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What Are Amino Acids: Top 11 Benefits of Amino Acids

Upated January 5, 2023

Did you know that 20 percent of your body comprises proteins?  Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Twenty different amino acids make up a protein, each with a unique sequence of amino acids. The sequence of amino acids in a protein determines its specific function. Amino acids can be found in both plant and animal sources of food. This blog will discuss the what are amino acid and their benefits.amino-acids

Amino acids are essential to a healthy diet and lifestyle, with a wide range of overall health benefits. They are the building blocks of proteins and help to regulate many important bodily processes, including muscle growth, digestion, and immune system function. Regularly consuming amino acids can help ensure that your body can function optimally and stay healthy. Our muscles, tissue, and cells comprise amino acids; they play important roles in our body. We know it’s amino acids that give the structure to our cells. Amino acids also play an essential role in storing and transporting key nutrients. From your arteries to organs, amino acids play a part in the function of these body parts.

Amino acids are essential for human health and play a role in many bodily functions. They can be found in proteins and are important for muscle growth and maintenance, as well as the proper functioning of the immune system. Some amino acids are also necessary for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that help nerve cells communicate with each other. Amino acids have many benefits for overall health and well-being.

Amino acids’ benefits don’t stop there; they also play a role in healing. Amino acids can help repair tissue and heal wounds in your bones, muscles, skin, and hair. They also help remove waste produced in relationship with your metabolism.

 Additionally, amino acids may be beneficial in supporting cardiovascular health by helping to reduce levels of bad cholesterol while increasing levels of good cholesterol. As such, they may be critical components of any heart-healthy diet plan.

The different types of amino acids all have different functions in the body. Some amino acids are essential, meaning the body cannot make them, and they must be obtained through the diet. Others are non-essential, meaning the body can make them on its own.


Amino Acid Benefits and The  Brain 

Amino acids are vital in many bodily functions, including brain health. By providing the body with the building blocks it needs to make proteins, amino acids help keep the body functioning properly.

Amino acids are especially important for brain health. The brain requires a steady supply of amino acids to function properly, and deficiencies can cause problems such as cognitive decline and memory loss. Fortunately, supplementing with amino acids can help ensure the brain gets the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

Amino acids also have other benefits for mental health. They can help reduce stress and anxiety, and they may even help treat conditions like depression and bipolar disorder.

The right amino acids can provide raw materials for making neurotransmitters and neuropeptides; the chemicals nerve cells use to communicate.

For example, if you want to heighten alertness and attention, increase your sense of well-being, and help ward off the effects of stress, you would do well to increase your levels of the amino acid, Tyrosine. Tyrosine converts into the alerting neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline and then into the hormone adrenalin (also called epinephrine). These molecules are referred to as catecholamines.

Many of you may already be familiar with dopamine, a “feel good” neurotransmitter associated with the reward centers in our brains. Dopamine helps to generate feelings of optimism, encouragement, and enthusiasm. Dopamine and other catecholamines facilitate normal nerve function, help reduce fatigue, and balance energy levels.


Amino Acids Benefits and  Cognitive Function

Amino acids are essential building blocks for a healthy body and mind, and their importance for better cognitive function cannot be overstated. They are the base molecules from which proteins and neurotransmitters in the brain are formed, thus playing an immense role in supporting memory, focus, mood, and overall cognitive functioning.

Studies have shown that certain amino acid supplements can help to improve concentration and mental clarity while reducing feelings of fatigue or depression. For instance, L-theanine is an amino acid found naturally in tea linked to improved focus, decreased stress levels, and increased creativity, whereas ALCAR (Acetyl-L-Carnitine) is an amino acid that helps with energy production within the brain, thereby improving alertness.


Amino Acid Benefits and Muscle Growth and Repair

Amino acids help with muscle growth and repair and provide energy for the body to function optimally. When it comes to improving physical performance, essential amino acids can be an effective ally in helping athletes achieve their goals.

Amino acid intake can promote muscle growth, aiding recovery after exercise or injury. By providing the body with the necessary building blocks for protein synthesis, amino acids can help to repair damaged muscles and build new muscle tissue quickly and efficiently. Amino acids contain nitrogen vital for maintaining muscle tissue and help produce hormones that promote muscle growth. They support protein synthesis for repairing and rebuilding muscles damaged during strenuous exercise or activity. Additionally, they are important regulators of metabolism, which helps promote efficient digestion and utilization of food nutrients required to maintain optimal health.

Amino acid supplementation can also help improve mental clarity by increasing focus and concentration while aiding in memory recall abilities.


Amino Acids Benefits and Increased Energy Levels

Amino acids are essential to a healthy diet, providing our bodies with the building blocks to make proteins and other important compounds. For those looking to increase their energy levels, amino acids can be a great way.

This is because many amino acids contain nitrogen molecules which help the body convert food into energy more efficiently. Additionally, certain types of amino acids can help reduce fatigue and tiredness by aiding in the production of dopamine and serotonin – two neurotransmitters associated with improved alertness and mood.

Studies have also found that consuming more branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine can improve physical performance while helping to reduce exercise-induced fatigue. BCAAs account for one-third of all muscle protein and are important in muscle growth and repair.



Amino acids are classified into 3 different groups:

  • Essential Amino Acids
  • Non-Essential Amino Acids
  • Conditional Amino Acids


Essential Amino Acids Benefits



Essential amino acids are amino acids that the body can not produce. Due to this, they must come from foods or amino acid supplements. The nine essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These amino acids play important roles in maintaining health. They help to build and repair muscle tissue, support the immune system, promote growth and development, and help to regulate metabolism.

There are numerous benefits associated with consuming enough essential amino acids in your diet. Lysine helps form collagen vital for healthy skin, bones, and cartilage. Methionine helps detoxify the body by removing heavy metals from cells and providing sulfur for joint health and muscle tone maintenance.

Phenylalanine is an important precursor for many neurotransmitters that aid in memory formation and learning. It also helps to regulate moods by influencing hormones like dopamine and serotonin. Threonine aids in immune system health by producing antibodies as well as aiding digestion as part of collagen production. Tryptophan is an important energy source that helping with sleep regulation through its role in melatonin production.

Valine is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA), and it has several health benefits that make it an important part of any diet. Valine helps maintain the correct nitrogen balance, keeping muscles functioning and aiding alertness, mental clarity, and physical strength. It also helps with wound healing by providing cells with energy for repair work and helping to prevent muscle breakdown during periods of starvation or intense exercise.

Histidine is a precursor to histamine, which plays a role in immune system regulation. Isoleucine helps maintain energy levels and supports muscle tissue growth during exercise or physical activity. Leucine helps build muscle mass and promotes wound healing due to its anti-inflammatory effects.

Non-Essential Amino Acids

Non-essential amino acids are produced by the body, even if you don’t get them from supplements or foods. Non-essential amino acids offer many health benefits.

Some of the benefits of these non-essential amino acids include:

1) Arginine is necessary for wound healing and tissue regeneration. It also helps increase growth hormone production, leading to muscle growth. Alanine is important for energy production and helps the body detoxify harmful substances.

2) Cysteine is necessary for the production of glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant. It also helps to protect against environmental toxins and heavy metals.

3) Glutamine is necessary for gut health and digestion. It also helps to increase energy levels and support the immune system.

4) Glycine supports healthy nerve function. Glycine is a calming agent and can help with sleep problems. It is also necessary for making collagen, which is important for skin, hair, and nails.

5) Asparagine is necessary to form new protein molecules and helps transport nutrients into cells.

6)Aspartic acid plays a role in liver function and helps protect cells from damage.

7) Glutamic acid supports cognitive function and memory. Another beneficial amino acid is glutamine. This nonessential amino acid plays a crucial role in gut health by helping to maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall.

8) Alanine helps the body to produce energy. It is important for a healthy metabolism and brain function.

9) Proline is important for joint health and can help keep cartilage healthy. It also helps produce collagen.

10) Serine is necessary for the production of glycine and proline and has anti-inflammatory properties.

11) Tyrosine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones and neurotransmitters. It is important for a healthy metabolism and brain function.


Conditional Amino Acids

Conditional amino acids are not essential,  except in times of stress and illness. There are several well-known conditional amino acids, also.

  • Arginine
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Ornithine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine


Why Maintaining The Amino Acid Pool

The amino acid pool describes the entire amount of available free amino acids in the human body. The pool size amounts to around 120 to 130 grams in an adult male. If we consume protein in the diet, the protein in the gastrointestinal tract is broken down into individual amino acids and then put back together again as new protein. This complex biological process is called protein biosynthesis. The entire amino acid pool is transformed or ‘exchanged’ three to four times a day. This means that the body has to be supplied with more amino acids, partly by protein biosynthesis, diet, or the consumption of suitable dietary supplements.

The objective is that the amino acid pool is complete and maintained in the correct combination. If one or more amino acids are not available in sufficient quantities, protein production is weakened, and the metabolism may only function in a limited way.

As you can see, it is important to consume adequate protein daily for many health reasons. Since many of us don’t consume enough protein daily,  it is a good idea to supplement with a protein shake to achieve and maintain good health. 

About Author

Picture of  Ava Bell-Taylor, M.D

Ava Bell-Taylor, M.D

Ava Bell-Taylor, M.D., originally from Atlanta, Georgia, received her Bachelor of Science degree from Spelman College. She later received her medical degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. She completed her Family Practice training at Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia and her psychiatry residency at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Bell-Taylor has extensive post-graduate medical training in Functional, Integrative, and Anti-Aging Medicine. She is certified in Functional Medicine. Ava Bell-Taylor, M.D. is a holistic doctor with a focus on functional and integrative medicine. Combining functional medicine with her knowledge of conventional medicine has enabled Dr. Bell-Taylor to help many patients suffering from depression, anxiety, insomnia, attention-deficient, dementia, and eating disorders. Dr. Bell-Taylor specializes in functional medicine with a special emphasis on how hormone disorders, environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and nutritional deficiencies contribute to brain dysfunction, like depression, attention deficiency, anxiety, insomnia, dementia, and other chronic medical illnesses. Dr. Ava Bell- Taylor is the co-author with her husband, Eldred B, Taylor, M.D, of two must-read books, Are Your Hormone Making You Sick? and The Stress Connection: How Adrenal Gland Dysfunction Effects Your Health.

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