Why are Amino Acids So Important?
Amino acids are molecules that play a vital role in the functioning of living organisms. Found in everything from plants and animals to bacteria and fungi, amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of life. Amino compounds aremade up of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms.
There are 20 different types of amino acids found in nature, each with its own unique structure and properties (scroll below for specific).
Amino acids play a key role in the production of collagen and keratin, two of the most important proteins that contribute to healthy skin and hair.
Collagen aids in cell growth, tissue repair and provides elasticity to the skin by helping it retain moisture.
Keratin helps keep hair strong by providing structure to each strand while also protecting it from damage caused by hot styling tools or coloring treatments.
Both proteins require specific amino acids in order to form properly, making them an integral part of any healthy skincare or haircare routine.
The body also uses amino acids to build proteins that perform other various functions, such as growth and repair of tissue throughout the body, carrying oxygen, fighting off infection, supporting energy production, acting as neurotransmitters, regulating hormones, assisting with DNA production, maintaining nails, organs, blood vessels, and much more.
Amino acids are essential components for producing collagen and keratin – two key proteins that keep our skin looking youthful and our hair looking strong. Without the right combination of amino acids, collagen and keratin cannot be properly produced or maintained.
For example, collagen contains 19 specific types of amino acid chains (called peptides), which form into triple helix strands that make up the protein’s backbone. Similarly, keratin is composed of 20 different types of amino acid sequences (called polypeptides). These sequences twist into double-helix structures to form the protein’s core.
What Are the Specific Amino Acids?
Amino Acids come in two varieties—essential and non-essential—with essential amino acids being those that cannot be produced by the body and must instead be obtained through diet or supplementation.
Non-essential amino acids, on the other hand, can be synthesized by the body from other compounds. Both essential and non-essential amino acids play vital roles in maintaining health and proper functioning of cells throughout the body.
Why collagen stands out compared to other protein powders is because it contains hydroxyproline. This amino acid isn't found in other protein powders, and it's what is most integral in maintaining youthful skin (as it increases skin thickness and vitality!)
Other amino acids in collagen that are integral for your skin are:
- Arginine: restores visible skin damage.
- Histidine: soothes the skin with antioxidant properties.
- Methionine: protects the skin from harmful toxins.
- Lysine: strengthens the skin's surface.
- Proline, leucine and glycine: smoothes fine lines and wrinkles in skin.
Fun fact: collagen contains 3x more amino acids than the regular protein powder!
How Can I Get More Amino Acids?
It’s not always possible to get all the amino acids we need from food alone, especially if our diets don’t include enough sources of protein or if we have certain medical conditions that interfere with absorption. This is where supplementation comes in handy – taking daily supplements containing particular combinations of essential amino acids can help ensure your body has enough fuel for producing collagen and keratin on its own.