Proteins represent about 40% of humans’ dry body mass.
They form cellular structures, messengers, specialized tissues, enzymes, and much more. Needless to say, proteins are one of, if not the most, important nutrients in the animal kingdom. Ipso facto, amino acids are just as important as proteins because amino acids compose the structure of all proteins. Not only that, free amino acids, particularly the essential amino acids (EAAs), can be digested more easily than regular proteins without compromising physiological functioning. This has great practical applications, such as consuming amino acids before or during exercise to help maintain muscle mass and fuel activity without upsetting the stomach as may occur with protein near exercise.
Let’s discuss amino acids in greater detail.