Amino acids are considered to be the building blocks of proteins, but they’re used in essential processes like synthesizing hormones and neurotransmitters. As many of us know, neurotransmitters are often targeted by medication that help with moods. For example, Prozac, a popular anti-depressant, blocks the absorption of serotonin or better said, the re-uptake of serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter…so there’s more to spare. We’re then in a better mood. But we all know that such medications, effective as they can be, usually come with some very negative side effects, like thinking about suicide, ironically. In other words, it backfires with many people, particularly young adults, making their mood symptoms worse.
Amino acids can help people who are detoxing from being on drugs…withdrawal is very short-lived, and moods improve quickly. They can also help improve sleep, something very necessary for overall healthy functioning of mind and body. We also can perform better when we exercise, and amino acids help prevent muscle loss. They have also been known to be effective in weight loss efforts for some, particularly in losing fat.
Whoever thought, with all the expensive medications out there for mental health problems, that something as simple as an over-the-counter supplement could do the job without all the side effects?! But it’s true. Amino acids do just that.
Answers to Common Questions:
Are amino acids good for depression?
Yes, amino acids have been used successfully against depression. They seem to have an anti-depressant effect (especially 5-HTP and L-tyrosine) at doses between 100 and 300 milligrams/day. This can vary with each individual.
Will amino acids help me with my anxiety?
Yes, Gaba, theanine, and L-tryptophan (or 5-HTP), as well as L-arginine and L-lysine may help relieve stress and anxiety.
Can amino acid therapy help me recover from drug use?
Yes, amino acids support the rebuilding of neurotransmitters which occur from drug use. They restore brain function and balance and minimize withdrawal symptoms and cravings in many.
How long do they take to work?
When people take amino acids in early drug recovery, positive effects are seen within a few hours of the first dose in many clients; sometimes within 20 minutes.
Can you get amino acids from foods?
Yes. Meat, fish, and poultry have the complete set of all amino acids. Other good sources are black beans, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and whole grains. Dairy contains amino acids. These are but a few of the foods containing amino acids. Any food containing any amount of protein has amino acids.
Do you have to eat foods that contain all 20 amino acids in one meal?
No. It was previously thought that food combining (especially for vegans and vegetarians) was necessary, but today it is no longer seen as necessary.
For more information about Amino Acid Therapy for recovering individuals and those with mental health disorders, see our course
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