Amino Acids: Is It Good Or Bad?

Are amino acids good or bad? This is an important question if you’re considering amino acid supplements, for example. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and there are 20 in the human body.

Man with big muscles

Should you be taking amino acid supplements? It’s important to know whether amino acids good or bad. The human body contains 20 aminos including 11 the body produces and 9 we have to get from food and supplements. You can get EAAs from different foods like chicken, eggs, soybeans, and milk. These are the sources of all 9 EAAs required by the human body. The body also produces about half the body’s aminos so you usually don’t have to supplement them. Today you can find lots of amino acid supplements, including capsules/tablets, liquid aminos, and protein powders. However, the big question is whether this is the best source of aminos.

There’s no question amino acids can provide several benefits. They include ones like building lean muscle mass, faster recovery, and even stronger brain/body connection. These are all critical functions that can help the human body work better. However, one of the issues is the way you get the aminos. For example, there’s a difference between eating real food like lean meat, Greek yogurt, and quinoa and taking amino supplements. So, the question about whether aminos are good or bad is greatly related to the source. This is one of the key factors about whether or not amino acids are healthy.

What Exactly Are Amino Acids?

Protein is one of the most common substances in the body besides water. A person needs enough amino acids to make proteins. They’re known as the building blocks. That’s because they’re an important part of protein production.

Amino acids are critical for the body’s metabolism. That’s because they’re involved in various processes related to muscles including growth and repair. Aminos are related to several body parts/functions like organs, muscles, brain, and digestion. These are some of the many functions involved.

There are two main kinds of amino acids in the human body. The first is essential amino acids. These are ones like Leucine that people have to get through food and supplements. The reason this is the case is the body doesn’t produce them.

The second main type of amino acid is “non-essential.” The body produces these. In most situations, it produces enough of them although sometimes there’s a deficiency. This is due to factors like age, conditions, and malnutrition. If you have a deficiency of NEAAs then you should consider eating foods or taking supplements that contain them.

There’s also something called “conditional” aminos. As the name suggests the body only produces them in particular situations. They include stress, immune system diseases, and other factors.

However, the main amino acid types are EAAs and NEAAs. It’s critical to make sure you’re getting enough of all 20 so your body/brain can function properly.

Protein is critical for the human body so it can make new muscle/connective tissue. It’s important to have a healthy diet to stay healthy. This is critical so you can also help to avoid illness/disease.

Various “complete protein” foods include enough of all 9 EAAs your body needs. They include options like:

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Quinoa
  • Soybeans

These foods are the best sources to get all the EAAs you need.

Are Amino Acids Good or Bad?

This is a loaded question. It depends on different issues. For example, it’s critical to make sure you’re getting all the aminos you need and especially EAAs since they’re from supplements/food. For example, you’ll need about 40mg of Leucine every day. You’ll need smaller amounts of other EAAs but you still need to get that amount.

One of the most critical types of EAAs is branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). These are one-third of the EAAs and include the most critical amino acid known as Leucine. This could be called the “general” of aminos. It’s not the only one you need but it’s arguably the most important one among the EAAs.

In some cases, you might even need to take NEAA supplements. This is less likely since the body produces them. however, due to factors like the aging process and bad nutrition your body might not produce enough of these aminos.

One of the main issues to take up in terms of whether aminos are good/bad is the source. Your first choice should always be real food. That includes animal-sourced options like meat, dairy, and eggs.

However, other plant-based foods are also high-protein. They include soybeans, quinoa, buckwheat, and brown rice. When you combine buckwheat and brown rice with a bean then you get a complete protein.

The amount of each EAA you need is based on various factors. They include your current weight, height, and fitness level. You should also consider your goal in terms of muscle/strength gains. These are critical factors that can help to determine the amount of protein/aminos you should add to your diet.

When picking dietary supplements, you should also consider various factors. They include the brand, quality, and amino types/amounts. This will help to determine whether a particular product is generally good or bad.

Best Food Sources of Amino Acids

1. Buckwheat

Buckwheat isn’t wheat even though the word is in its name. This is a seed that can be made into a complete protein by adding beans. This is a flexible food that you can easily add to various dishes. There are even buckwheat noodles that are tasty warm or cold. It’s a good alternative for wheat flour noodles.

2. Chia seeds

This food has been trending in recent years and there’s a good reason. It’s a high-protein food that’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. In one tablespoon you get a high 2g of protein. You can also add this food to different foods. They include smoothies, yogurt, and the famous chia pudding. You could even make a homemade Chia Pet (Google it).

3. Quinoa

This seed/cereal is one of the plant-based complete proteins. That’s because it has all of the essential aminos you need daily. One cup of this food provides 8g of protein, which is quite high. you also get other nutrients like:

  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese

Another benefit of this food is that it’s very easy to add to foods. They include oatmeal, salads, meat/veggie dishes, and smoothies.

4. Chickpeas

This is one of the main ingredients in hummus, along with sesame seed paste and olive oil. It’s not low-carb but provides over 7g of protein for each ½ cup. You can eat chickpeas cold/hot. You can also find several recipes that include this food.

5. Soybean/Tofu

It is one of the best plant-based protein sources since soybeans are a complete protein. You can get all 9 EAAs from this food. It even provides a wider range of aminos than other healthy beans like green, kidney, navy, garbanzo, etc. Besides raw soybeans, you can also find many soy products like milk, flour, and tofu after learning whether amino acids good or bad.

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