Do you want to boost your intake of amino acids? If so then it’s important to find the best way to get amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. It’s important to get enough of them and especially essential amino acids (EAAs). These are the ones we have to get through foods. We can get aminos from different sources like food, drinks, and supplements. It’s critical to get the right amount of different ones. This will help to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to build “complete proteins” that include all 9 EAAs people must get from food and supplements.
The main sources of amino acids are food and supplements. For example, you can get amino acids from foods like meat, dairy, quinoa, and soybeans. These include all the EAAs. You can also get amino acids from supplements like branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs. You can take supplements that contain one or multiple aminos. This makes it easier to make provide extra aminos you’re not getting from food. For example, if you have certain health conditions your body might not produce enough of certain aminos. In that case, supplements are a good option to boost your intake.
What Exactly Are Essential Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There is a grand total of 20 different amino acids that exist in the human body. That includes 11 that are non-essential and 9 that are essential.
These terms don’t mean that one is necessary and the other isn’t. in fact, it simply means that we must consume EAAs from food and supplements. Non-Essential Amino Acids (NEAAs) are produced by the body so we don’t have to get them from food and supplements.
However, there are times when you’ll need to boost your NEAA intake. They include going through the normal aging process. This causes the body to produce less of certain NEAAs. There’s also the situation when certain diseases decrease how much of a particular NEAA your body produces.
EAAs are the most critical amino acids in terms of food and supplements. That’s because they’re the only way our bodies can get them. There are different ways to get EAAs. They include food, pills, and liquids. These have different pros and cons.
In theory, we should get our EAAs from food. However, sometimes that’s impossible due to different factors. For example, if your body has problems absorbing a certain EAA then you should consider taking a supplement to boost your intake.
Another issue to consider is how much of each EAA you should get. Based on the US government people require ranges of about 5mg to 40mg of the different EAAs. This means it’s a little tougher to get enough of some EAAs because we simply require more of them during the day.
The key is to know the different ways to add aminos to your diet. This will help you get enough of all 9 EAAs, which is critical. If you don’t get enough of each EAA it can cause health issues you’ll want to avoid.
What’s the Best Way to Get Amino Acids?
If you want to get EAAs this should definitely be the first option. The reason is food is always the best source of nutrients. You can get aminos from different foods. The best options for “complete proteins” (all EAAs) include:
The main benefit of these foods is you can get all your aminos in one serving. However, some foods are “incomplete proteins.” For example, if you eat two kinds of beans they can function as a complete protein.
It’s not likely you’ll be eating complete proteins 100% of the time. So, if you consume incomplete proteins make sure to go with options like whole foods. This will provide the highest nutritional value, which is critical.
This is another common way to get amino acids. You can find a wide range of amino acid supplements on the market. It’s an effective way to add 1+ aminos to your diet. For example, options like BCAAs include a group of 3 aminos in the same group. You can also find other products that just contain one amino acid.
This source of aminos isn’t as good as the food. As noted, your first choice should always be food. However, you can find supplements that include aminos you should be adding to your diet.
One issue to consider is these products are processed. This doesn’t mean they’re automatically unhealthy but you should check the ingredients label so you’ll know exactly what’s in the product. You should also go with products made by established brands. This will help to provide you with a better quality product.
3. Liquid aminos
This is another good option for amino acids. There are various options like aminos sourced from soybeans or coconut trees. Soy and coconut aminos are similar to soy sauce yet usually have less salt.
Plant-based Foods with Complete Proteins
1. Peanut Butter Sandwich
If you want to add some healthy jelly/jam or bananas it’s an option. To make this food healthier go with whole or multi-grain bread. You should also pick homemade peanut butter to reduce the additives.
OK, this is technically two foods. However, it’s an easy go-to way to get all your EAAs. The combination of rice and beans provides all the aminos you have to get from food. Make sure to pick brown rice to get the most nutrients.
How about the beans? You can go with different options like soybeans, chickpeas, peas, and so on. This is an outstanding meal if you want a high protein/carb pre-workout meal.
3. Ezekiel Bread
This is arguably the healthiest bread you could make. It has 4 different grains and 2 beans. The bread is based on a Bible verse that includes a “recipe” for the bread. This bread has multiple gluten grains including wheat and barley. When you combine it with the beans it’s like a super-duper complete protein. The bread is sky-high in different nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc.
This is one of the most well-known beans and is considered one of the superfoods. It’s loaded with nutrients including protein, fiber, vitamins/minerals, and so on. You can also consume it in several ways including fried, tofu, miso, and others. Since it’s a complete protein you also get all 9 of the EAAs, which is another plus of the food.
This is a grain/seed that’s been trending in recent years and has become a superfood. It’s a flexible food you can add to many foods like smoothies, cookies, muffins, and casseroles. It’s also a complete protein so you get all 9 EAAs. You can even use quinoa as a rice substitute and the best way to get amino acids.