The Amino Acid Manifesto – Essential Amino Acids

September 4, 2013 — Leave a comment
This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Amino Acid Manifesto
The essential and the branched-chain amino acids

The essential and the branched-chain amino acids

Welcome! You made it from the non-essential Amino Acid Manifesto, and we are now going to talk about the amino acids that are essential to human health and function…

This list will cover all the essential amino acids (‘essential’ meaning amino acids which cannot be produced by the body), as well as the branched chain amino acids, which are part of this list.

Again, Gone Liftin’ has an article on Branched Chain Amino Acids, but this will list them again, and try and give some more info about them and their functions.

Essential Amino Acids

Amino acids that cannot be produced by your body, so you have to get them from food stuffs or supplements.

1. Histidine

Histidine is an amino acid that your body needs in times of stress, growth, allergies, and recoveries from illnesses.

This essential amino acid can also enhance your ability to uptake zinc absorption, as well as inhibit the absorption of excess copper. Histidine helps to form and repair tissue, so taking Histidine after an injury has proven beneficial.


Our first branched chain amino acid – Isoleucine. This essential amino acid is necessary to maintain and repair muscle tissue.

This essential amino acid is very important in regulating blood sugar levels and energy levels. Isoleucine is vital to infant health and growth, and it also important for nitrogen balance in adults. Isoleucine is converted into muscle tissue after being metabolized by the body.


Yet another branched chain amino acid – Leucine. Leucine is necessary in adults to maintain nitrogen balance throughout the entire body. Leucine works with the other branched-chain amino acids to maintain healthy muscle tissue, skin, and bones.

Leucine also plays a part in regulating blood sugar levels. Infant development is also a trait which Leucine plays with. On top of everything, Leucine can enhance endurance and energy.

4. Lysine

Lysine helps the body to absorb calcium, and conserve it for proper utilization. It also helps in strengthening connective tissue, tendons, and cartilage.

Lysine also is huge in deploying disease-fighting antibodies, as well as producing various enzymes and hormones. Lysine helps in the production of Carnitine, which helps convert fatty acids into energy, as well as keeping cholesterol levels in check.

5. Methionine

Methionine has high antioxidant properties and helps to maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails. It also helps to break down fats properly.

Methionine helps to promote the free flow of blood to the brain, heart, and kidneys, by preventing fat build-up in the arteries. Methionine supplies compounds necessary for proper growth and metabolism.

6. Phenylalanine

Phenylalanine plays a role in proper brain chemistry. It is a mood elevator and enhancer. Phenylalanine works with certain hormones to promote the release of endorphins. It has also been shown to act as an appetite suppressant.

Phenylalanine also forms glucose in the body. As you can see, Phenyalanine is one of those essential amino acids that are highly beneficial in energy levels!

7. Threonine

Threonine is very important in normal, healthy metabolic activity. It is also important for the production of neurotransmitters, nervous system health, and production of antibodies.

Threonine is also a strong fighter of viruses. Being that Threonine can be converted to glucose in the liver, it is also an essential amino acids that plays a part in blood sugar stabilization. Threonine is also an immune system stimulating amino acid.

8. Tryptophan

Thanksgiving dinner followed by a comatose state on the couch watching football, comes to mind when thinking of Tryptophan, doesn’t it?

Tryptophan is used by the brain to produce serotonin, which helps the nerves to transfer information (impulses) between the cells. Tryptophan enhances relaxation and is also a mood elevator, along with promoting healthy sleep cycles and soothing of nerves and anxiety.

Tryptophan has also been known to control hyperactivity in kids. Reducing carbohydrate cravings may be yet another shining quality of Tryptophan!


Valine is the last on our list of essential amino acids, as well as branched-chain amino acids. Muscles can use Valine as an energy source, since it is metabolized in muscle tissue. Valine is helpful in treatments involving coordination and balance, muscle metabolism, tissue repair, liver disease, insomnia and nervousness, as well as mental and emotional rollercoasters. Valine also helps to maintain proper nitrogen balance in the body.

Well, this finishes the list of essential and non-essential amino acids. Hopefully you came out of these 2 articles with more knowledge of amino acids before going in.

Thanks for reading! Start monitoring your amino acids intake for optimal health and fitness levels.

Series Navigation<< The Amino Acid ManifestoBCAAs – Branched Chain Amino Acids – Awesome! >>

Lush Sleutsky

Posts Twitter Facebook Google+

Trying to provide the most current, accurate information. No tricks - no smoke & mirrors. We all want to learn more and more and keep progressing! There is no need for tricks or sales tactics. We want to gather, learn, share, and debate any and all fitness related info for the betterment of our minds and our bodies...

No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>