Amino acids are essential
important building blocks of life...

…without which the human metabolism could not assemble proteins. They are chemical compounds that are either formed in the body or absorbed through the consumption of certain foods. Proteins, also known as albumen, fulfill important functions for the human body. Amino acids are therefore essential and contribute to health, energy production, growth, development and reproduction.

Amino acids: how they regulate our metabolism

Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins. What do they contain? What functions do they have? Do they help build muscle and lose weight?

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are chemical compounds that form proteins in the form of long chains, i.e. the proteins in our body. Proteins have numerous functions in the organism and are found in every cell, including as a building material for muscles, skin, hair, nails, bones, tendons and other organs.

The antibodies, blood clotting factors and enzymes that are important for the immune system are also proteins. Hormones and so-called neurotransmitters also consist of amino acids. As messenger substances, they are responsible for metabolic processes and the transmission of nerve impulses.

As the building blocks of proteins, amino acids therefore have a variety of functions that are important for health, energy production, growth, development and reproduction. Certain amino acids are also said to support muscle building in sport and weight loss during diets.

How do amino acids become proteins?

When two amino acids join via the so-called peptide bond, dipeptides are formed. If a third amino acid is added, we speak of tripeptides. Some (up to ten) amino acids form oligopeptides, more than ten are called chain polypeptides.

Such polypeptides can fold or assemble to form proteins with over 100 or several thousand amino acids.

How many and which amino acids are there?

Biologists know of over 250 different amino acids, 23 of which are known as proteinogenic amino acids and are responsible for building proteins. Due to their chemical structure, 20 of these are known as (canonical) standard amino acids. The other non-proteinogenic amino acids also have important functions, but are not part of the body’s proteins.

Essential and non-essential amino acids

Our body can produce eight of the proteinogenic amino acids itself. We speak of non-essential (or dispensable) amino acids. There are also eight essential (or non-essential) amino acids – the body cannot produce them itself and must absorb them through food. There are also conditionally essential amino acids.

What are conditionally essential amino acids?

Conditionally essential are amino acids that are actually non-essential but become essential in certain life situations. For example, the body of healthy adults can produce the amino acid tyrosine itself.

However, the chemical compound is essential for children, as the body’s ability to produce it is not yet fully developed at a young age. In newborns and premature babies, arginine, cysteine and histidine are also essential at the beginning. The need for some amino acids can also change during pregnancy or with increased physical activity.

There are also diseases that affect the amino acid metabolism. Those affected must then also take in non-essential amino acids with their food.

List of known proteinogenic amino acids:

Essential amino acids

  • Phenylalanine
  • Isoleucine
  • Tryptophan
  • Methionine
  • Leucine
  • Valine
  • Lysine-Monohydrochloride
  • Threonine

Included in the HIGH COLLAGEN Vegan Boost®*

  • L-phenylanine
  • L-isoleucine
  • L-tryptophan
  • L-methionine
  • L-leucine
  • L-valine
  • L-lysine-monohydrochloride
  • L-threonine

Non-essential amino acids

  • Alanine
  • Asparagine/aspartate
  • Glutamin
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Arginine (conditionally-essential)
  • Histidine (conditionally essential)
  • Cysteine (semi-essential)
  • Tyrosine (semi-essential)

Included in the HIGH COLLAGEN Vegan Boost®*

  • L-alanine
  • L-asparagine/aspartate
  • L-glutamine
  • L-glutamic acid
  • Glycine
  • L-proline
  • L-serine
  • L-arginine
  • L-histidine
  • L-cysteine
  • L-tyrosine

*There is a D and an L form of all amino acids (except glycine). The L-shape is the one that occurs in nature, the other is a mirror image of it. Leucine without D or L says nothing about the stereochemistry, the name refers to both forms. Biological systems only utilize L-leucine.

Which foods contain essential amino acids?

Essential amino acids are found in both plant and animal protein sources, with animal foods often having a higher content.

Chicken eggs, for example, contain all the essential and semi-essential amino acids that the human body needs. But meat, fish and dairy products as well as nuts, pulses and soybeans are also foods that contain amino acids.

Aminosäuren in welchen Lebensmittel

Where are amino acids found and when do we need more of them?


Amino acid Aver. Demand Possible increased demand Occurrence
Phenylalanine approx. 14 mg/kg body weight Acute and chronic stress, depression, Parkinson’s disease Tuna, beef, soybeans, peanuts
Isoleucine pprox. 10 mg/kg body weight for intensive sports training, physical stress, liver and kidney diseases Peanuts, salmon, tuna, beef
Tryptophan approx. 4-5 mg/kg body weight for competitive athletes, sleep disorders, depression Tuna, spirulina, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, walnuts, cheese, veal and beef
Methionine approx. 13 mg/kg body weight for urinary tract diseases, allergies, depression Salmon, prawns, turkey breast, hard cheese, soybeans
leucine approx. 14 mg/kg body weight for intensive sports training, physical stress, liver and kidney diseases, schizophrenia Eggs, salmon, tuna, peanuts, beef and veal
Valine approx. 10 mg/kg body weight for intensive sports training, physical stress, liver and kidney diseases, schizophrenia Salmon, tuna, peanuts, beef and veal
Lysine approx. 15 mg/kg body weight for weakened immune system, viral infections, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases Fish, parmesan cheese, pork, prawns
Threonine approx. 6-7 mg/kg body weight for heavy physical exertion, frequent infections, hyperactive nervous reactions, multiple sclerosis Papaya, soybeans, lentils, wheat germ

Effect: Why do you need amino acids?

Amino acids are very important chemical compounds that have different functions due to their different structures. For example, they are responsible for the formation of collagen, the structural protein of bones, connective tissue and skin, as well as for the formation of enzymes, hormones, blood clotting factors, antibodies and muscles.

Tasks of the essential amino acids

  • Phenylalanine: precursor substance of the hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine and thyroxine, has an anti-inflammatory effect, formation of melanin
  • Isoleucine: energy source for the muscles, inhibits protein breakdown
  • Tryptophan: precursor substance for serotonin (sleep-wake rhythm and mood enhancer), liver metabolism, build-up of niacin and tryptamine
  • Methionine: detoxification function, regeneration of liver and kidney damage, selenium metabolism, build-up of various amino acids and hormones
  • Leucine: energy source and muscle building, inhibits protein breakdown
  • Valine: energy source for the muscles, protein build-up and storage, inhibits protein breakdown
  • Lysine: supports the immune system, has an antiviral effect, formation of enzymes, hormones and antibodies, growth, bone health, tissue repair, vascular stability
  • Threonine: growth and energy production, uric acid and protein metabolism, strengthens the immune system and forms antibodies, precursor substance of the amino acids glycine and serine

Tasks of the non-essential amino acids

  • Alanine: Important component of muscles, influences blood sugar levels, the immune system and liver metabolism
  • Asparagine: Stimulates kidney activity and thus cleanses the body
  • Aspartate: Involved in the detoxification process; acts as a neurotransmitter and is therefore very important for the messenger substances in the brain
  • Glutamate: A neurotransmitter that transmits signals between nerve cells
  • Glutamine: energy production, important component of the muscles, supports their regeneration
  • Glycine: Hemoglobin metabolism, i.e. ensures oxygen transport in the blood; involved in building muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, skin and teeth
  • Proline: Regeneration of bone and cartilage in􀀁ammation, protects against collagen and joint degradation
  • Serine: growth, energy production, uric acid and energy metabolism, formation of antibodies
  • Arginine (conditionally essential): Stimulation of cell formation, leucocyte formation, release of growth hormones, insulin and noradrenaline, influences blood circulation and cardiovascular system
  • Histidine (conditionally essential): Builds up creatine, i.e. important for energy production in the muscle
  • Cysteine (semi-essential): Involved in building hair and nails, muscle building and detoxification of the body
  • Tyrosine (semi-essential): Formation of adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine, involved as a neurotransmitter in communication between nerve cells

Lack of amino acids

We must take in essential amino acids with our food. An unbalanced diet, one-sided diets, stress or competitive sport as well as chronic illnesses can lead to a de􀀂ciency of certain amino acids. The need for special amino acids can also increase in newborns, during pregnancy or after serious injuries, for example.

Non-essential amino acids are just as important as essential amino acids. However, our body normally produces them without our conscious intervention. How much semi-essential and non-essential amino acids the body needs or produces depends, among other things, on age, pregnancy and performance requirements.

Laboratories use an aminogram, a profile of the amino acids in the body, to assess whether there is a deficiency based on a blood sample.

Possible signs of an amino acid deficiency:

  • Listlessness
  • Weakened immune system
  • Concentration dificulties
  • Inner restlessness
  • Digestive problems
  • Depressive moods
  • Sleeping dificulties
  • Drop in performance
  • Joint problems
  • Deficits in muscle building

Intake of amino acids Amino

Acids regulate numerous metabolic processes in the body, so they are extremely important for our health. The need for individual amino acids can change with an unbalanced diet or when the demands on our performance change, for example during competitive sport, prolonged physical exertion, illness or stress.

Eggs, dairy products, muscle meat and pulses are particularly good sources of amino acids. Some amino acids can also be bought in the form of food supplements.

is a mixture of essential and non-essential amino acids and provides your body with the optimum building blocks
for health and well-being.

High Collagen Vegan Boost im Gals

Do not overdose on amino acids

However, overdosing individual amino acids with food supplements can trigger an amino acid imbalance in the metabolism and may risk gastrointestinal complaints, excessive strain on the kidneys or other health problems. If you suspect a deficiency, you should therefore not take individual supplements on your own, but seek advice from a nutritionist.

Amino acids in sport

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) does not recommend a separate intake of amino acid supplements for amateur and competitive athletes. However, some amino acids may be beneficial to the athlete in appropriate concentrations.

  • Arginine is said to improve blood circulation in the muscles, strengthen the immune system and promote wound healing. Nuts, pulses and chicken breast are particularly suitable sources.
  • Cysteine is known to promote the build-up of muscle mass and improve muscle function. This effect is also used by patients with certain diseases who want to stop severe muscle wasting. Whey protein, for example, has a particularly high cysteine content.
  • Isoleucine, leucine and valine support a rapid recovery of the immune system, stabilize the glutamine concentration and can improve muscle metabolism and endurance performance. The three amino acids are mainly found in tuna, salmon and peanuts.

By the way: Whey protein products are a mixture of amino acids made from whey protein, which is particularly soluble and valuable.

Do amino acids help you lose weight?

In order to lose weight or body fat permanently, a change in diet and exercise are essential. In certain cases, some amino acids can provide support in exact doses.

For example, the need for leucine, isoleucine and valine can increase with reduced diets or physical exertion. Our body needs them for muscle metabolism. Good sources are tuna, salmon and peanuts.

Diets can also lead to a deficiency of phenylalanine, tryptophan and methionine. A particularly suitable source is, for example, a combination of low-fat quark and wholemeal.

Caution: Too much protein in the diet can put a strain on the kidneys. Amino acids in the form of food supplements can also be overdosed.

  • Overdoses of methionine can lead to increased excretion of calcium and be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
  • Overdoses of tryptophan can lead to muscle pain and tiredness.
  • Overdoses of phenylalanine can cause headaches, anxiety and high blood pressure, among other things.