Why do we need amino acids in our daily diet? There are a lot of things we need in our daily diet. They have taught us that we need six essential nutrients. These six are carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water. Not too long ago, some experts decided that fiber should also belong in the list of essential nutrients. That makes it 7 in total. But then, amino acids are not part of these 7. So do we need them in our daily diet or not? If we need them, why are they not on the list? Well, amino acids may not be on the list, but they are already on the list. How is that possible?
They are the main reasons why we need to eat protein daily. The only reason why proteins are useful for us is that they contain amino acids. That is the only thing that proteins contain. Without it, there will be no protein. They are the building blocks that build up proteins. So since proteins are already in the list of essential nutrients, amino acids are already included too. We need them in our daily diet for our bodies to be able to function the way it is expected to.
Do We Need All Amino Acid In Our Daily Diet?
Since your body can make 11 of the amino acids, you do not need to get them from your diet. They are called ‘nutritional non-essential amino acid’. Their name says it all. It is not essential for you to get them in your nutrition.
There are a total of 20 amino acids. Compulsorily, we only need 9 of them. The 9 amino acids that your body cannot produce by itself are the ‘nutritional eaa’. As the name suggests, it is essential for you to get them from your nutrition. You need them in your daily diet.
There is a recommended daily intake for each of these EAA. For each 1kg of your body weight, you should get the following quantity of EAAs in your diet daily:
- Histidine: 14mg
- Isoleucine: 19mg
- Methionine: 19mg
- Phenylalanine: 33mg
- Leucine: 42mg
- Lysine: 38mg
- Tryptophan: 5mg
- Valine: 24 mg
- Threonine: 20mg
In some situations, however, it may become necessary for you to get some nonessential amino acids through diet. Why should this be since your body can make them? Well, there are times that severe stress or serious illness prevents your body from making enough.
In such cases, the amino acid becomes ‘conditionally essential’. The conditionally EAAs are as follows:
The amount you would need to take daily would depend on how much the shortfall is. Anyways, these are special conditions. Your doctor would access you and prescribe how much you need to take daily to make up.
The remaining 4 other amino acids are absolutely nonessential. You most likely would never need to get them from your diet. They are as follows:
Why Do We Need It?
Think of all the things that proteins can do in your body. Those are the reasons why you need amino acids in your daily diet.
You know very well that growth and tissue repair are the major functions of proteins in your body. That is because amino acids are needed in these processes. There is nothing else that makes proteins valuable as an essential nutrient than the EAAs in them.
The following are some of the reasons why you need amino acid in your daily diet:
- They are necessary for the production of growth hormone. Without growth hormone, children will not grow and develop the way they should. You children surely need to get amino acids in their daily diet for proper growth and development.
- they are important in the process of making a lot of other hormones too. Tyrosine, for instance, is vital for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. These hormones control your rate of metabolism as well as neural maturation.
- Your body needs it to repair damaged tissues. They are basically, the building blocks of life. That is why they help to speed up wound healing and regeneration of damaged tissues.
- You need an adequate daily intake of amino acid also because they boost your immune system. They also support and enhance detoxification. These two processes go a long way in determining your overall state of health.
- Different amino acids regulate different things in your body. For instance, tryptophan helps in the regulation of appetite, sleep, and mood. Leucine, on the other hand, helps in the regulation of blood sugar level.
- Your body cannot make neurotransmitters without amino acids. Neurotransmitters like serotonin, epinephrine, dopamine, and norepinephrine are made with amino acids. The amino acid glutamate, in fact, functions as a neurotransmitter.
Many other things in your body depend on the availability of amino acids. Talk about fat metabolism, joint health, skin health, heart health, energy production, etc. You certainly need amino acids in your daily diet to meet all these needs.
How Can You Get Enough Amino Acids In Your Diet?
Before now, doctors used to think that you must get all your amino acids from a single meal. However, as they carried out more research, they discovered that this is not true. All you need do is get enough in your daily diet. It is not necessary that it’s all from a single meal.
It is not so difficult to get amino acids. The problem is being able to get a balanced dose of all EAAs.
However, certain foods are known to be complete proteins. This is because you can get all the EAAs from them. The list of complete protein foods is as follows:
- Dairy products
The following plant-based foods are also known to be complete protein sources:
All other protein foods are also good sources of amino acid. But you may need to mix one or two to get all the EAAs.
Why do we need amino acid in our daily diet? We need them for a lot of reasons. The summary of it all is that your body can only function properly if you get adequate amounts of amino acid from your diet.