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Amino Acids: Essential, Non-Essential and Conditional

Protein is an essential requisite for every major function in the body, be it enzyme synthesis, muscle repair or regrowth. Going further into the details, beyond its most fundamental roles, the body creates a variety of different proteins from just the 20 amino acids that form protein.

Although all 20 amino acids have crucial roles to play, not all are what your body needs from the diet; there are certain types that the body itself synthesizes while there some which the body cannot produce on its own and therefor you need to get those in through the diet.

This article will break down the amino acids as per their unique individuality and talk about what makes one part different from the other.

Understanding Amino Acids:

Amino acids can be used to produce energy when needed, however their most fundamental role is to build proteins. All the 20 amino acids have different chemical structure that defines how each one acts. Each protein molecule contains amino acids ranging anywhere from 50 to 2000 which are linked to each other in a unique chain form, depending on the gene commands and accordingly utilized for specific functions.

Amino acids are classified as Essential, Non- Essential and Conditional

Essential Amino acids:

The essential amino acids are also referred to as the indispensible amino acids-which mean they must be derived from the diet that is consumed since the body is incapable of producing them on its own.  There are 9 such amino acids out of the 20 that are essential; however, adults only need 8:

  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • Valine
  • Tryoptophan
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Methionine
  • Lysine.

Suggested Read: The ABCs about BCAAs: All That You Need To Know About Essential Aminos

The 9th one, Hisitidine is required as an essential only for infants. Since the body does not store amino acids, you need to take them in on a regular basis.

Non-essential and Conditional Amino acids:

Though these amino acids do have important roles to play in the body, but since they are synthesized by the body itself, they are called non-essential amino acids. Out of these 11 aminos, 8 are classified as conditional. These amino acids are:

  • Cysteine
  • Arginine
  • Glutamine
  • Tyrosine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Glycine
  • Ornithine

These 8 amino acids are called condition Conditional as their functionality and effectiveness depends up on factors like sickness or being in a state of any kind of major stress (physical or mental stress) that affects their production to the extent that they may not meet the body’s demands.

The remaining 3- asparagine, alanine and aspartate are non-essential amino acids.

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Requirements:

You need all the essential amino acids in precise amounts however, if you meet your recommended daily amounts of protein and ensure that you follow a balanced diet, you would be able to meet your daily amino acid requirements. Proteins coming from animal based sources like lean meats, eggs, milk and milk products are all called class-1 protein as they are all complete proteins; While Plant based proteins, lack in at least one of the essential amino acids (except soy as it is considered to be a complete plant protein source) and therefore are considered as incomplete proteins. Different combinations of incomplete proteins help in overcoming each other’s incomplete amino acid profile and therefore, eating a variety of grains, legumes, pulses, vegetables and combining it with foods like dairy or eggs helps give a complete protein profile.

Protein for athletes or those who workout– BCAAs are a must for those looking for bodybilding, are athletes or workout regularly as without enough BCAAs( branched chain amino acids) fatigue may begin to set in thereby affect the recovery and repair of muscles and thereby significantly lowering the performance. Therefore a standard ratio of 2:1:1 is for BCAAs is suggested.

If you are unable to get in the essential amino acids through diet for some reason, the easiest and healthy way is to invest in a good whey supplement that gives you a 2:1:1 ratio in more than 5 gm. of BCAAs per serving. 

Add OZIVA Protein & Herbs Shake to Your Diet if your diet is lacking in proteins.

If you want a detailed nutrition consultation, drop us a mail at nutrition@oziva.in or call us on 9769298556 and our experts will help you with your fitness goal