. Some amino acid side groups carry electrical charges that are attracted to water molecules (hydrophilic), while others are neutral and are repelled by water (hydrophobic). Side-group characteristics (shape, size, composition, electrical charge, and pH ) work together to determine each protein's specific function.
 Types of essential amino acids
- Essential amino acids
Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body and must be supplied by food. These include cysteine, lysine, and tryptophan. Sources of essential amino acids include Milk, Cheese, Eggs, certain meats, vegetables, nuts, and grains.
- Nonessential amino acids
Nonessential amino acids are made by the body from the essential amino acids or normal breakdown of Proteins. They include aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and glycine.
Essential amino acids & Non essential amino acids
Histidine Alanine Isoleucine Arginine Leucine Asparagine Lysine Aspartic acid Methionine Cysteine Phenylalanine Glutamic acid Threonine Glutamine Tryptophan Glycine Valine Proline Serine Tyrosine
 Food Sources
Humans consume many foods that contain proteins or amino acids. One normally need not worry about getting enough protein or amino acids in the typical American diet. Foods from animal sources are typically rich in essential amino acids. These include chicken, Fish, Eggs, dairy products, Beef, and Pork. With the increasing emphasis on vegetarian diets, plant sources of protein are gaining in popularity. Such sources include dried beans (black, kidney, northern, red, and white beans), peas, soy, nuts, and seeds. Although plant sources generally lack one or more of the essential amino acids, when combined with whole grains such as Rice, or by eating nuts or seeds with Legumes , all the amino acids can be obtained.
 Health benefits of amino acids
- Amino acids are needed to build the various proteins used in the growth, repair, and maintenance of body tissues. Amino acids play innumerable roles in human health and Disease.
- Alanine is necessary for the promotion of proper blood glucose levels from dietary protein. It stimulates lymphocyte production and may help people who have immune suppression. It also strengthens the Immune system by producing antibodies.
- Asparagine is needed to maintain a balance, preventing over nervousness or being overly calm.
- Carnosine is the water-soluble counterpart to vitamin E in protecting cell membranes from oxidative damage.
- Citrulline supports the body in optimizing blood flow through its conversion to l-arginine and then nitric oxide.
- Creatine supplements fuels and enhances short bursts of high-energy Exercise. Creatine prevents the body from relying solely on the process of glycolysis.
- Cysteine strengthens the protective lining of the stomach and intestines, which may help prevent damage caused by aspirin and similar drugs.
- GABA has been used in the treatment of Depression, manic-depressive (bipolar) disorder, seizures, premenstrual dysphoric (feeling depressed) disorder, and anxiety.
- Glutamine regulates immune system, nitrogen shuttling, oxidative Stress, muscle preservation, intestinal health, injuries, and much more.
- Glutathione are necessary for supporting the Immune system, glutathione is required for replication of the lymphocyte immune cells.
- Glycine is an inhibitory amino acid with important functions centrally and peripherally.
- Histidine is known to be vital in the maintenance of the myelin sheaths surrounding nerves, particularly the auditory nerve and is used to treat some forms of hearing disability.
Isoleucine is necessary for the optimal growth of infants and for Nitrogen balance in adults.
- L-arginine is used by the immune system to help regulate the activity of the thymus gland, which is responsible for manufacturing T lymphocytes.
- L-carnosine supports healthy aging and cellular rejuvenation by its effects on two mechanisms: glycosylation and free radical damage.
- Leucine is used as a source for the synthesis of blood sugar in the liver during starvation, stress, and infection to aid in healing.
- L-theanine reduces stress and anxiety without the tranquilizing effects found in many other calming supplements.
- Lysine is used in managing and preventing painful and unsightly herpes sores caused by the herpes simplex virus.
- Methionine helps remove fat from the liver.
- Phenylalanine is used to treated Depression, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps, Parkinson's disease, vitiligo, and Cancer.
- Proline is an important component in certain medical wound dressings that use collagen fragments to stimulate wound healing.
- Serine is needed for the metabolism of fats and fatty acids, muscle growth, and a healthy Immune system.
- Taurine helps regulate the contraction and pumping action of the heart muscle and it helps regulate blood pressure and platelet aggregation.
- Threonine may enhance immunity by assisting in the production of agents that fight viral infections.
- Tryptophan is important for the production of serotonin. Increasing tryptophan may help to normalize sleep patterns.
- Tyrosine may act as an adaptogen, helping the body adapt to and cope with the effects of physical or psychological stress by minimizing the symptoms brought on by Stress.
- Valine is useful in treatments involving muscle, mental, and emotional upsets, and for Insomnia and nervousness.