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Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins. Indeed, proteins are involved in an endless number of biochemical reactions in the human body. Amino acids are essential for your body to function properly. They are involved in the production of over 50 thousand proteins and 15 thousand enzymes.
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There are 20 amino acids that are necessary for human life to exist. They play an indispensable role in all of the building processes of the body. Amino acids combine to form various types of indispensable proteins in the body.
Here's a list of some of the types of proteins mentioned above: structural proteins (like the ones found in skin and hair tissues - such as collagen, elastin and keratin), transport proteins (such as hemoglobin), signaling proteins, storage proteins, antibodies, enzymes, hormones, etc.
Since muscle fibers are made up of amino acids, they are unquestionably essential for muscle repair and growth. Without an adequate supply of amino acids, the body won't be able to repair damaged tissue or grow new one.
Amino acids play an important role in muscle tissue breakdown and promote muscle recovery after intensive exercise (*1). Amino acids can increase energy levels (ie: creatine (*2)), help remove toxic by-products of muscle metabolism (ie: glutamine (*3)), promote healthy sleep and a stable mood (ie: tryptophan (*4)), attenuate exercise-induced muscle damage (BCAAs and taurine (*5)), etc.
As you can see, each amino acid plays its own role in the body and all of them are necessary for a healthy life.
Essential amino acids are the ones that the body can't produce endogenously, which means they have to be obtained through diet and/or supplementation. There are nine essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Some non-essential amino acids can become conditionally essential, meaning they are required in higher amounts at specific stages of life. If you are lacking any amino acid (by consuming a low-protein diet) you can develop minor injuries or, extremely, more severe medical conditions.
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