Amino acids play a significant role in your body. Being the building blocks of protein, they are very much needed in various processes such as building proteins and synthesising hormones and neurotransmitters. They usually come from natural sources, but they also come in supplement form as mood and athletic performance enhancers.
Amino acids are classified into three categories, namely essential, conditionally essential, and nonessential. Let’s get to know about amino acids in detail.
Amino acids are composed of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. In order for your body to function and grow properly, you need 20 different amino acids, nine of which are classified as essential amino acids. These are called histidine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, leucine, and valine. These essential amino acids can only be obtained through your diet, unlike nonessential amino acids which are produced by your body.
Good sources of these essential amino acids include animal proteins such as eggs, meat, and poultry. When you consume protein, it will be broken down into amino acids that will help your body function in various processes like regulating immune function and building muscle.
There is also another type of amino acids called conditional amino acids. Normally, they are not essential, except in times of stress and illness. The eight conditional amino acids are glutamine, glycine, arginine, cysteine, serine, proline, tyrosine, and ornithine.
Essential amino acids and protein not only are recognised for their role in developing and repairing muscle, but the body also depends on them as they can be used as a source of energy.