Life is fleeting! And can feel even shorter when we aren’t able to enjoy it to its fullest.
To support ongoing well-being, we need to learn a little about our bodies and what we need to sustain optimal health and vitality well into our later years.
Ensuring you are getting enough Amino Acids is a simple way to improve your health. In this helpful guide, we’ll show you why your body needs Amino Acids, where to get them, and how! Let’s get started.
What are Amino Acids (and why do I need them)?
Amino Acids are organic compounds that combine to produce proteins and work to synthesize hormones and neurotransmitters in your body. They also build muscle, transport nutrients, help prevent you from getting sick, repair body tissues, boost your immune system, slow muscle loss, and much more.
Your body requires 20 Amino Acids, 9 of which are considered Essential Amino Acids (EAAs). The other 11 Amino Acids are Non-Essential yet beneficial and worth getting to know in their own right, as we’ll explore below.
What Are the Non-Essential Amino Acids?
Of the 20 Amino Acids, there are 11 which are considered Non-Essential.
These include alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine. Let’s break each down individually:
- Alanine is used to make proteins and to break down tryptophan and vitamin B in the body. It also powers the muscles and the central nervous system, strengthens the immune system, and helps the body break down sugar.
- Argenine helps relax and open blood vessels and stimulates insulin release, one of the body’s growth hormones.
- Asparagine helps with many cellular functions and is an attachment site for carbohydrates. It also aids in the metabolism of toxic ammonia in the body.
- Aspartic acid helps regulate hormones in the body as well as helps in the production of antibodies that support the immune system.
- Cysteine is essential in creating collagen and is also vital in many metabolic functions, including burning fat and increasing muscle mass.
- Glutamic acid helps nerve cells in the brain send and receive information from other cells. It’s also involved in our learning and memory processes.
- Glutamine boosts the immune system, aids in gut function, and helps the body deal with stress.
- Glycine helps with the transmission of chemical signals in the brain and might play a role in cancer prevention since it appears to interfere with the blood supply certain tumours need to grow.
- Proline helps the body produce collagen, which aids the healing of skin, bones, and joints. It’s also important in the general function of cells.
- Serine helps with cognitive function and sleep. It also helps the brain transmit chemical signals.
- Tyrosine helps with attention, focus, and alertness. It also regulates mood and produces chemicals in the brain that facilitate nerve cell communication.
What are the 9 Essential Amino Acids?
The 9 Essential Amino Acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
- Lysine is vital for building muscle, maintaining bone strength, recovering from injury and regulating hormones.
- Isoleucine helps with healing after injury, immunity, blood sugar regulation, maintaining muscle tissue, energy production, and hormone production. Older adults need more isoleucine to maintain muscle health as they age.
- Leucine is the superstar when it comes to building, repairing and maintaining muscle and bone. Important for older adults that risk developing sarcopenia, the natural age-related muscle loss that begins in our 40s and accelerates as we age.
- Histidine is the key facilitator of tissue repair, creating blood cells and maintains the protective covering over nerve cells. The body uses Histidine to create histamine that aids in immunity, reproductive health, and digestion. A deficiency in this essential amino acid can cause anemia and low blood levels.
- Phenylalanine aids the body in using other amino acids, proteins, and enzymes and converts them into tyrosine, which is key to healthy brain function.
- Threonine is important for healthy skin and teeth as it is a big part of tooth enamel, collagen, and elastin while also helping with metabolism and digestion.
- Tryptophan drives healthy sleep cycles. It is a precursor of serotonin, which regulates appetite, sleep, and mood, and melatonin, a natural sleep aid. Tryptophan has been shown to improve mental energy and emotional processing.
- Methionine plays a key role in healthy hair, nails, and skin. It aids in the proper absorption of selenium and zinc and removing heavy metals such as lead and mercury.
- Valine affects our mental health and is essential for mental focus, muscle coordination, tissue repair, energy, and emotions. Deficiencies in Valine can cause insomnia and reduced mental clarity.
Even though your body needs these EAAs, getting them through diet is essential as we can’t produce them on our own! By consuming such foods as meat, eggs, tofu, soy, quinoa, and dairy, you can offer your body those essential nutrients.
In addition to Essential and Non-Essential Amino Acids, there are also Conditional Amino Acids that are only essential during illness or stress. CAAs include arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine.
How do Amino Acids Affect Muscle Health?
Studies show that low levels of protein and Essential Amino Acids in the body can affect muscle health, energy, reduced muscle mass, and strength as you age.
While getting adequate EAAs has shown to help post-surgery and post-exercise recovery.
Each of the 9 Essential Amino Acids play a different role in the body and available in varying amounts in specific foods.
Getting the right blend of EAAs to repair muscle, slow muscle loss, and encourage healthy aging is only achieved by eating a wide variety of protein-rich foods.
How Can Rejuvenate Help Me?
It is vital as we age to ensure we are getting all 9 Essential Amino Acids (EAAs). Doing so will help maintain muscle mass as you age, protecting your health, strength, and mobility.
It is possible to get your EAAs through your diet, or you can simplify with supplements like Rejuvenate Muscle Health! Our patented blend offers an optimal combination of all 9 EAAs and is clinically proven to help reverse and repair age-related muscle loss, even without exercise.
Rejuvenate Muscle Health has also been shown to help speed post-surgery recovery and to help patients in treatment maintain muscle when appetite is compromised. We encourage you to stock up on healthy foods high in Essential Amino Acids including our delicious supplements designed to support your goals, so you can live stronger, longer!
If you liked this blog and want to learn more about how to maintain your health, check out more of our helpful blogs!