What Are Amino Acids, and Why Should I Care?

You don't need to be a scientist to understand amino acids, or to enjoy our detox smoothies.

You might have heard of the importance of amino acids, or even of the “nine essential amino acids”. But do you know what they are, and why they are important? Do you know what foods contain them? We’ll explain all in this piece. This includes the connection between amino acids and our blended juice cleanses, like our 21 day juice cleanse and 7 day juice cleanse. We'll also touch on the importance of detox smoothies when it comes to amino acids.

Intro to Amino Acids

To understand amino acids, you first need to understand proteins. We tend to think of protein as just another nutrient that we need to add to our diet. Proteins are perhaps one of the most foundational nutrients. Every living thing in nature is made up of proteins - they are the building blocks of life. Amino acids, meanwhile, are the molecules that build proteins.

You might hear about amino acids being defined as either “essential” or “non-essential”. You do need all kinds of amino acids. The difference between the two is how you get them. “Non-essential” amino acids are made inside our bodies. You don’t need to worry about getting them - your own body has you covered.

The “Essential” amino acids are those that you can’t naturally get in your body. Instead, you’ll have to get these from your food and drinks. (If you’re curious, the nine essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.)

Why Essential Amino Acids Matter

So we know that you can’t get those essential amino acids anywhere but in food. But why does getting them matter? Not getting amino acids can lead to amino acid deficiencies. The exact effects of the deficiencies differ depending on the deficiency in question. None of them are pleasant, however. Our body needs all the amino acids to have all the materials to make the proteins we use for life.

Common symptoms of amino acid deficiencies include any or all of the following:

* Weakened Immune System

* Digestive Issues

* Depression

* Unhealthy Weight Loss

* Skin Issues

* Hair Issues

* Muscle Weaknesses

Getting Essential Amino Acids

The nature of amino acids includes a clue to getting more of them in your diet. We know now that amino acids are the molecules that makeup proteins. However, the relationship between amino acids and proteins also works in reverse.

This means if eat foods that are high in proteins, your body can break them down into amino acids. They can then use these to create the different kinds of proteins that your body might need.

Many people have a misconception that you can only get amino acids through animal products. Certain animal products do indeed contain some of the nine amino acids listed.

However, nutritionists have found a lot of alternatives for the vegetarian and vegan. For example, the amino acid histidine is found in meat, poultry, and fish - but you can also get it in nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Leucine, meanwhile, is traditionally associated with dairy products, but can also be found in soy, beans, and legume.

Your best bet for making sure you are getting your amino acids is simply to eat a varied diet, with a lot of different protein-rich foods.

Amino Acids and Juice Cleanses

Some people are wary of taking on an ambitious juice cleanse such as the 21 day juice cleanse. These people worry that they won’t be able to get all their amino acids during it. Some juice cleanses tend to skimp on some or all the amino acids.

At Chef V, we don’t want to leave you lacking anything. That’s why we’ve added delicious detox smoothies to our juice cleanses. These detox smoothies contain pea protein and all the amino acids you need. This means that you can even go for our 21 day juice cleanse in total confidence.