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ENERGIZING FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS: AMINO ACIDS
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein (all proteins are made up of amino acids). They are used to synthesize other proteins-including muscle proteins-and are prime energy sources. They help break down fats for energy use, strengthen the body’s connective tissue to prevent injury, improve mental alertness, quicken reflexes, elevate moods, and promote resistance to disease.
There are twenty-two known amino acids, eight of which are called essential. These, unlike the others, cannot be manufactured by the human body and must be obtained from food or supplements. (A ninth amino acid, histidine, is considered essential only for infants and children.)
The essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. In order for the body to use effectively and synthesize protein, all the essential amino acids must be present and in the proper proportions. Even the temporary absence of a single essential amino acid can adversely affect protein synthesis and your energy benefits. In fact, whatever essential amino acid is low or missing will proportionately reduce the effectiveness of all the others.
Amino acid supplements are available in balanced formulas as well as in individual supplements. I’d recommend the former for general energy enhancement. And while taking an amino acid supplement, don’t forget that you need enough vitamins B6 and B12, and niacin in your diet for proper metabolism.
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