Are Organic Liquid Vitamins With Amino Acids Good?
Amino acids play a critical role in the body - they’re often referred to as the building blocks of proteins, and they are essential not only for building proteins, but also for building hormones and neurotransmitters. They can be found naturally in protein-rich foods like meat, fish, and soybeans, but some people will take amino acid supplements or organic liquid vitamins that contain amino acids in order to boost athletic performance or boost their mood.
Amino acids fall into three categories: essential, conditionally essential, or nonessential.
In this article, we’ll go over the basic functions of amino acids, the foods they can be found in, and the benefits of taking a supplement that includes them (1).
Essential Amino Acids
Amino acids are organic compounds that are made mostly of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. In order to function properly, the body needs 20 different amino acids - but while all 20 are important for general health, only 9 are essential.
The essential amino acids include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The body can make nonessential amino acids on its own, but it cannot make essential amino acids - so it’s necessary to get them through your diet or through a supplement.
The best sources for essential amino acids are animal proteins like meat, eggs, and poultry, but they can also be found in some plant products like edamame and tofu. After you eat these foods, your body breaks the product down into its amino acids so it can use them for building muscle and regulating the immune system.
Conditionally Essential Amino Acids
There are a few nonessential amino acids that are classified as ‘conditionally essential.’ This means that these amino acids are only essential during specific times in a person’s life - like during trauma, illness, infancy, or pregnancy.
Take arginine, for example. It is normally considered nonessential, but when someone is healing from a serious injury or fighting a disease like cancer, their body can’t make as much of it. So, in a situation like that, an arginine supplement (or a liquid vitamin that contains arginine) would be essential.
There are also nonessential amino acids that only qualify as essential during pregnancy, like glycine and arginine. So, while someone is pregnant, they may take a supplement that includes these amino acids to make sure that they’re getting enough.
Benefits to Amino Acid Supplements
Even though amino acids can be found in a variety of foods, taking a more concentrated version of them has been linked to a number of health benefits. You could choose to take a supplement that contains only the desired amino acids, or you could take a general liquid vitamin that includes the amino acid you’re looking for. What you take is up to you, and depends on your unique needs.
Here are a few benefits of taking a supplement that includes amino acids:
- It could help boost your mood. Tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid, is partially responsible for the production of serotonin. This chemical acts as a neurotransmitter, and it can regulate mood, sleep and other behaviors.
- It could also improve your exercise performance and lessen recovery time. Many athletes take valine, leucine, and isoleucine because these are the three essential BCAAs. They lessen feelings of fatigue, can improve athletic performance, and encourage quicker recovery.
- Taking a supplement that includes amino acids could also be helpful while you’re recovering from a serious wound or surgery. This is because it reduces muscle loss, and reduces the chances of infection and fluid accumulation in the abdomen.
How To Supplement
In many cases, people receive the correct amount of amino acids through diet alone. But some people can benefit from supplements to increase their intake. This could be because they are trying to improve their athletic performance, recover from surgery, or simply because they follow a plant-based diet and don’t consume animal proteins.
Whether someone chooses to take a pure amino acid supplement, a blend, or a liquid vitamin that contains amino acids is up to the individual and depends on the goal that they’re working towards.
Supplements that contain amino acids are safe for most people, but the presence of amino acids in a supplement is not usually viewed as necessary if someone gets a good amount of protein in their diet.
If you think that you could benefit from a liquid vitamin that incorporates amino acids, talk to your doctor before choosing your supplement.
- Kubala, Jillian. "Essential Amino Acids: Definition, Benefits, and Food Sources." Healthline, 3 Feb. 2022, www.healthline.com/nutrition/essential-amino-acids.