Amino acids & mental health

In this podcast (episode #589) and blog, I talk to Angelo Keely, co-founder and CEO of Kion Aminos, about the role protein plays in our mental and physical health, why amino acids are important, and how to strengthen your mind, brain, and body and increase your longevity! 

After a near-death experience in his late teens, Angelo decided that taking charge of his own health should play an integral role in his life. He eventually started a new business based on his own experiences and his passion to help people improve their wellbeing and live their best lives, called Kion Aminos.  

I am a big fan of Kion Aminos, which I take every day as part of my mental and physical regimen. As you have heard me talk about on my podcast and in my books, our mental health and physical health are intertwined. Both are heavily influenced not only by what we put in our bodies, but by what our bodies are missing, or deficient in, as well. This is one of the reasons I want to make sure I am getting enough protein. For our cells to be able to communicate with each other, we need to consume adequate protein for the essential amino acids it contains. Our body breaks down protein into its individual essential amino acid components, which then circulate through our blood and are used by the brain and body for everything from building muscle to forming neurotransmitters and hormones.  

These essential amino acids are very different from other macronutrients like carbohydrates or fats, which are energy sources. Protein can be converted into an energy source, but this is not its primary use. When we consume protein, our body wants to break down protein into individual amino acids and use them to fuel all the amino acid and protein requirements in the mind and brain.  

Many of us get our daily intake of protein from whole food protein sources like eggs, poultry and tofu, but most people don't know we can also get what we need most from protein – essential amino acids – directly as a supplement, hence the reason Kion Aminos is an important part of my life, and why Angelo is so passionate about what he does: in so many ways, amino acids are essential to life! 

They play an important role not just in muscle building and physical recovery but also in the mind-brain connection. When we go through life, our experiences are wired into the brain on several different levels, which involves the production of amino acids. Amino acids help build many things in the brain and body, including our experiences! Without amino acids, we would not be able to experience life as we know it. In fact, over 50% of our solid body mass is made up of proteins (and thus amino acids), including the heart, kidneys, muscles, neurotransmitters, neurons and so on. Our experience of existing mentally could even be called an amino acid experience!  

It is important to note that proteins are in a constant state of breaking down and then re-synthesizing to function optimally. When these proteins break down into amino acids, some cannot be reused, which eventually leave our body in our urine. These amino acids have to be replenished through what we eat and drink so that our brain and body can continue functioning optimally. This means that when we consume protein (and thus amino acids), we are not just giving our brain and body energy to burn; we are also giving ourselves the building blocks that make up the brain, heart, kidneys, muscles and so on.   

We are actually protecting the most vital parts of ourselves by building up and strengthening our muscles--it is not just about moving fast or looking good. Many people think that the primary function of skeletal muscles is to help the body move, but our muscles are also the primary reservoir of amino acids for the rest of the brain and body. If we stop consuming amino acids or proteins, then the body will start breaking down our muscle tissue to get amino acids into the blood and to vital parts of the body like the liver, heart or brain, so that these organs can function. Amino acids really are the building blocks of life! 

And supplementing so we make sure we get the amino acids we need is incredibly important as we age. Research shows that, after the age of 30, our ability to break down proteins and get the essential amino acids we need decreases, so we need to make sure we have good sources of these amino acids in our diet to maintain our health and improve our longevity.  

Of course, with so many supplements out there, we shouldn’t just take the first amino acids we see, as not all products are created equal. This is why Angelo and the team at Kion are passionate about making premium, clean, research-backed amino acid supplements and foods that support a long, fun, active life. They meticulously select the highest quality natural ingredients and blend them into complementing supplements and functional foods that maximize wellness, performance, and longevity. Their products contain all 9 essential amino acids our bodies cannot make by themselves, already broken down from protein and ready to be absorbed and used by your body, making it 2X to 8X more effective than protein. I also love that the Kion formula is completely transparent and backed by over 20 years of research. 

This is something I am particularly passionate about as a woman in her 60s. As we get older, we need certain amino acids to help us maintain our wellbeing and longevity. And low-dose (3g), leucine-rich, essential amino acids (like those found in Kion Aminos) can help stimulate muscle synthesis equivalent to 20g of whey protein in older women at rest and after exercise. This means that, for women like myself, Kion Aminos can be 6x more effective than an equal amount of whole food protein at stimulating muscle synthesis to help maintain my physical and mental health, quality of life and longevity! 

If you want to try Kion Aminos for yourself, for a limited time you can get 20% of your order at!  

For more on why amino acids are so important for our mental and physical wellbeing, listen to my podcast with Angelo (episode #589) and check out Kion Aminos amazing products. 

This podcast is sponsored by: 

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Podcast Highlights

2:05 Proteins, amino acids & why they are so important  

9:43 What essential amino acids are & why we need them 

11:40 Great sources of essential amino acids 

12:30 Why essential amino acids are important as we age  

20:45 Why we all need to strengthen muscles—this is not for bulking up!

25:40 Why we want to be proactive when it comes to our health 

27:06, 32:51 Why we need to be careful what supplements we take & why I love Kion Aminos 

33:55 Why Angelo started Kion Aminos & his advice to fellow entrepreneurs and people who want to start their own business 

Switch On Your Brain LLC. is providing this podcast as a public service. Reference to any specific viewpoint or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by our organization. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact  

This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.


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