Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They are commonly used by athletes and by persons who want to lose weight because they promote muscle building and growth. They are responsible for the growth, maintenance and repair of cells. They make up your tendons, glands, hair, muscles, organs and nails.

Currently, there are 22 known amino acids with varying functions. They are classified as essential or those that can be obtained from your diet and non-essential or those that your body can manufacture from other sources. Here’s a look at some them:

Carnitine

It helps in fat metabolism, thus it is commonly found in energy supplements and drinks. It prevents the body from storing fat and converts it instead to energy. Studies show that it can also reduce fat mass and increase muscle mass. More muscles mean more energy to burn your calories.

Tyrosine

This non-essential amino acid stimulates your body to produce and release hormones that will accelerate your metabolism. It also prevents your body from being immune to appetite suppressants. It is responsible for regulating your moods. It helps your adrenal, pituitary and thyroid glands function properly. It’s being used to address narcolepsy, low sex drive, headaches, chronic fatigue, anxiety, allergy and depression.

Leucine

It initiates protein synthesis in your body which you need to burn calories. It helps your body retain muscle mass to improve your metabolism and make you feel full longer. It helps heal your muscle tissue, bones and skin, thus it’s prescribed if you’re recovering from surgery. It lowers your blood sugar levels and helps increase your body’s production of growth hormones.

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Tryptophan

This essential amino acid has a sedative effect which induces you to sleep and stabilizes your mood. Sleep is necessary for weight loss because it can regulate your insulin and hormone levels and it can help promote glucose metabolism. Studies also show that lack of sleep can increase your appetite. Tryptophan is responsible for stimulating the release of the hormone that tells your body that it’s full. It also helps your immune system function properly and it can help control hyperactive children.

Histidine

It’s used to treat allergies, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcers. It helps grow and repair your tissues. It is essential for the production of your white and red blood cells. It can help lower your blood pressure and aid your sexual arousal.

Lysine

This essential amino acid helps your body absorb calcium. It also helps your body produce anti-bodies so you can fight cold sores and herpes. It maintains proper nitrogen balance in your body and it helps form collagen that makes up your connective tissue and cartilage.

Taurine

This non-essential amino acid improves your vision and prevents macular degeneration. It strengthens your heart muscle, which makes it beneficial for persons with heart disorders and hypertension. It also prevents the development of cardiac arrhythmias. It is used for the treatment of epilepsy, poor brain function, anxiety and hyperactivity. It is an important component of bile which your body needs to digest fats.

With the few amino acids discussed here, you can see that they bring countless benefits to your body. So make sure to stock up on these because they’re your keys to your ideal weight and healthy lifestyle.