Every cell in the body needs and uses amino acids. Your body breaks down the protein from foods into its individual amino acids, which are then recombined to create the specific types of proteins the body requires. (Each cell, in fact, is programmed to produce exactly the right combination for its needs.) There are two types of amino acids: nonessential and essential. The body can manufacture nonessential amino acids, but must obtain essential amino acids from the foods you eat. Nonessential amino acids include alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, taurine, and tyrosine. Essential amino acids include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.