Amino acids – Info by

Amino acids – Info by

Amino acids are most commonly described as the building blocks of protein. There are tens of thousands of unique proteins in our body, and every one of these proteins is constructed from amino acids. It does not matter whether a protein is very small and contains several dozen amino acids, or very large and contains more than 10,000 amino acids, or just average-sized and composed of 200-300 amino acids. It still consists of amino acids that have been combined together in a unique way. This relationship between amino acids and proteins has been the driving force behind nutritional research on these fascinating nutrients.

However, there is a bigger picture with respect to amino acids, and this bigger picture is also important to understand. Amino acids that are used to make proteins are referred to as “proteinogenic” amino acids. Twenty core amino acids are all that it takes to make every single protein in our body.

The list below shows all 20 of these core protein-building amino acids in alphabetical order.

Aspartic acid
Glutamic acid

Best Food Options for Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

Branched-chain amino acids (isoleucine, leucine, and valine) tend to be most concentrated in fish, eggs and dairy, sea vegetables, and soy foods. Interestingly, our need for total BCAAs may fall into the range of 7 grams per 50 grams of protein—the highest total among our four categories. It would take about 8 ounces of tofu, cod or shrimp to provide you with this total from any one of these foods. One cup of grass-fed yogurt would provide you with about 25-33% of this amount, as would one ounce of grass-fed cheese.

What do amino acids do for weight loss?

“Essential amino acids, included as part of a meal replacement, along with whey protein, improved the synthesis of muscle and led to a greater loss of fat,” he says. Both groups lost about 7% of their total body weight. But the amino acids and whey group lost a greater percentage of fat to lean tissue.”

How much amino acids should you have a day?

The Institute of Medicine lists its recommended daily intakes of amino acids as percentages of your total protein intake. To determine how much protein you should be eating, multiply your weight by .8 grams. If you weigh 160 pounds, you need about 128 grams of protein per day.


If you have liver or kidney disease, you should not take in high doses of amino acids without asking your doctor.

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