Confused about what amino acids do for your body? Don’t worry! We’re here to break it down for you.
In short, these tiny compounds, often called the building blocks of protein, are essential for keeping your body functioning properly and promoting overall well-being.
But let’s dive deeper into why our bodies need amino acids and how they support our body's functions.
Muscle Growth and Repair:
When you exercise or engage in physical activities like weightlifting, your muscles become stressed and may even experience some small points of damage. Essential amino acids, which your body can't produce on its own, provide the necessary materials for building new muscle proteins.
Hormone and Enzyme Production:
They also play a crucial role in producing hormones and enzymes that regulate various functions in your body. For example, the amino acid tyrosine is important for making hormones like dopamine, adrenaline, and thyroid hormones, which affect your mood, energy levels, and metabolism. Serine and glycine, other essential amino acids, are necessary for producing enzymes involved in DNA and protein production.
Did you know that amino acids can contribute to your energy levels? When you're engaging in intense exercise or your body's carbohydrate stores are depleted, amino acids can be broken down to provide the energy your muscles and brain need. This process, called (1) gluconeogenesis, ensures a continuous supply of glucose to fuel your activities. While carbohydrates are your body's preferred energy source, amino acids can step in as an alternative when needed.
Immune System Support:
Your immune system relies on certain amino acids to function properly. Glutamine, for example, is an amino acid found in high concentrations in immune cells. It acts as a vital fuel source for these cells and helps maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract, which is crucial for immune function. Others like arginine and cysteine contribute to antioxidant defense.
Brain Health and Mood Regulation:
They also have an impact on your brain health and mood regulation. Some serve as building blocks for neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers enabling communication between brain nerve cells. For instance, tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood, sleep, and appetite regulation. Phenylalanine and tyrosine are precursors for neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which affect your mood, focus, and motivation.
Amino acids are vital for your body to function at its best. From supporting muscle growth and repair to hormone production, energy boost, immune system support, and brain health, their role is extensive and interconnected. By ensuring you consume enough through a balanced diet, you can support your body's physiological processes, leading to overall health, improved performance, and enhanced well-being.
To help get more EAA into your diet check out our Joint Replacement Supplement. Designed for preventing muscle weakness after joint surgery.
- Gluconeogenesis: a metabolic process in which the body produces glucose (a type of sugar) from non-carbohydrate sources, such as amino acids and glycerol.