What are they?
Amino Acids are the building blocks of proteins. When protein is consumed, whether it be from a meat, vegetable or grain source, the body breaks it up to access the amino acids within it. The body then uses those amino acids to build or maintain tissues within the body.
Amino Acids are sensitive to heat and degrade easily. When the body is deficient in dietary amino acids it will break down its own muscle tissues into amino acids in order to maintain the health of important organs.
There are categories of Amino Acids –
Essential Amino Acids – Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine.
(of these, Isoleucine, Leucine and Valine are Branch Chain Amino Acids, or BCAA)
Conditionally Essential Amino Acids – Arginine, Cysteine, Glutamine, Glycine, Proline, Serine, Tyrosine
Non-Essential Amino Acids – Alanine, Aspargine, Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid, and Taurine