Supplements have been shown to build muscle, decrease muscle fatigue and alleviate muscle soreness. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
Your body has thousands of different proteins that each have important jobs. Each protein has its own sequence of amino acids. The sequence makes the protein take different shapes and have different functions in your body.
Your body uses amino acids to make proteins. The different types of amino acids and the way they’re put together determine the function of each protein.
Amino acids help you to:
- Break down food;
- Grow and repair body tissue;
- Provide an energy source;
- Maintain healthy skin, hair and nails;
- Build muscle;
- Boost your immune system;
- Sustain a normal digestive system.
Amino acids are generally safe to use every day, as long as they’re not consumed in huge amounts.
You can usually get all the essential amino acids your body needs by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Some people take amino acid supplements to get better sleep, improve their mood and enhance athletic performance.
The body needs 20 different amino acids to maintain good health and normal functioning. People must obtain nine of these amino acids, called the essential amino acids, through food.
The foods below are the most common sources of amino acids:
- Lysine is in meat, eggs, soy, black beans, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds;
- Meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, and whole grains contain large amounts of histidine;
- Cottage cheese and wheat germ contain high quantities of threonine;
- Methionine is in eggs, grains, nuts, and seeds;
- Valine is in soy, cheese, peanuts, mushrooms, whole grains, and vegetables;
- Isoleucine is plentiful in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, lentils, nuts, and seeds;
- Dairy, soy, beans, and legumes are sources of leucine;
- Phenylalanine is in dairy, meat, poultry, soy, fish, beans, and nuts;
- Tryptophan is in most high-protein foods, including cottage cheese, chicken, and turkey.
Consuming essential amino acids is crucial for good health.