What are amino acids?

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids combine in various ways to form different proteins, which are essential for growth, repair, and function in the body. Think of them as the individual letters that make up words (proteins).

Just as you can arrange letters to form different words, the body can arrange amino acids in various ways to create different proteins. These proteins are essential for nearly every function in the body, from building and repairing tissues to making enzymes and hormones.

There are 20 different amino acids, and they can be combined in countless ways to create the proteins needed for life. In the context of nutrition, some amino acids can be made by the body, while others, known as essential amino acids, must be obtained through the food we eat. There are 9 essential amino acids that the body cannot make, therefore we must obtain them through our food and drink. 

Of the 9 essential amino acids, 3 are branched-chain amino acids which have a unique structure that sets them apart from other amino acids. The BCAAs are:

  1. Isoleucine
  2. Leucine
  3. Valine

BCAAs are particularly important for muscle growth and repair, and they are often found in protein-rich foods and supplements, like Roam Protein

Use our free daily protein intake calculator to work out how much protein you should be aiming to consume each day!

Read our complete guide on protein terminology to learn more. 

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