Synthesis of Amino Acids

The synthesis of amino acids involves how the amino acids are produced. There are several ways this happens whether it’s naturally in the human body or in a science lab. Learn more here!

Niacin symbol

What’s the synthesis of amino acids? It is the process that produces amino acids. Pyrrolysine and Selenocysteine are the rarest amino acids and are sometimes included in the total count of 22, that’s higher than the usual 20. Amino acids themselves are used to make polypeptides, which in turn combine to make proteins. However, it’s also important to know what makes up amino acids. There are different ways that amino acids are made using metabolism-related “pathways.” Since there are 20 main amino acids the process happens differently based on the chemical structure of particular amino acid.   

There are different ways people get amino acids. The human body produces non-essential amino acids (NEAAs). This happens naturally and in most cases, it results in enough of the NEAAs. However, there are also times when enough of the aminos aren’t made due to issues like age, conditions, and disease. In those situations, the person will have to take NEAA supplements. Humans also need 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) through food and supplements. People must consume these amino acids daily because the body uses them for functions like building muscle and fueling the brain’s neurotransmitters (signal-senders). This includes BCAA aminos that makeup one-third of all EAAs.

What Are Amino Acids Used for?

This is one of the most important issues to take up before discussing how they’re made. The human body uses amino acids. Amino chains then produce something called “polypeptides.” Chains of them then produce protein. This helps to explain why aminos are known as the building blocks of protein. 

Proteins have many functions in the human body and brain. One of the best-known ones is building muscle. If you want to build lean muscle mass the body needs to have enough of all 20 amino acids including EAAs and NEAAs. The best source of aminos is real food although you can add extra intake through dietary supplements like branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). 

Protein is also needed for other body parts. For example, the skin is the body’s largest organ. The liver is the largest solid organ but the skin has a larger surface area. Fun Fact: The body has an average of 1.6 trillion skin cells. 

Different amino acids team up to make different kinds of protein. For example, collagen helps to keep skin soft yet strong. Elastin makes skin stretchy so it’s able to bounce back easily. Then there’s keratin, which helps to make fingernails and toenails strong. 

Amino acids are also important for fueling the brain’s neurotransmitters. These are signal senders that connect the brain and body. There are different functions of these neurotransmitters. For example, they can help with weight loss through appetite control so you’ll feel full after eating.

Amino acids can also provide various workout-related benefits. They include energy boosts, fat-burning, and delayed fatigue. Carbs are the best source of immediate energy. However, it’s also important to fuel your muscles so you’ll get a good workout pump. Muscles are about 80% water and 20% protein so it’s critical to feed them with aminos. 

Synthesis of Amino Acids 

The main chemical in amino acids is nitrogen. There’s a specific type of nitrogen gas that makes amino acids. That said, for the nitrogen to be effective the nitrogen levels must be reduced first. The fancy term for this process is “fixation.”

Nitrogen is one of the most common elements in the human body. However, the body can only use reduced nitrogen so it must undergo a process before it becomes useful for the human body. When that happens the body can then make amino acids. 

The two chemical compounds needed are “glutamine” and “glutamate.” The body then processes these chemicals with carbon to form amino acids. Nearly all amino acids except “Proline have the main amino group and carbon group. The main difference between various amino acids is how they’re linked to the main carbon atom. 

Various chemical processes are known as “pathways” are used to form amino acids. The production of amino acids can happen in different ways. One example is from “precursor” molecules. For example, some amino acids are made from ketogenic acids. Different organisms need different amino acids to function properly. 

This helps to explain the two classes of amino acids known as essential and non-essential. These terms can be confusing because it doesn’t mean the body doesn’t need NEAAs. It simply means a well-balanced diet and a healthy body can produce these amino acids naturally. The process differs from EAAs that people must get from the foods and supplements they consume. 

Amino acid synthesis has been around for a while and was one of Earth’s first organic molecules. Nearly every life process is related to amino acids. They also have important roles in different mental processes. For example, when doing workouts amino acids can fuel neurotransmitters that boost focus. They can also help with other issues like workout recovery by healing sore muscles. 

Top Benefits of Amino Acids

Increased Stamina

Carbohydrates are usually linked to workout endurance. This macro is certainly important for boosting energy levels. However, you can also boost energy levels through amino acids. One study showed that aminos decreased athletes’ fatigue by more than 17%. This was related to boost blood sugar levels in tired athletes. 


Besides building muscle mass, amino acids can also increase fat-burning. BCAAs in particular seems to help burn more body fat. This seems to be related mostly to belly fat. A recent study showed that BCAA supplements triggered 2.5x more fat-burning than a carb sports drink. The BCAA supplement burned 50% more fat than the group that consumed a whey protein drink.

Muscle gains 

The body needs all 20 amino acids to build lean muscle. Both food and supplements can help to provide enough EAAs in particular. 

This is through the brain’s neurotransmitters. For example, certain “feel-good” neurotransmitters/hormones can be activated by amino acids, which helps to provide sharper focus through the natural high.

Muscle Recovery 

Since about one-fifth of muscle is protein, the macro-nutrient and amino acids can help to speed up recovery. That’s because after a tough workout the muscle fibers have tiny tears that need repairing. Protein/Aminos can help with the process by healing the tears to build lean muscle mass through the synthesis of amino acids.  

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