As any health enthusiast knows, amino acids are essential to a healthy lifestyle. After all, thousands of different proteins are produced by your body using just 20 amino acids. This is quite incredible when you take the time to realize just how important proteins are in helping your body function. From digestion to making new skin, you can’t live without proteins.
That also means you can’t live without amino acids, so logic would have us think that there’s no such thing as too much amino acids in your diet, right? Well, that’s not entirely true.
Three distinct types of amino acids actually exist – essential, nonessential, and conditional. Of the 20 amino acids your body can use to produce proteins, eight are considered essential, meaning that you have to get those from another source – your food or dietary supplements – since your body doesn’t create those amino acids on its own. Now, the essential amino acids also make up the conditional category as well, which is just what it sounds like – amino acids your body needs only with certain conditions. When fighting a particularly hard virus or bacteria, for instance, your body may need a conditional amino acid to help your immune system more properly function.
Now that brings us to the topic of nonessential amino acids. Nonessential is a bit of a misnomer, since what’s being referred to here is the fact that the aforementioned eight essential amino acids have to be ingested from an outside source since they’re not created by your body; therefore, they’re essential for your diet. Nonessential amino acids are just that – they’re not completely essential to your diet. You can still be healthy without these nonessentials, but obviously having them can give your health the boost it needs.
A lot of the nonessential amino acids actually come from protein-packed foods. Since amino acids are used to build proteins, many different protein-specific foods contain high levels of them, or other ingredients that, when combined with a normal, varied, healthy diet, will create the nonessential amino acids needed by your body to function as it properly should.
Women need about 46 grams of protein per day, while men need 56 grams per day. Ingesting this amount of protein, and eating non-protein filled plant based foods, grains, legumes, and vegetables will help you ingest the necessary amount of amino acids on a daily basis.
However, not everyone can eat the right foods at the right time to help gain the nonessentials, which is why dietary supplements which provide creation of the nonessential amino acids are so popular. They’ll help boost your immune system, create more proteins to help you burn fat, and increase the overall health of your body.