Amino acids for anxiety

Can you take an amino acid for anxiety relief? That is the question in focus, and it is a great question. That is why we took a deep look at the connection between the two. But before we talk about amino acids for anxiety, we must understand exactly what anxiety is.

Many people refer to anxiety as the feeling of unsettledness and nervousness. But, the term indicates a potentially devastating mental condition. Individuals experience anxiety due to drastic changes in their lives or surroundings, such as school tests or starting a new job. 

In most cases, feelings of anxiety fade naturally over time. People with an anxiety disorder might be forced to deal with these feelings and mood swings throughout their lives. Other common anxiety symptoms include shortness of breath, insomnia, tension, digestive problems, and increased sweating. [1]

Treatment of anxiety disorders entails the use of medications. However, given that most of these drugs have side effects, patients opt for alternative treatment options. Therapy, such as counseling and massage, is an ideal treatment option for anxiety disorders. The other great way of treating anxiety is the use of amino acids. 

Anxiety disorders affect a large percentage of adults in the United States and other parts of the world. It’s paramount to treat anxiety disorders early enough. Otherwise, the condition makes it challenging to succeed at work, participate in hobbies, and maintain friendships.

What Are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are compounds that play an essential role in producing protein in the human body. When you eat food containing protein, your digestive system converts it into amino acids. [2] Your body then combines the amino acids in different ways to help in bodily functions. Healthy bodies can naturally manufacture 11 amino acids; thus, you don’t need to supplement them through a diet.

The essential elements of the amino acid include nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. However, other elements constitute amino acids. There are more than 500 amino acids in nature. However, the body directly codes for 20 amino acids. The 20 amino acids are vital for synthesizing hormones, building muscles, and functioning of body organs.

Amino Acids for Anxiety

amino acids for anxiety

Anxiety is a severe medical condition affecting both adults and children across the globe. There is no specific cure for anxiety. However, people struggling with anxiety can manage symptoms of the disease and find peace. You can reduce anxiety symptoms by including amino acid supplements in your diet. Amino acid supplements have been proven to relieve anxiety. The supplements handle three crucial biological factors that have an essential role in panic and anxiety attacks, including low iron levels, serotonin deficiency, and low levels of vitamin B6.

You can combine amino acid supplements with therapy, meditation, prescription medications, getting social support system, and journaling to fix biological factors that cause anxiety. Consequently, you get relief from several of these severe signs of anxiety. Amino acid therapy is an ideal alternative for pharmaceutical solutions for anxiety without the effects that anxiety medications cause.

Amino acid therapy entails careful selection and evaluation of essential amino acids that you can take orally in a capsule. You can also consume these essential amino acids for anxiety in powdered form to maximize neurotransmitter balance. However, it would be best if you took lab tests before taking these amino acids to take the necessary supplements for your anxiety disorder.

Groups of Amino Acids

The group that amino acids are classified into depends on how your body acquires them. Here are the three groups of amino acids:

  1. Essential Amino Acids

The human body never produces essential amino acids. Essential amino acids can only be acquired by your body through external sources, often through supplements or food. Some of the essential amino acids that you can only obtain through diets include threonine, leucine, valine, methionine, histidine, and tryptophan.

      2. Non-Essential Amino Acids

It is a group of amino acids that your body can manufacture. The human body produces non-essential amino acids regardless of whether you eat food containing amino acids. They include glutamic acid, alanine, aspartic acid, and asparagine.

      3. Conditional Amino Acids

The human body produces this group of amino acids only under explicit circumstances. For instance, your body might produce conditional amino acids when dealing with stress or anxiety or fighting a disease. These amino acids include glutamine, serine, glycine, ornithine, cysteine, and proline.

Your body is unable to manufacture proteins if it has an insufficient intake of amino acids. Consequently, proteins in tissues and muscles degrade or weaken. You can prevent this by incorporating a balanced diet that entails essential and non-essential amino acids.

Who Benefits from Amino Acids?

Everyone can benefit from amino acids because they play an essential role in building protein chains. Amino acids help athletes and aging individuals. What most people don’t know is that amino acids play an indispensable role in managing anxiety.

The Best Amino Acid for Anxiety

Some amino acids help in managing feelings of anxiety and depression. Taking such amino acids often helps improve your mood, and by extension, your quality of life. One such amino acid is DL-Phenylalanine, which has positive impacts on your brain and body.

L-Phenylalanine creates essential neurotransmitters, proteins, and hormones. It also includes thyroid hormone, dopamine, and norepinephrine, vital for mental and brain function. 5- hydroxytryptophan (HTP) is an amino acid that helps in regulating mood and memory.

Food Sources of Amino Acids

Amino Acids for anxiety

These essential amino acids play an essential role in mood regulation and managing signs of anxiety. Additionally, they can help with muscle development and other body functionalities. The amount of essential amino acids in these foods varies. [4]

  • Lean meats: poultry and turkey meat have high levels of amino acids and low saturated fats. Lean meats contain protein and the essential amino acids necessary for managing anxiety symptoms.
  • Dairy
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Eggs
  • Grains
  • Nuts and seeds

Roles of Amino Acids

  • Improve mood and sleep
  • Prevent muscle loss
  • Boost exercise performance
  • Promote weight loss

Conclusion

You can get nine essential amino acids from your diet, including threonine, leucine, valine, methionine, and isoleucine. Some of these crucial amino acids enhance sleep and improve mood, critical in managing anxiety disorders. 

Fortunately, you can get these vital compounds from plant and animal-based foods. Amino acid supplements minimize mental fatigue, impacting positively on symptoms of anxiety. [4]

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References

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety-symptoms#types
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315330/
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324229#takeaway
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/essential-amino-acids#bottom-line

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