Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids give proteins their distinctive characteristics and functions.
Proteins provide the primary structural components of our muscles, brain, nervous system, blood, skin, and hair. Protein is also essential for acid-base and fluid balance in the body and helps transport oxygen, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Proteins, in turn, are necessary for many of the structures and functions in our bodies.
What Do Amino Acids Do?
Protein is a crucial macronutrient that we consume in foods like meat and poultry. Plant-based protein sources include foods like soybeans or quinoa. The human body uses amino acids from protein to perform essential body functions, such as:
Breaking down food: When protein is consumed and broken down through the digestive process, amino acids and peptides are what's left inside the body.
Promoting muscle growth: Animo acids are metabolized in the muscles to increase strength and endurance.
Repairing tissue: If muscle tissue becomes damaged from physical activity, amino acids are produced to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and aid in repair.
Amino acids make up the enzymes that facilitate the various chemical reactions in our bodies. They carry nutrients and other necessary molecules through our blood and across cell membranes and transport signals from one part of the body to another. Additionally, proteins are used to make up hormones.
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