Essentielle, nicht essentielle und semi-essentielle Aminosäuren (kurz EAA'S) – ein ausführlicher Faktencheck!

Essential, non-essential and semi-essential amino acids (EAA'S for short) - a detailed fact check!

Amino acids form the foundation of life. These tiny molecules are the building blocks of proteins , the basic building blocks of our body. However, their importance goes far beyond the mere structure of tissue. Amino acids are the architects of vital processes in the human body - from muscle function to the immune system to the regulation of mood and brain functions.

In this introduction we will delve into the fascinating world of amino acids . We will explore their classification, understand their role in the body, and explore why they are vital to our health and performance. From essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce themselves, to non-essential variants that still perform vital functions, we will take a closer look at the diversity and importance of these chemical building blocks for human life. Let's delve into the fascinating world of amino acids and discover their comprehensive importance for our existence.

There are a total of 20 standard amino acids found in proteins. These are divided into three main categories: essential, non-essential and semi-essential amino acids . Each of these amino acids has its own chemical structure and plays a specific role in the body. They are the building blocks of proteins and play a crucial role in numerous biological processes that are essential for the functioning of the human body.

Essential amino acids:

  1. Leucine: Promotes muscle growth and repair.
  2. Isoleucine: Involved in energy production and muscle regeneration.
  3. Valine: Helps regulate nitrogen balance and energy production.
  4. Lysine: Supports collagen production and calcium absorption.
  5. Methionine: Important for protein synthesis and detoxification.
  6. Phenylalanine: building block for neurotransmitters such as dopamine.
  7. Threonine: Supports the immune system and collagen production.
  8. Tryptophan: Precursor of serotonin, helps regulate mood.
  9. Histidine: Important for tissue growth and repair.

Non-essential amino acids:

  1. Alanine: Supports glucose production in the liver.
  2. Asparagine: Important for the metabolism of ammonia.
  3. Aspartate: Plays a role in the urea cycle and energy production.
  4. Glutamine: Main amino acid in the blood, important for the immune system.
  5. Glycine: building block for collagen, proteins and glucose.
  6. Proline: Important for the structure of collagen and elastin.
  7. Serine: building block for proteins and an important component of hormones.

Semi-essential amino acids:

  1. Arginine: Important for nitrogen balance and precursor of nitric oxide.

These properties show how each amino acid has specific functions in the body that are crucial for various processes such as muscle growth, energy production, metabolism and even emotional well-being. A balanced diet that contains sufficient amounts of all of these amino acids is important for optimal health.

essential amino acids in the flavor of iced tea

Why amino acids are so important for athletes:

Amino acids are of particular importance to athletes because they have a number of functions that directly impact performance, recovery and muscle building. Here are some reasons why amino acids are so important for athletes:

Muscle maintenance and growth:

  • Protein synthesis: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are crucial for building muscle and repairing muscle tissue after exercise. This is especially important for repairing muscle damage and building muscle mass.

Energy production and endurance:

  • Glutamine and Alanine: These amino acids serve as an important source of energy for muscle cells during intense workouts and can improve endurance.

Recovery and regeneration:

  • BCAAs (Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine): These amino acids can shorten recovery time after exercise, reduce muscle soreness, and promote muscle recovery.

Hormone regulation and mood:

  • Tryptophan: Converted to serotonin, which can positively affect mood and overall well-being. A balanced serotonin level can increase motivation for training.

Prevention of muscle loss:

  • BCAAs: They can prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue during intense exercise by acting as a source of energy, thus reducing the breakdown of muscle protein.

Immune system support:

  • Glutamine: Plays an important role in supporting the immune system, especially during intense exercise sessions, by promoting gut health and reducing susceptibility to infections.

A balanced intake of amino acids , particularly essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), can help athletes increase performance, improve recovery, and prevent injury. Therefore, the intake of amino acids through a balanced diet or supplements is an important part of the training regime of many athletes.

Different foods contain different types and amounts of amino acids. Here are some examples of foods and the amino acids they contain:

Foods with essential amino acids:

  • Meat (beef, chicken, pork): Contains all essential amino acids in good amounts, especially leucine, lysine and methionine.
  • Fish (salmon, tuna, trout): High in essential amino acids such as tryptophan, lysine and leucine.
  • Eggs: Complete source of protein with all essential amino acids, especially methionine, lysine and tryptophan.
  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese): Contain a variety of amino acids, including leucine, lysine and valine.

Plant sources of essential amino acids:

  • Quinoa: One of the few plant sources with all essential amino acids.
  • Soy and soy products (tofu, tempeh): Contain a good amount of essential amino acids, especially leucine and lysine.
  • Beans and legumes (lentils, kidney beans): Contain essential amino acids such as lysine, threonine and tryptophan, but in different amounts.
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds): Provide essential amino acids such as methionine, tryptophan and arginine, although in more limited amounts.

Foods with non-essential amino acids:

  • Vegetables: Contain various non-essential amino acids such as glutamine, glycine and proline.
  • Cereals and whole grains: Provide amino acids such as glutamic acid, aspartic acid and serine, but in varying amounts.

Combining different foods , especially plant-based proteins, can help provide a balanced range of amino acids that the body needs. A diverse diet that includes different sources of protein can ensure that essential and non-essential amino acids are consumed in sufficient amounts.

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