Importance of Protein & The Functions in the Body that Essential Amino Acids Support
Our muscle tissue is made of proteins and our body needs 20 different amino acids to grow and function properly. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. 11 of the amino acids are non essential, meaning our body can make them. The remaining 9 must come from food on a daily basis and are known as essential amino acids (EAAs). They include leucine, isoleucine, valine, histidine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, and tryptophan.
What do the nine essential amino acids help with?
- Histidine: helps your body produce histamines, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in your immune health, gastric secretion and sexual function.
- Leucine: is one of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAS). It helps your body regulate blood sugar, process protein and repair your muscles and bones.
- Isoleucine: (isolated leucine) plays a large part in your body’s muscle metabolism, energy and stress production. Isoleucine also stimulates your immune system. It’s one of the three BCAAs.
- Lysine: helps boost your body process and use calcium, promoting collagen development.
- Methionine: Required for growth and tissue repair, methionine helps protect your cells from pollutants as well as slows cell aging and helps your body absorb selenium and zinc.
- Phenylalanine: Your body converts phenylalanine to tyrosine, a non-essential amino acid that produces neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.
- Threonine: is an important amino acid for your nervous system and helps prevent fat buildup in the liver.
- Tryptophan: is converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate appetite, sleep, mood and pain.
- Valine: helps your body maintain good cognitive function and muscle coordination. It’s one of the three BCAAs.
Which complete proteins can I eat with all 9 amino acids?
Complete protein food is mostly animal based, however, there are some plant-based foods that are complete proteins as well. Whether you are plant-based, vegan or a frequent meat-eater, there are plenty of ways to get protein into your daily diet.
Animal-Derived Complete Proteins:
Plant-Based Complete Proteins:
- Non-GMO organic soy
- Chia seeds
How much protein do I need?
The daily intake of protein depends on age, activity level, weight and some other factors. A good guideline is approximately 0.8-1.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight; without any special circumstances, or heavy training. As soon as heavy training or fat loss comes into the picture then protein intake needs to increase. So, whether you are looking to maximize your potential for your workouts, or just be as healthy as possible consuming enough protein is vital and provides you with the EAAs you need. If you’re not getting enough protein check out our Vykon Whey Protein Isolate from New Zealand and our Vegan Organic Brown Rice Protein, both with all natural ingredients.
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