Know Your Amino Acids

Looking at the roles of Amino Acids in health & Fitness!

Know Your Amino Acids

Looking at the roles of Amino Acids in health & Fitness!
Know Your Amino Acids
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Amino Acid are the building blocks of Protein the most important nutrient in the Human Body!

Amino Acids

An amino acid is any molecule that contains both amino and carboxylic acid functional groups. Amino acid is any one of a class of simple organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and in certain cases sulfur. These compounds are the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids are biochemical building blocks. They form short polymer chains called peptides or polypeptides which in turn form structures called proteins. Each amino acid has at least one carboxyl (COOH) group, which is acidic, and one amino (NH(2)) group, which is basic. Amino acids join together in long chains, the amino group of one amino acid linking with the carboxyl group of another. The linkage is known as a peptide bond, and a chain of amino acids is known as a polypeptide. Proteins are large, naturally occurring polypeptides. Hundreds of different amino acids exist in nature, and about two dozen of them are important to human nutrition. Essential amino acids are amino acids that cannot be synthesized in the body in adequate amounts and must be obtained from the diet. The essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Non-essential amino acids are those that the body can manufacture from an available source of nitrogen and a carbon skeleton. The nonessential amino acids are arginine, alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine. Semi-essential amino acids are ones that can sometimes be made internally if conditions are right. Histidine is considered semi-essential because the body does not always require dietary sources of it. Other amino acids, such as carnitine, are used by the body in ways other than protein-building and are often used therapeutically.


Proteins are any of a group of complex organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur. Proteins are an essential substance in the diets of humans and most animals because of their constituent amino acids. A protein molecule is a long chain of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. Many different proteins are found in the cells of living organisms, but they are all made up of the same 20 amino acids, joined together in varying combinations. Different amino acids are commonly found in proteins, each protein having a unique, genetically defined amino-acid sequence, which determines its specific shape and function. They serve as enzymes, structural elements, hormones, immunoglobulins, etc. and are involved in oxygen transport, muscle contraction, electron transport, and other activities. Proteins are involved in controlling the metabolism of cells, controlling the structure and movement of cells and larger structures and coordinating the response of cells to internal and external factors. Nutritionally, complete proteins are those which contain the right concentrations of the amino acids that humans cannot synthesize from other amino acids or nitrogenous sources.

Common Amino Acids

The health benefits of amino acids:

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