Amino acids are compounds that help your body make proteins. They are the building blocks of all life! Without them, you wouldn’t exist. Your body can produce some amino acids totally on its own. However, some you can only obtain through the food that you eat. We’re here to explain all about essential amino acids, what they can do for you, and how you can make sure that you’re getting enough of them.

What are they?

Amino acids combine to form proteins in the body. These compounds are important for muscle development and repair, and are vital in your nervous, reproductive, immune, and digestive systems. When proteins break down, they form amino acids.

Essential amino acids

Essential amino acids can’t be made by the body. That means that you have to get them through your food sources.

These aminos include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Food sources like meat, eggs, tofu, soy, buckwheat, quinoa, and dairy contain many essential amino acids.

Nonessential amino acids

With nonessential amino acids, you don’t have to worry about getting certain nutrients in your diet. Your body makes all that you need.

These aminos include alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.

Conditionally essential amino acids

These aminos can usually be made by the body. However, in times of stress or sickness your body might not be able to make all that it needs. In those cases, you’ll need to supplement through your diet.

These aminos include arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine.

What can amino acids do for you?

May help improve mood and sleep

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that plays a role in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is essential in regulating mood, sleep, and behavior. Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression and poor sleep.

Can boost athletic performance

L-arginine has a unique effect on the blood vessels that can help increase stamina. The conditionally essential amino acid l-arginine is essential in the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning that it opens up the blood vessels and allows for more blood flow. That increased blood flow delivers more oxygen to your muscles and can help you with that last mile or extra set of reps.

May prevent muscle loss

Essential amino acids are important to building and retaining and preserving lean muscle mass. In one study, 22 older adults on bed rest showed better muscle retention than those who took whey protein or a sports drink.

Can promote weight loss

Amino acids have been shown to help athletes burn more body fat during their workouts. One study from the College of Charleston showed that those who consumed BCAA (branched-chain amino acid) supplements burned 2.5 times more body fat than those who consumed a carbohydrate sports drink and 50% more than those who consumed a whey protein drink.

L-arginine Plus

L-arginine Plus is an all-natural amino acid supplement that provides 5110 mg of l-arginine and 1010 mg of l-citrulline. This is a premium nitric oxide booster that is great for boosting athletic performance, improving circulation, and lowers blood pressure.

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