Amino Acids: What Are They and Why Do You Need Them?

You’ve likely heard of amino acids before, whether at school, in passing conversation, or on certain food labels and other products. However, what are they, and why do we need them? This article will answer these questions and more, helping you better understand these acids.

Let’s begin with a quick discussion on what exactly they are.

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are a group of twenty organic compounds. These compounds share various formation traits and are commonly referred to as the building blocks of life and/or proteins. Without these building blocks of life, our body would not be able to resume normal bodily functions, as these are involved in many chemical reactions taking place all of the time. 

There are three categories of amino acids; these are as follows:

  1. Essential
  2. Non-essential
  3. Conditional

Each of these categories will now be explained in more detail below.

Essential amino acids

Essential acids are the only category that cannot be produced by the body. Instead, these must be obtained another way, usually through diet. Essential acids are responsible for various roles, including tissue growth, energy production, and immune function.

Non-essential acids

Non-essential amino acids, on the other hand, are produced naturally by the body. These are responsible for immune function, red blood cell formation, and more.

Conditional amino acids 

Finally, conditional acids are also produced by the body, however, only when required, for example, when fighting an illness or catabolic disease.  

Why do we need these acids?

Without these, we would not function correctly. In fact, those that have an acid deficiency, perhaps due to a restrictive diet, may see a detrimental impact in numerous areas of their life, including sleep, depression, digestive problems, slowed growth, and more.

We need these acids to function correctly and to the best of our ability. To get these amino acids, we need to eat a balanced diet rich in a variety of different foods and healthy fats. You can also take supplements if required. However, diet is usually sufficient for most people. 

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