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Why amino acids are necessary. The benefits of taking them

Posted by Magdalena Brzezińska on

Amino acids are molecules that make proteins when they combine. The building blocks of life are amino acids and proteins. Some are produced, others come only with food. All categories of amino acids are essential for normal body function. Their production or absorption often decreases with chronic illness or age, so additional supplementation is required. They have a number of benefits if they are chosen correctly.

What is an amino acid supplement?

It is not always possible to completely supply the body with the nutrients it requires. In such cases, there is a need to include additional amino acid supplements. They are classified based on their intended use: for men, for women, for immune support, or for the digestive system. Bodybuilding amino acids have their own category.

The health advantages of consuming necessary amino acid supplements

Amino acid supplements boost general health and have an effect on several body systems. You can boost your immune system and increase your athletic performance with their assistance. They are meant to supplement vegan and other diets.

What are the benefits of amino acid supplements:

  • Keeping a healthy muscular system;
  • Improved athletic performance;
  • Increase muscle growth by eating enough protein and exercising regularly;
  • Regulation of blood sugar;
  • Normalization of skin and hair condition;
  • During pregnancy, both the mother and the baby need supplements for the body to grow and stay healthy;
  • Immunity boosting;
  • The digestive system returns to normal.

The benefits of supplements:

  • a comfortable reception;
  • the right dosage;
  • improvements in health or individual indicators;
  • amino acids provide energy for training.

What are the different types of amino acids?

There are a total of 20 amino acids, nine of which are deemed "essential" (the body cannot generate them in adequate quantities, therefore they must additionally be obtained from outside sources), and the remaining 11 are deemed "non-essential" (the body can produce them, but in some cases, additional input is required). There is a separate category of semi-essentials: cystine and cytosine. They differ from the others in that the body can use them instead of, respectively, methionine and phenylalanine to produce protein. 

Essential amino acids:


  1. Valine. An essential amino acid for muscle metabolism and recovery after injury.
  2. Histidine. Promotes tissue growth and regeneration. Found in large quantities in hemoglobin. It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, ulcers, and anemia.
  3. Isoleucine An essential amino acid for energy metabolism.
  4. Leucine. Aids in the rebuilding of muscle and bone tissue and the production of growth hormones.
  5. Calcium and nitrogen are both more easily absorbed when leucine is present in the diet. This amino acid plays a role in the creation of antibodies, hormones, and enzymes, as well as the repair of damaged bodily tissues.
  6. Methionine. Beneficial for the function of the liver and kidneys, as well as speeds up the metabolism of fat. Indicated by additional consumption for liver disease.
  7. Threonine. An amino acid found in collagen, elastin, and tooth enamel protein. Assists in preventing fat accumulation in the liver, promotes the health of the digestive and intestinal tracts, and contributes to metabolic processes and digestion.
  8. The body uses tryptophan to produce serotonin, the good mood hormone. This amino acid is involved in the synthesis of vitamin B3.
  9. Phenylalanine. Beneficial for cognitive function and brain function.

Nonessential Amino Acids:

  1. Tyrosine. Used by the body in protein synthesis instead of phenylalanine.
  2. Cysteine has powerful antioxidant properties, supports healthy joints, skin and hair. Supplemental intake for hair and skin health is frequently advised in conjunction with other vitamins.

The amino acids that are produced by the body are non essential:

  1. Alanine. A source of energy for the muscles, brain, and central nervous system. It boosts the immune system by producing antibodies and is involved in sugar metabolism.
  2. Asparagine. Amino acid Asparagine is essential for nerve impulse transmission and is involved in the metabolism of nitrogenous substances. After the age of 35, its production by the body declines, so additional supplementation is required. 
  3. Glutamine. An essential amino acid for normalizing blood sugar levels, enhancing brain function, curing impotence and alcoholism, and combating weariness and brain disorders. Essential for the treatment of stomach ulcers and the development of a healthy digestive system. It is turned into glutamic acid in the brain, which is necessary for brain function. Glutamine should not be confused with glutamic acid when consuming it; the amino acids are different in action.
  4. Glutamic acid. "Fuel" for the brain. The most prevalent amino acid in muscle tissue and an essential component of the immune system.
  5. Glycine. Participates in the provision of oxygen for the development of new cells. Its supplementary intake is often recommended to stabilize body and brain function.
  6. Proline. An essential amino acid for the proper functioning of joints and ligaments.
  7. Methionine. Beneficial for the function of the liver and kidneys, as well as speeds up the metabolism of fat. 
  8. Arginine. Increases the production of growth hormones, which is advantageous for blood vessels.
  9. Ornithine. An amino acid that stimulates the metabolism.
  10. Carnitine reduces blood cholesterol levels and increases fat metabolism. Muscle, liver, heart, and kidneys are predominantly fueled by energy generated from fat breakdown, primarily through the amino acid carnitine. L-carnitine stimulates regeneration and boosts appetite while also activating fat metabolism, acting as an anabolic, antihypoxic, and antithyroid agent. Recommended supplementary intake for improved health and fitness.
  11. Serine. Takes part in how the liver and muscles store glycogen and how the immune system gets stronger.
  12. Taurine. An amino acid that helps fight free radicals and slows down the aging process. Recommended supplementation in adulthood and old age to maintain cardiovascular health. Often included in supplements with other vitamins.

Possible Causes of Amino Acid Deficiency

In addition to malnutrition, the following conditions and pathologies can lead to both essential and non-essential amino acid deficiencies:

  • Disruption of absorption from the gastrointestinal tract;
  • infectious diseases;
  • trauma;
  • stress;
  • taking certain medications;
  • aging process;
  • an imbalance of other nutrients in the body.

Amino Acid Deficiency Symptoms

Changes in mood and memory, quick weariness, impaired immunity, anaemia, hair loss, and poor skin health are the first indicators of essential amino acid insufficiency. Any shortage has a negative impact on all health.

Other symptoms of low essential amino acids include:

  • nervousness and depression;
  • hypoglycemia (low blood sugar);
  • urolithiasis disease;
  • reduced immunity, frequent viral diseases;
  • decreased libido;
  • loss of appetite;
  • higher blood pressure
  • dysfunctional brain activity; 
  • hormonal metabolism disorders;
  • deterioration in the condition of sperm;
  • premature aging;
  • obesity;
  • joint pain;
  • bad sleep;
  • trembling in the body;
  • disruption of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • early gray hair ( under 30);
  • problems with the central and autonomic nervous system;
  • skin aging;
  • fissures on mucous membranes;
  • arthritis and arthrosis;
  • muscular dystrophy (muscles become flabby, any tension causes pain in the body);
  • dry mucous membranes of the eyes;
  • temperature changes in the outside environment cause feelings of chills all over the body or fever ("I feel cold", "I feel hot");
  • liver damage;
  • swelling in the body;
  • skin changes, thinning;
  • brittle hair;
  • slow development of the fetus and newborn;
  • malformations of the nervous system in children;
  • severe mental disorders;
  • hearing loss;
  • development of atherosclerosis;
  • chronic pain;
  • loss of muscle mass, weight loss;
  • hair bleaching;
  • premenstrual syndrome.

In any condition, you should consult a doctor for a consultation to determine which supplement should be taken additionally.

Products containing amino acids


Key (essential) amino acids (those that are not synthesized by the body) are found in large quantities mainly in the following products:

  • meat;
  • fish;
  • poultry
  • eggs;
  • milk products;
  • buckwheat;
  • peanuts;
  • soy;
  • walnut;
  • garlic;
  • broccoli;
  • sunflower seeds;
  • mushrooms;
  • almond;
  • lentils;
  • chickpea;
  • brown rice.

If it is impossible to include a sufficient amount of these products in the diet, additional supplementation is recommended. The advantage of amino acid supplements is that you can use them to improve your health, well-being and athletic performance without following a special diet. Incorrect selection can lead to imbalances in the body.

What vitamins to take to make up for amino acid deficiencies

Amino acid supplements can benefit you if your body lacks one or more key (essential) amino acids. Your doctor or dietician can help you analyze your diet to determine whether you should take supplements in addition to your diet. 

Each condition recommends its own set of amino acids and vitamins. It depends on the condition of your body, chronic diseases, how you feel and the results of your tests.

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