What are Essential Amino Acids 2017-04-05T09:30:53+00:00

Essential amino acids are called essential, because the human body cannot manufacture them itself and therefore must receive them from food. Commonly referred to as the ‘building blocks of life’ they are absolutely critical for healthy functioning bodies. A fifth of the body is made from protein and amino acids are the building blocks of protein.

 

You will learn

  • About the role, effect and best source of each essential amino acid
  • Which is the top selling supplement for each on amazon.com
  • Daily recommended dosages (RDI) in mg / kg (lbs) of each essential amino acid

protein rich food with all the 8 essential amino acidsEssential amino acids are organic compounds, which are required in virtually all biological processes. They are key structural components of all the tissues in the body.

Amino acids provide cellular structure and perform essential functions in our bodies. They are involved in the storage and transport for nutrients.

Amino acids are also vital for assisting with healing and the repairing of tissue, and critically support our metabolism as a whole.

 

The 8 Essential Amino Acids

Although the body can produce many amino acids, it cannot synthesise these eight amino acids and they must be sourced from diet. They include: Phenylalanine, the three Branched Chain Amino Acids Valine, Leucine and Isoleucine, Lysine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and finally Methionine. Histidine is essential for infants, but not for adults

We have researched the top foods and most popular supplements for you on amazon.com.

 

Phenylalanine

Role

L-phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that is converted into another amino acid called tyrosine.

This amino acid is needed to form important brain chemicals (neurotransmitters and hormones) including norepinephrine (aka noradrenaline), epinephrine (aka adrenaline), their precursor L-dopa, and finally thyroid hormones, which are responsible for the regulation of our metabolism.

Benefit

Without sufficient L-phenylalanine it’s possible to experience cognitive dysfunction, depression, and appetite loss.

Sources

Some of the best natural sources of phenylalanine include poultry, beef, fish, pork, eggs, yogurt, cheese, soy products, and certain seeds and nuts.

Recommended Daily Dosage

33 mg of Phenylalanine (Female – 1,980 mg. Male – 1,640 mg) per kilo per day. The figures in brackets are the daily totals in mg for a 60kg (132 lbs) female and an 80kg (176 lbs) male.

 

Valine

Role

Valine is one of three branch-chained amino acids (BCAAs) and promotes the repair of tissues.

Valine helps with energy prevision, regulates blood sugar levels, and assists with normal growth and development.

It also is involved in stimulating the central nervous system.

Benefit

Valine is often taken in supplement form with other BCAAs to build muscle mass in athletes.

Sources

Some good natural sources of valine include meat, dairy products, soy products, mushrooms and peanuts.

Recommended Daily Dosage

24 mg of Valine (Female – 1,440 mg. Male – 1,920 mg) per kilo per day. The figures in brackets are the daily totals in mg for a 60kg (132 lbs) female and an 80kg (176 lbs) male.

 

Leucine

Role

Another branch-chained amino acid (BCAA), leucine is the fourth most concentrated amino acid found within muscle tissue.

Benefit

It helps to maintain nitrogen balance and energy supply.

Sources

It is also taken in supplement form with other BCAAs to support muscle building.

Foods rich in this amino acid include soybeans, beef, peanuts, pork, fish, almonds, chicken, lentils, oats, chickpeas, corn, rice, and dairy products.

Recommended Daily Dosage

43 mg of Leucine (Female – 2,580 mg. Male – 3,440 mg) per kilo per day. The figures in brackets are the daily totals in mg for a 60kg (132 lbs) female and an 80kg (176 lbs) male.

 

Isoleucine

Role

The third branch-chained amino acid (BCAA), isoleucine is also involved in muscle development and repair.

It is broken down by the body to provide energy within the muscle tissue and assist the body when recovering from strenuous physical exercise.

Benefit

Insufficient levels of this amino acid within the body can produce symptoms that are similar to those experienced by people suffering from hypoglycemia.

Sources

Some of the best sources of isoleucine include seeds, nuts, eggs, meat, fish, lentils, and soy protein.

Recommended Daily Dosage

19 mg of Isoleucine (Female – 1,140 mg. Male – 1,520 mg) per kilo per day. The figures in brackets are the daily totals in mg for a 60kg (132 lbs) female and an 80kg (176 lbs) male.

 

Lysine

Role

This is a key essential amino acid that helps to build a healthy immune system.

It is involved in the development of antibodies and has important antiviral properties.

Benefit

Studies show that this particular amino acid is especially beneficial for safeguarding against herpes virus. Lysine also assists with the formation of collagen and muscle tissue.

Sources

Good sources of this essential amino acid include fish, eggs, cheese, lima beans, potatoes, red meat, milk, yeast, and soy products.

Recommended Daily Dosage

38 mg of Lysine (Female – 2,280 mg. Male – 3,040 mg) per kilo per day The figures in brackets are the daily totals in mg for a 60kg (132 lbs) female and an 80kg (176 lbs) male.

 

Threonine

Role

This essential amino acid helps to maintain the balance of protein within the body and therefore supports normal growth and development.

It is also involved in supporting the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, immune function, and liver function.

Benefit

Threonine is required to produce the amino acids serine and glycine that produce elastin, collagen and muscle tissue. Combined with methione and aspatic acid, thronine also helps to process fatty acids and prevent liver failure.

Sources

Good sources of this essential amino acid include meat, grains, dairy, leafy vegetables, and mushrooms.

Recommended Daily Dosage

20 mg of Threonine (Female – 1,200 mg. Male – 1,600 mg) per kilo per day. The figures in brackets are the daily totals in mg for a 60kg (132 lbs) female and an 80kg (176 lbs) male.

 

Tryptophan

Role

This essential amino acid is required to produce the important neurotransmitter serotonin.

Benefit

The level of serotonin in the body has a direct influence on emotions and mood.

Low levels of this neurotransmitter can lead to insomnia, depression, and weight gain; among other problems.

Tryptophan is also needed for the manufacture of vitamin B3 (niacin).

This nutrient assists with the regulation of blood sugar, stop free radical damage, and prevent cholesterol buildup.

Sources

The best sources of Tryptophan can be found in turkey, chicken, beef, fish, brown rice, peanuts, cottage cheese, and soy protein.

Recommended Daily Dosage

5 mg of Tryptophan (Female – 300 mg. Male – 800 mg) per kilo per day. The figures in brackets are the daily totals in mg for a 60kg (132 lbs) female and an 80kg (176 lbs) male.

 

Methionine

Role

Methionine, like the important Arginine, is a sulphur-containing essential amino acid.

It helps the body to effectively process and remove fat.

Benefit

The body needs high levels of methionine to produce the amino acids taurine and cysteine, as well as the powerful amino acid glutathione.

Sources

Good natural sources of this amino acid include lentils, meat, fish, garlic, onions, seeds, yogurt, soybeans, and eggs.

Recommended Daily Dosage

19 mg of Methionine (Female – 1,140 mg. Male – 1,520 mg) per kilo per day. The figures in brackets are the daily totals in mg for a 60kg (132 lbs) female and an 80kg (176 lbs) male.

 

Histidine

Role

Histidine is essential for infants to ensure the regulation of growth and natural development and repair mechanisms.

Benefit

The body needs it to produce histamine, glutamate, ferritin and haemoglobin. It is therefore essential for various metabolic reactions, energy and blood supply as well as detoxification of heavy metals. Other functions include the regulation of the blood pH and supporting the healing of wounds.

Sources

Good natural sources of this amino acid include Apple, pomogranates, alfalfa, beets, carrots, celery, cucumber, dandelion, endive, garlic, radish, spinach and turnip greens.

Recommended Daily Dosage

14 mg of Histidine (Female – 840 mg. Male – 1,120 mg) per kilo per day. The figures in brackets are the daily totals in mg for a 60kg (132 lbs) female and an 80kg (176 lbs) male.

 

SUMMARY: Recommended Daily Intakes (RDI) / Dosages of Essential Amino Acids

Based on their individual functions, essential amino acids have differing recommended daily intake (RDI).  We have researched for you the recommended daily intake of essential amino acids per kilogram of weight here. The figures in brackets are the daily totals in mg for a 60kg (132 lbs) female and an 80kg (176 lbs) male.

 

Are you getting enough essential amino acids?

 

Eating a balanced diet rich in these essential amino acids is vital for good health and vitality.

If you are concerned that you aren’t getting enough of these amino acids, there are plenty of dietary food supplements that can be taken regularly to ensure that the body is receiving the recommended daily amount.

We sincerely hope that you found this article useful and look forward to your thoughts and comments.