There are 9 essential amino acids that make a protein considered to be complete. They are; Tryptophan, Threonine, Icoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine+Cystine, Phenylalanine+Tyrosine, Valine, Histidine. So, what is an amino acid, and why is it do darn important? Approximately 20% of the human body is made up of protein. Since protein has such a crucial role in how our bodies function, heal and grow, the amino acid plays the part of the building block for those functions. A large part of our cells, muscles, and tissues are made up of amino acids. Some of their bodily functions include: giving cells their structure; the transportation and storage of nutrients; they influence the function of organs, glands, tendons and arteries; they are essential for healing wounds and repairing tissue, especially in bones, muscles, skin and hair. So, as you can see, amino acids are absolutely essential for our bodies to function correctly. And, in order to get these amino acids in our systems, we have to consume proteins. For those of you that are Vegan or do not consume anything that has any relation to animals, there are some plant based proteins, and there are also supplements out there you can use to get those important amino acids. Whatever source you use, please make sure you are getting them. They are crucial to your health. In the coming posts, we will continue to dig into proteins such as when to consume them for optimal performance.