Amino Acids Supplements: Definition, Benefits and Food Sources
The amino acids in food and drink play a crucial role in muscle building. There are over 60 amino acids found in our bodies, with the vast majority occurring in the proteins we consume. The body breaks down proteins into their constituent amino acids and then uses them to build new protein, repair existing tissue, and produce hormones. But our bodies can only handle a certain number of amino acids at any given time.
If you eat too many foods rich in particular amino acids, you can become deficient in them and suffer from a condition called amino acid imbalance. These imbalances can cause fatigue, weight loss, skin conditions, depression and even brain damage.
The good news is that you can easily correct them by eating the right foods and taking amino acids supplements.
What are amino acids?
Amino acids are organic compounds made up of a nitrogenous base (usually an amine group), a carboxyl group, and an acidic functional group. The nitrogenous bases include alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine, and others.
The carboxylic acids include acetic, citric, fumaric, formic, malic, oxalic, propionic, pyruvic and succinic acids. Every Health supplement for Amino Acids will carry these.
The acidic functional groups include the following:
- Amino acids: An amino acid has a basic side chain, which is attached to a carbon atom.
- Esters: A compound in which an organic group is connected to the carboxyl group of an acid.
- Lactones: A ring that consists of a six-carbon chain and a carbonyl group.
- Aldehydes: An aldehyde is a molecule with a reactive aldehyde group.
- Ketones: A ketone is a molecule with a reactive ketone group.
- Alkanes: An alkane is a linear hydrocarbon, which means it has a single chain of carbon atoms.
- Aldehydes: Aldehydes are molecules that have an aldehyde functional group.
- Alcohols: An alcohol is a compound with a hydroxyl functional group.
- Carboxylic acids: A carboxylic acid has a carboxyl functional group.
- Ethers: Ether is a compound with an oxygen atom in a ring structure.
- Cyclic ethers: Cyclic ether is a ring that consists of two oxygens.
- Thioethers: Thioether is a compound that has a sulfur atom in a ring structure.
- Sulfur-containing compounds: A sulfur-containing compound has a sulfur atom in a ring structure.
What are the benefits of amino acids?
Following are the few benefits of amino acids:
- build and repair muscle
- used in the synthesis of hormones and other chemicals
- building blocks of proteins
- main components of blood and bones
- act as antioxidants in the body
- support the immune system
- involved in the nervous system
- required for the growth and development of the brain and other organs
- needed for metabolism
- part of the protein building process
- important in the production of collagen, a component of the skin and other tissues
- involved in the maintenance of teeth
- important in the formation of bone
- vital to normal blood clotting
- needed for the production of enzymes
- necessary for the absorption of vitamins and minerals
- involved in the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters
- support the proper functioning of the endocrine system
- help to reduce anxiety and stress
- are needed to maintain a healthy heart
- protect against degenerative diseases and cancer
- improve sleep
- beneficial for people suffering from allergies
- helpful for people with asthma and other breathing problems
- used to treat digestive disorders
- help to treat some forms of arthritis
- help to prevent osteoporosis
- help to strengthen the immune system
- beneficial for those who have a poor diet or are undergoing chemotherapy
- improve athletic performance