Amino acids, in essence are the building blocks of life. They are organic compounds that when brought together in the body, form proteins. Through digestion, amino acids are what is left after digestion takes place. They help your body to grow, repair tissues, and break down food, along with other essential functions. Amino acids are used in the body as a keen source of energy can be classified in a few different ways. We will discuss the difference between branch chain amino acids and essential amino acids.
Essential Amino Acids
There are a full 20 amino acids that are available to the body through food or those that occur naturally in our bodies. Essential amino acids are 9 of the amino acids that the body cannot make on its own and therefore, must be taken in through our diet. The 9 essential amino acids are…
- Lysine – A lack of Lysine in the body can negatively affect collagen and carnitine productions and is essential for a healthy nervous system and muscle mass. A deficiency in Lysine results in slower growth, nausea, infertility, and fatigue. Lysine is an essential amino acids that can be taken in through legumes and similar protein sources.
- Histidine – Essential for growth and most notably found in children and certain adults with specific kidney malfunctions. This essential amino acid is what metabolises metals in the body including, but not merely limited too, zinc, iron, and manganese. Mineral enzyme deficiencies can result in lack of Histidine.
- Leucine – As one of the three Branch Chain Amino Acids, Leucine promotes weight loss while guarding against loss of muscle mass. This amino acid can be used as a part in supplements, but is best when combined with rigorous exercise. Vegans can have low Leucine levels and must take supplements to replace nutrients lost.
- Phenylalanine - With this essential amino acid, your appetite can be suppressed. A lack of Phenylalanine can result in mental fatigue and therefore, it is an essential part of supplements used by pregnant women.
- Methionine – Sources for Methionine are found in whole grain foods, dairy, and certain meats. Methionine is most beneficial for individuals suffering from liver disease and women experiencing oestrogen dominance.
- Valine – Valine is another of the three Branch Chain Amino Acids and is possibly one of the easiest amino acids to take in. it is available in leafy greens and a variety of beans including kidney beans. Valine is essential for sleep quality and tissue growth. It is highly prized by athletes looking to improve their performance.
- Threonine – Essential amino acids can sometimes target specific organs and that is exactly what Threonine does. It has been proven to be a significant help in those who have a fatty liver, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and MS. Threonine also assists in elastin, muscle tissue, and collagen production.
- Isoleucine – With this essential amino acid, repairs can take place more effectively. It is often used by athletes through sports supplements. Isoleucine is one of the three Branch Chain Amino Acids.
- Tryptophan – Most people have heard of Tryptophan and its relationship to our need to sleep after a turkey dinner. Tryptophan is much more than an assistant to our melatonin needs. It has also been linked to migraine sufferers and is an essential part of our gut health.
Branch Chain Amino Acids
As we have already seen, there are 3 Branch Chain Amino Acids, Valine, Leucine, and Isoleucine. Branch Chain Amino Acids are those that help improve functioning power in those with liver disease and who have reduced functionality in other organs. However, studies have shown that increasing Branch Chain Amino Acids can help assist in athletic performance. These 3 parts of the 9 Essential Amino Acids are available in a variety of different sports drinks and performance enhancing products. They are able to help ward off fatigue of the body as well as muscles and can reduce possible muscle breakdown.
Branch Chain Amino Acids are an important part of Essential Amino Acids and for anyone emphasising muscle growth or looking to improve their overall performance, can benefit greatly from their use. Improving your body takes time and attention to every detail. Eating right and getting plenty of quality exercise is important, but increasing your intake of all Essential Amino Acids can help you even more.