How Many Amino Acids Are There?

Did you know that proteins make up 20 percent of your body? It’s true, so needless to say, they play a vital role in your health. The proteins of your body are made up of individual amino acids.

These small molecules have a similar structure, but each has a distinct characteristic that distinguishes it from all other amino acids.

How many amino acids are there? That would be 20. Your physiological proteins consist of 20 total amino acids. While your body requires all twenty of them, you have the ability to synthesize some of them. However, the remainder of them can’t be manufactured. In order to get these amino acids, you have to include them in your diet as the last thing you want is a protein deficiency.

Their Role

Proteins play a vital role in your body. The proteins you consume and digest on any given day are known as single amino acids. When your body absorbs them and transports them to the tissues in your body, your cells can use the amino acids to create new proteins that you may need for muscle growth, antibody production, formation of blood cells or hormone synthesis. These amino acids can join together in varying amounts and sequences to create each unique protein you need. The versatility of mixing and matching the 20 amino acids allows you to manufacture a wide array of proteins to support overall optimal health.

Essential Amino Acids

Out of the 20 amino acids that are found in your body’s proteins, 9 are essential to your diet because your cells cannot manufacture them: This is why we recommend Amino Restore protein shake.

  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

The amounts of each essential amino acid the body requires can vary, depending on the overall amino acid composition of the protein you’re consuming. For example, your cells can make cysteine from methionine when necessary; however, if your intake of cysteine is low, you need extra methionine in your diet not only to meet your methionine needs but also to manufacture cysteine. In such cases, it can be confusing to know exactly how much specific amino acids you’ll need.

Non-Essential Amino Acids

Just like with essential amino acids, non-essential amino acids are required by your body but not in your diet.

Your cells can produce these from extra amino acids your body consumes or from other metabolic molecules. Some amino acids can transform into others, take tyrosine for example. This one can convert to phenylalanine, while serine can be created from molecules that are produced during the burning of carbohydrates for energy.

The non-essential amino acids include;

  • Alanine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartate
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamate
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine


To meet your body’s protein needs, you must consume sufficient overall protein that includes all the essential amino acids. Make sure you take the time to get familiar with them all.

A daily minimum intake of 0.8 grams of high-quality protein for each kilogram you weigh, or 0.4 grams per pound, can be adequate to meet your amino acid requirements.

Older adults, growing children, athletes, and pregnant or nursing women may require more protein than this to supply cells and tissues with all the necessary amino acids. Now that you know how many amino acids there are, what do you think? Did you think they were 20? Let us know in the comments. For more information on how you can get your daily protein intake click this link. 

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