Every amino acid has its individual purpose, which is why taking single amino acid supplements is so popular for individuals looking for specific reactions or goals. Tailoring your body’s amino acid intake has never been easier, with basically all essential and non-essentials available as singular supplements;
L-Alanine: L-alanine is a non-essential amino acid found in protein rich foods such as chicken, beef, fish, pork dairy products, beans and legumes. Its primary purpose is transferring nitrogen to the liver from various tissue sites in the body. It is also a useful energy source and assists in the loss of body fat. The benefits don’t end here - alanine is also thought to play a role in prostate health.
Arginine: A conditionally essential amino acid; that is, important during certain circumstances such as disease, illness or infancy, it functions to help with healing and repair of damaged tissues, blood pressure and to assist in the production of nitric oxide, a compound to increase the size of blood vessels. Arginine is found in dairy foods, game meats and seafood.
Asparagine: A non-essential amino acid, asparagine plays an important role in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Again, asparagine is found in large amounts in most meats, dairy, nuts and seeds.
L-Aspartic Acid: Used as a source of energy and found naturally in foods such as chicken, beef, dairy products, avocado and asparagus, aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid. Not only an effective source of energy, lasting endurance and brain power, aspartic acid is also used to treat fatigue and depression and remove ammonia from the body.
L-Carnitine: This stamina-increasing non-essential amino acid is used by athletes and bodybuilders as an energy source. Carnitine also reduces body fat and decreases muscle fatigue. As carnitine is predominantly found naturally in red meats, vegetarians may also supplement it to prevent a deficiency.
Choline Bitartrate: Choline is a water-soluble vitamin and essential nutrient. Its solubility means that it is excreted in the urine, thus the body does not hold on to large supplies. Choline’s role in metabolism has caused it to become a popular supplement for reducing body fat. It is found naturally in egg yolk, nuts, legumes, soy and cooked beef and chicken.
Co-Enzyme Q10: Co-enzyme Q10 is an antioxidant used by athletes and bodybuilders as a source of energy. Its other numerous benefits include relieving migraines and cancer symptoms, treating metabolic disorders and possibly extending life span. Dietary sources include organ meat such as pork and beef hearts, as well as fish, eggs and soybean oil.
Cysteine: Found in natural sources such as pork, chicken, turkey and dairy products, cysteine is a non-essential amino acid and a major component in hair. Cysteine can be taken to gain shinier, healthier hair and is also thought to be a handy cure for those pesky hangovers.
Glucosamine HCI: Glucosamine HCI or glucosamine hydrochloride is a non-essential amino sugar and is predominantly taken to relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis such as joint pain, swelling and tenderness. It is often paired with supplements such as chondroitin sulfate and methylsulfonylmethane to maximise results.
L-Glutamic Acid: A non-essential amino acid, glutamic acid plays a key role in cellular metabolism and assists in removing waste nitrogen and transporting potassium within the body. It can be found naturally in meat, fish, eggs and dairy products and has also proved useful for mental health as well as physical.
Glycine: Glycine’s purpose is to convert glucose into energy. A non-essential amino acid, glycine is found in protein rich foods such as beef, chicken, beans, dairy products and fish. Glycine is also used to assist in detoxification of the liver.
L-Histidine: Histidine is an essential amino acid, which means it must be consumed as part of the daily diet. It is found in high protein foods such as meat and dairy products. Its purpose is to assist in the growth and repair of tissue within the body and support the synthesis of haemoglobin. It is also important for sexual function and stimulates sexual arousal.
Inosine: A popular nucleoside amongst athletes, inosine offers increased energy and oxygen delivery and assists with anabolism and catabolism. Inosine is also thought to extend endurance for athletes and bodybuilders, thus providing a more productive workout.
Inositol: Inositol is a carbocyclic polyol and lipotroic agent. It mobilises fat deposits in the liver caused by metabolic imbalance. It also reduces blood cholesterol and protects cell membranes. Inositol is present in some shampoos as it helps strengthen and provide moisture to hair cells.
L-Isoleucine: An essential amino acid, isoleucine must be consumed as part of the daily diet. Supplementation is popular amongst athletes and bodybuilders as it helps increase endurance, prevent muscle wasting and assist in muscle repair. Isoleucine can be found in protein rich foods such as chicken, beef, fish, eggs and lentils.
L-Leucine: Leucine is an essential amino acid found in foods such as chicken, beef, beans and brown rice. It is a source of energy used to prevent the breakdown of muscles and to repair tissue after workouts. It is a well known healer of bones and muscle tissue and is commonly administered in hospitals to surgery patients.
Lysine: Playing an important role in calcium absorption, lysine is an essential amino acid found in red meats, cheese, eggs and beans. It is used by athletes and bodybuilders to repair muscle tissue. It is also well known as a treatment for the herpes simplex virus.
L-Methionine: Methionine is an essential amino acid and lipotropic agent. It mobilises fat deposits in the liver caused by metabolic imbalance and helps the body process fat. It is also used to treat depression and arthritis pain and is found in foods such as meat, fish, beans and eggs.
L-Ornithine: Ornithine is a non-essential amino acid commonly supplemented by athletes and bodybuilders for muscle growth and fat loss. It stacks well with arginine and carnitine. Ornithine also plays a major role in the urea cycle and helps rid the body of excess nitrogen. It is found in protein rich foods.
L-Phenylalanine: An essential amino acid, phenylalanine is found in high protein foods such as chicken, beef, eggs and dairy products. Its functions vary from energy production to pain relief, and appetite suppression to anti-depressant.
L-Proline: Proline plays an important role in the production of collagen and skin elastin. It helps to keep joints flexible and is a good remedy for arthritis pain or other joint and muscle pain. It is a popular supplement amongst long distance runners as it extends endurance. Beef, chicken, fish and eggs are all natural sources of proline.
Serine: Serine is a non-essential amino acid involved in the process of fat metabolism and fatigue prevention. It also assists in creatine absorption. Serine is found in meat, soy foods and dairy products.
Taurine: Taurine is a non-essential amino acid located in skeletal muscles and white blood cells. Its primary role is fat metabolism and prevention of muscle fatigue. It is often purchased as a supplement as the body runs through its storage during physical activity. It is a common ingredient in energy drinks and stacks well with creatine and anabolic supplements.
L-Threonine: An essential amino acid, threonine plays a role in collagen production as well as protein maintenance and muscle growth. Threonine is found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and vegetables such as mushrooms and lentils.
L-Tyrosine: Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid with the primary function of reducing body fat and suppressing the appetite. Tyrosine is also a precursor for the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline, which are associated with mood, memory, alertness and concentration. It is found naturally in cheese, soy products, chicken and fish.
L-Valine: Valine is an essential amino acid located in the muscles. It is a popular dietary supplement as it assists in the growth and repair of muscle tissue. Found naturally in foods such as cheese, chicken, fish and lentils, valine is also a useful energy source.
Single Amino Acid Supplements are commonly presented & sold as Complementary Medicines and Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods in Australia. Amino Acids are not a sole source of nutrition and should be used in conjunction with an appropriate physical training or exercise programme. Not suitable for children or pregnant women. Should only be used under medical or dietetic supervision. Always read the label prior to use.
1. Nelson, David L.; Cox, Michael M. (2005), Principles of Biochemistry (4th ed.), New York: W. H. Freeman, pp. 684–85, ISBN 0-7167-4339-6 .