The importance of amino acids in the body can’t be overemphasized. And that’s because our body is practically made up of proteins. Proteins are made by the coming together of amino acids. So if amino acids are not present then you can expect that there would be a lot going wrong in the body. Well, with this understanding many people now take enough amino acids. Amino acids can be gotten from your food or from supplements. Whichever one you opt for you would still have the benefits of amino acids at your disposal. Well, for today we’ll be taking a look at essential amino acids for adults.
What exactly are essential amino acids? Well, they are quite essential and vital in the body. And one reason for that is that your body can’t produce these amino acids. So that means that there are amino acids that can be made in the body. Of course yes. In fact, the majority of the amino acids used in our body are produced in the body. Just a few can’t be produced that’s why they must be obtained from an external source. Some people say that there are 9 essential amino acids. Well, that’s true but not the complete truth. Out of these 9, 8 are essential for adults. The remaining 1 is not essential for adults but children. What is this amino acid? You’ll find out as you go on.
What Are the Essential Amino Acids for Adults?
So as you already know, essential amino acids can’t be produced in the body. These are the 8 essential amino acids for adults.
- Lysine: This amino acid is very important for the growth of tissue and also the repair of tissue. At the same time, it’s quite important for the production of proteins, hormones, and enzymes in the body.
- Leucine: Right here is another amino acid that’s very important for the synthesis of protein. It’s also very important for wound healing, metabolism, and also control of blood sugar levels in the body.
- Isoleucine: The main function of this amino acid is detoxification, hormone excretion, and also immune function in the body.
- Tryptophan: This is one amino acid that is responsible for the increase in the level of serotonin in the body. And serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, appetite, sleep, and even pain in the body. That’s why this neurotransmitter is widely studied by many.
- Phenylalanine: Right here is another amino acid that’s responsible for the production of some amino acids. As well as the production of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine.
- Threonine: This forms the foundation for many connective tissues such as elastin and collagen.
- Valine: This amino acid is responsible for muscle coordination, brain function as well as calmness.
- Methionine: It is responsible for strengthening hair and nails. And also helps keep the skin elastic.
As you can see all these amino acids play a very vital role in the body. And it is important that you get these from your diet. The truth is that a deficiency in any of these amino acids can lead to serious medical conditions. As little as they seem like they can take a great toll on your health. So don’t be lax about taking enough proteins.
Benefits of Essential Amino Acids
- Weight loss: One-way amino acids help out with weight loss is by increasing fat loss and maintaining lean body mass. People that take a lot of branched-chain amino acids which are also essential amino acids can testify to this. Studies have been carried out to show the link between these two but more studies are still needed.
- Maintains muscle mass: You might already know that muscles are made up of protein. And proteins are made up of amino acids. Which automatically implies that muscles are made up of amino acids. Being the building blocks they are quite important for maintaining muscle mass. As well as for the growth of the muscle. Also, some studies that were done showed that it might actually be effective for muscle loss.
- Increases performance: Amino acids over the years has been well-known among athletes and people that love going to the gym. That’s because to improve your performance while exercising you need amino acids. Essential amino acids to be precise. The branched-chain amino acids which are isoleucine, valine, and leucine are well-known for this function. That’s why people opt for BCAA supplements before and after working out. That’s because it goes a long way in improving your exercise performance.
- Improves mood: One of the important amino acids for this function is tryptophan. It goes a long way in helping you maintain good mental health. And also regulate your mood. Also, this amino acid is used in making a neurotransmitter known as serotonin. And this neurotransmitter is known to have a great impact on your mood. Also, with studies, we now know that this amino acid can be effective for dealing with anxiety and depression.
Food Sources of Essential Amino Acids for Adults
These are some of the foods you can opt for to get enough essential amino acids.
- Fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel
- Meat such as lamb, venison, and beef
- Poultry such as duck, turkey, and chicken
- Fermented soy like miso, tempeh, and natto
- Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt
- Whole grains like oats, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, and amaranth
- Legumes such as peas, lentils, and beans
- Seeds such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds
- Nuts such as pistachios, almonds, and walnuts
This is just a list that gives you an idea of what you can eat to boost your amino acid intake. Know that many animal proteins are complete proteins. This means that they contain all 8 essential amino acids for adults. While plant proteins are incomplete proteins. They contain a few of the amino acids but not all. So with this, you can know how to create a balance while preparing a meal plan. Just make sure that you’re getting enough of the essential amino acids for adults.