Essential always means, that it cannot be synthesized by the body itself and must be supplied from outside. Competitive athletes are particularly aware of the relevance of amino acids and the increased need for them during regular endurance sports and strength training. The lack of a certain amino acid can also have an effect on others. For both prevention and curative purposes, there should thus be an optimal supply of amino acids, which may need to be clarified in advance by means of appropriate tests.
Amino acids fulfil a vital function for all living beings. Without their influence, most metabolic processes in the body would be impossible. If the body lacks even one amino acid, this can affect the functioning of all proteins. For a vigorous and healthy lifestyle, an optimal supply is thus vital.
As chemical compounds, amino acids naturally belong to the individual building blocks of proteins. Around 20 proteinogenic amino acids are of direct benefit to the human organism. Otherwise, the entire energy metabolism, the formation of hormones or bodily tissue or the maintenance of the blood transport system could not function.
Amino acids, the essential basis for life
Most amino acids are produced by the body and are known as non-essential amino acids. These include alanine, glutamine, or serine. The non-essential amino acid glycine,
for example, is also known for its effect as a neurotransmitter. Only a tiny amount needs be consumed in the daily diet. Among the so-called essential amino acids are, for example, valine
, threonine or lysine.
Only since the 1970s has research into amino acids increased in nutritional medicine. Stress, an unbalanced diet or chronic illnesses can lead to a bodily deficiency and cause, among other things, susceptibility to infections or a drop in performance.
Complex and versatile - amino acids
Consisting of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, in contrast to carbohydrates or fats, amino acids have a comparatively high nitrogen content. In terms of quantity, proteins, and therefore also amino acids as their building blocks, are another main component of the body, next to water.
Composed of at least one amino group and one carboxyl group, amino acids combine to form chains and they all have a similar basic structure. They are differentiated into left- and right-handed amino acids, whereby only left-handed amino acids can be used by the body to build proteins.