Out of the all Supplements available for Anxiety, Depression and Low Mood, Amino Acids play a central role due to the potential benefits they can bring to your overall health and well being.

In this article, we are going to explore the best Amino Acids for anxiety, depression and low mood.

Without further due, let’s find out the ways amino acids that can help you to improve your anxiety, stress and low mood, and depressive symptoms.

Written by Shani Liyanage, an Australia-base Registered Healthcare Practitioner with a Masters qualification from the University of Newcastle (Australia) and with decades of hands-on experience working for hospitals and in aged-care.

What are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are building blocks or in other words creating elements of protein.

There are 3 types of amino asides – essential amino acids, conditionally essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids.

1. Essential Amino Acids

Out of the 20 amino acids important for human bodies to function properly, 9 considered essential amino acids.

They are Histidine, Lysine, Isoleucine, Phenylalanine, Leucine, Methionine, Valine, Threonine and Tryptophan.

Essential amino acids are not self-created but gained through diet.

2. Non- essential Amino Acids

There are 11 non-essential amino acids.

They are:

  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Asparagine
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine

3. Conditionally Essential Amino Acids

These amino acids are not essential when you are healthy but sometimes become essential, especially when you are sick or having a health condition.

For example, out of the 11 non-essential amino acids, Arginine is considered essential, when you are fighting with an immune deficiency or cancer.

Let’s see what the benefits of amino acids are.

What are the Benefits of Taking Amino Acids?

Amino acids are there in a large variety of foods as a natural component. And, taking amino acids as a part of your healthy diet is always the best option.

However, some people cannot fulfill their amino acid requirements only through their diet. These people take concentrated doses of this substance (amino acids) in the supplemental form.

Regardless of how your body receives Amino Acids, they can produce several benefits to your overall health.

Here are the benefits of taking amino acids.

1. Amino acids can significantly improve mood and sleep

Tryptophan is vital in Serotonin production, and it is a chemical that serves as a neurotransmitter in the body of any person.

Serotonin is undoubtedly an essential mood regulator. When the serotonin levels are low, it creates a depressed mood within you.

With low Serotonin sleep disturbances even become a significant problem.

Several research studies show the usage of tryptophan can significantly reduce depression symptoms, improve sleep, and also boost mood.

2. Amino acids can boost the performance of your exercise

The vital amino acids are valuable in alleviating fatigue levels of any person. They can stimulate the recovery of the muscle and even improve athletic performance after the exercise.

Furthermore, the consumption of 4 grams of Leucine every day for consecutive 12 weeks also increased the production of the strength in untrained men. It clearly shows that amino acids can also benefit non-athletes considerably.

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Some research studies conducted on humans and animals have revealed amino acids are quite useful in stimulating weight loss.

A study conducted on rats even showed that a diet composing of 4% supplemental Leucine could also reduce fat and body weight.

Do Amino Acids Help the Brain and Mind? How Do Amino Acids Affect the Brain and Consciousness?

The brain to function adequately your foods must-have amino acids. Thus, given brain and mind work hand in hand, they do need amino acids to work optimally.

When we have proteins in our diet, it affects the performance of the brain substantially. Thus, it is said that protein is prepared with the help of amino acids that help in neurotransmitters’ formation.

The neurotransmitters are known as biochemical messengers, and they have an essential job in carrying signals from one brain cell to another. The next phase of these brain cells is then transmitting several signals to different body parts in helping them to carry out the individual tasks.

The efficient delivery of ‘signals’ occurs when the messengers are better fed. Thus, the importance of eating plenty of the right amount of protein-rich with amino acids is necessary.

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Without it, the messengers can struggle to work fast for keeping both memory and body sharp.

The inclusion of amino acids as a valuable part of the protein is vital for our happiness. When we are unable to consume good enough protein, the brain then struggles in producing enough neurotransmitters such as Serotonin.

As I mentioned earlier, Serotonin is the main chemical that is valuable in regulating our moods.

Some doctors who are experts in natural medicine believe that amino acid therapy is essential. Some even believe it is better than traditional drugs (i.e. antidepressants) in the treatment of depression.

When the person consumes protein of good quality, it helps in boosting the levels associated with dopamine and serotonin. Thus, it essential not just to boost energy but even providing mental clarity.

Enough quantities of amino acids also enable any person to feel happier, experience low levels of anxiety, and have a good deep sleep.

Do Amino Acids Supplements Work for Depression, Anxiety, and Low Mood?

The amino acid supplements do work for depression, anxiety, and mood considerably. Therefore, it is vital for people suffering from depression, anxiety, and mood problems to have a targeted use of individual supplements containing amino acid.

As noted, amino acids supplements are going to prove valuable in balancing the chemistry of the brain to alleviate anxiety, panic attacks, depression, stressful feelings, and, most importantly, fears of a different kind.

Not only for depression and anxiety, but amino acid supplements are also indeed quite useful to address all other types of health problems that contribute to anxiety. The examples are the addictions and cravings for sugar.

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When the symptoms associated with insomnia, depression, and anxiety are even addressed adequately, that enables you to have a healthy mood, eliminate all sorts of cravings, sleep well, experience good energy, and to have significant mental focus.

However, some precautions are necessary to follow before consuming amino acids supplements. The advice of the knowledgeable medical practitioner is therefore required to avoid any negative consequences.

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Tip: Do you know Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) devices, such as OMNI Stimulator, can help you in managing anxiety, depression and related symptoms.

Are Amino Acids Useful for Anxiety? What Amino Acids Help with Anxiety?

Amino acids are suitable for anxiety. They can relieve any patient suffering from anxiety, not just in the short-term, but even in the long-term, which is beneficial.

The anxiety disorder has affected around 40 million adults in the USA. It has become one of the mental health conditions that are common throughout the country and the rest of the world.

When it is not treated, anxiety disorders can make it very difficult for the person not allowing him/her not only to relax, but succeed at study/work, maintain meaningful relationships, and even participate in their respective hobbies.

There is no direct cure for anxiety, but there are several ways for managing symptoms and providing more peace in any person’s life.

Any person living with anxiety, need to take supplements and focus on nutrition to reduce their symptoms considerably.

Below are the 2 key amino acids which can help you in this regard.

1. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)

GABA, also known as Gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an amino acid and a neurotransmitter that is located in the brain, which is highly valuable for the production of Serotonin.

Serotonin is the most potent neurotransmitter of the nervous system that provides a “feel-good effect.”

GABA has a vital role in the relaxation and mood regulation of any person.

While many vitamins improve anxiety by producing an effect on the levels of GABA in the brain.

Direct consumption of GABA is possible with the help of supplements in reducing the overall symptoms of anxiety.

Apart from dietary supplements, GABA is even found in ordinary foods. However, certain foods that include vegetables, fruits, red wine, and tea can also produce a significant amount of impact on the modulation of the GABA.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

There are fish oils that contain omega-3 fatty acids that prove essential in building up the basic ‘building blocks of proteins’ associated with the nervous system and brain.

These acids are valuable not just for cognitive functioning but have proved vital in improving depression symptoms too. The close link even exists in this regard with anxiety disorders.

Thus, the brain-boosting amino acids exist in a large variety of fish species. Some examples for this case are tuna, salmon, lake trout, and sardines.

Tip: Here are Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids filled Krill Oil.

Are Amino Acids Good for Depression? What Amino Acids Help with Depression?

It is a fact that amino acids are essential in the prevention and management of depression.

The science has proved that lack of Amino acids, like tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine, have contributed to the rise for depressive disorders.

The depression is regarded as a severe health challenge that has affected around 9.9 million American adults.

Depression is an emotional condition experienced by any person because of the loss, sadness, or due to passing mood states. The persistent problem is called major depression.

Major depression can interfere significantly with the mood, activity, behavior, and thoughts of any person. The physical health of the individual can suffer immensely.

Amino Acid Therapy can prove vital for patients suffering from severe depression, including major depression.

Let’s discuses Amino acid therapy in detail.

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Amino Acid Therapy or Neurotransmitter Precursor Therapy

Medical practitioners believe that neurotransmitters are created from amino acids, which are obtained with the help of protein in the diet.

It all starts with the help of actions that are related to enzymes and specific chemicals. The proteins are then broken into the amino acid constituents. These amino acids are regarded as the substrate for enzymes, which can indeed change the amino acids into neurotransmitters.

The blood-brain-barrier
is regarded as a protective barrier that is useful in keeping out all the dangerous substances and proves helpful in maintaining a steady environment for the brain. It even prevents many other ‘harmful’ neurotransmitters in the body of gaining access to the mind. Thus, in this way, amino acids (which is also the neurotransmitter precursors) are then used in very different kinds of combinations.

Secondly, with the help of administration timing, it even makes it possible for producing some more specific mood-elevating neurotransmitters in the brain. As amino acids compete with many other abundant neutral amino acids to gain access to the mind, it becomes vital in controlling the overall timing of protein. The reason is it contains foods when precursor’s products are taken.

High protein foods and protein powders bring an increase to the total amino acid levels, and it causes a significant decrease in the Serotonin combination in the brain.

The consumption of the 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5 HTP) and tyrosine with any particular carbohydrate and away from the protein meal would ensure an overall increased level of conversion to the desired mood. It reduces repairing the overall neurotransmitters. In this way, amino acids prove vital for prevention and management of depression.

Tip: There is a difference of effectiveness between Alpha-Stim and TENS for treating pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia. Which one do you this best serve your anxiety and depression?

What is DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA), L-theanine, and 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), etc.? How Do They Work?

  • DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA)

DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA) is recognized as an amino acid supplement. It is also known as a neutral and non-popular amino acid, which plays a crucial role related to several functions within the human body.

Phenylalanine is also a natural amino acid, and it is there in various protein-rich foods. Any person that eats a thigh of the chicken, drinks milk or consume scrambled eggs; they indeed get Phenylalanine in their diet.

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One of the key functions related to phenylalanine is that it needs to produce Tyrosine. It is known as a significant component in synthesizing hormones. It is even useful in producing neurotransmitters in the body. It includes three vital substances, such as Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Epinephrine.

  • L-theanine

L-theanine is also available not just in tea leaves but in the smaller amounts of Bay Bolete mushrooms. It is an amino acid and easily found in black and green tea.

bay bolete

It is even available tablet form or pill at several medical stores

The central aspect of L-theanine is that it promotes relaxation and also facilitates sleep by contributing numerous changes in the brain.

Here are some important ways through which L-theanine works:

  1. i. Boosts GABA and all other brain chemicals level.
  2. ii. Reduces excitatory levels of brain chemical levels.
  3. iii. Alpha brain waves are even enhanced considerably.
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that has a natural process in the body.

The body makes use of this amino acid for the production of Serotonin, a chemical messenger that sends the signals between the nerve cells.

Since 5-HTP proves vital for increasing the synthesis associated with Serotonin, so it is then used for several diseases such as insomnia, obesity, depression, and many other kinds of medical conditions.

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Do Amino Acids Increase Serotonin? Which Amino Acids Increase Serotonin?

Amino acids do increase Serotonin in humans. It is a chemical in the brain, which affects your mood.

All different kinds of foods that prove helpful for boosting the overall levels of serotonin through important basis are eggs, seeds, spinach, salmon, milk, soy products, and nuts.

Serotonin is not only present in the brain but even in different human body parts such as blood, intestines, and in the connective tissues. It causes the contraction of the blood vessels, proves helpful in transmit of the information across the entire nervous system. It even has no role in the function of the brain.

The foods that produce Serotonin is very much essential not just for overall well being but health as well. People even experience a positive mood because of the increase in serotonin levels. Since the brain is quite complex, so there is a need for further research in finding out how exactly the serotonin works.

Though research has linked mood disorders with low serotonin levels, and it has a significant role in leading depression among many people. The reduced serotonin levels in the human brain can even become a leading cause not just for low mood but even for memory problems.

Lastly, serotonin levels can also affect any person quite negatively if they had severe levels of depression before. Therefore, amino acids’ consumption is essential for increasing the overall serotonin levels in those individuals.

Do Amino Acids Increase Dopamine? Which Amino Acids Increase Dopamine?

The amino acids known as phenylalanine and tyrosine produces dopamine. We obtain both from protein-rich foods.

There are 23 different types of amino acids. Some of which are synthesized by the body and the remaining ones get collected from the diet.

Out of all, there is one particular amino acid known as Tyrosine that plays the most critical role in the production of Dopamine. The enzymes existing in the body are quite capable of turning tyrosine into dopamine. Thus, maintaining acceptable levels of tyrosine is vital for the production of dopamine.

The output of tyrosine can also take place with another amino acid referred to as Phenylalanine. Thus, both the tyrosine and phenylalanine are even found naturally in protein-rich foods items like eggs, dairy products, beef, turkey, soy, and legumes.

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Several studies conducted in the past have shown that an increasing amount of Tyrosine and Phenylalanine in the diet can bring a significant increase in the overall Dopamine levels of the brain. It then improves memory and even promotes deep thinking.

The elimination of the Tyrosine and Phenylalanine from the diet can make the Dopamine levels to deplete.

Past studies show that extreme or low intakes of amino acids can cause an impact on dopamine levels. However, it is still not known whether normal variations of protein can have much effect on any person.

Do Amino Acids Give You Energy? Which Amino Acids Increase Energy?

Just like protein supplements, amino acids can even boost muscle tissue creation, increase overall gains, and also cause a decrease in the post-workout recovery time.

Thus, it is clear that amino acids can give you a lot of energy. Almost every person that has an involvement in fitness activities or athletics is quite familiar with the role that is played by the supplements and powder proteins.

There are newer alternatives that have even gained a lot of importance. There is one such newcomer, a supplement of amino acid.

Amino acid is a leaner and also a more practical option for those people who do not need adding calories and sugar to improve their performance.

When any person digests the whole proteins in a steak or a shake, all these nutrients are then broken down by the digestive system into their amino acid components.

The amino acids that have a requirement of just a minimum level of digestion and the body put them to work on an immediate basis. Thus, it is clear that amino acids do increase the energy of any person considerably.

What are the Possible Side Effects of Taking Amino Acids?

Some side effects can result by taking amino acids, such as the loss of coordination and fatigue.

Fatigue is an undesirable condition for many people, especially for working professionals. Thus, these people need to have maximum awareness about the fatigue factor before the consumption of amino acids.

It is important for the people to consume amino acids cautiously, whether it is before or during the activities where the performance is very much dependent on the coordination such as driving.

Driving requires high concentration, and people involved in this activity should remain careful before consuming the amino acid supplement. It is indeed one of the severe side effects.

Some other serious problems that amino acids can cause are stomach issues, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and even stomach bloating. The intensity of these side effects may not be high, but it does require significant attention.

Lastly, amino acids can also cause severe headaches, skin whitening, and high blood pressure. All the side effects discussed are serious, and people must know about them and consult their doctors before they consume amino acid supplements.

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