The Unique Connection Between Your Mind, Mental Health & Muscles

In this podcast (episode #461) and blog, I talk to Angelo Keely, founder and CEO of Kion Aminos, about amino acids: what they are and why they are so important for a stronger mind, brain, and body. 

From youth, amino acids have played an important role in Angelo’s life. He grew up in a health-conscious family where what you ate and how you exercised were incredibly important, including getting enough amino acids for better energy and post-workout recovery.

After a near-death experience in his late teens, Angelo decided that owning his own health should play an integral role in his life. This was not just about what his parents believed or taught him; it was about doing what was best for his mental and physical health so that he could live his best life.  

Several years later, after his long healing journey, Angelo started a new business based on his passion to help everyone improve their wellbeing and live their best life: Kion Aminos. They make premium, clean, research-backed amino acid supplements and foods that support a long, fun, active life. Kino meticulously selects the highest quality natural ingredients and blends them into complementing supplements and functional foods that maximize wellness, performance, and longevity. Their products contain essential amino acids (EAAs) and are 40% leucine, with the remaining essential amino acids in optimal ratios shown to naturally boost energy, build lean muscle, and enhance recovery. Why? These are the active components of protein that stimulate muscle protein synthesis and support energy production in the brain and body, which have several important functions, including stimulating cellular energy production, counteracting central fatigue, and preventing muscle fatigue during exercise.

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. 

In fact, essential amino acids play an important role 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. 

We cannot overstate the importance of protein and amino acids when it comes to our health. 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! 

These 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.  

And we are protecting the most vital parts of ourselves by building up and strengthening our muscles. 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!

Aminos are also important for longevity. As we age, there are many reasons we want to have the right amount of protein and amino acids to build and maintain lean, healthy muscle tissue, including to maintain activity levels. Indeed, remaining active as we age is an important determinant of our quality of life!  

We also want to make sure we can recover faster from injuries, regardless of our age. When we are injured, the body undergoes a stress response that makes it harder for proteins to be built into muscle; the body wants to keep the protein as an energy source. This is why it is so important that we focus on what we should do when we are healthy: how we build up strong, healthy muscle reserves through what we consume so that when we are sick or injured, we are in a better place for recovery. 

Getting enough essential amino acids and building healthy muscle tissue is also inversely related to insulin resistance and blood sugar. When we have leaner, healthier muscles, we are better able to store glucose and regulate insulin levels, which helps maintain our metabolic health as we age and improve our longevity. 

Of course, it would be great if we could get everything we need from what we eat. However, at different stages in our life, our ability to use proteins to get the essential amino acids we need to live our best life varies. This is why also taking a good-quality, free-form essential amino acid supplement like Kion Aminos can be so important for our health. It helps us get what we need faster than just consuming protein alone, especially as we age!

If you want to try their products, for a limited time you can save 20% on monthly deliveries and 10% with this link.

For more on amino acids and the mind, brain and body, listen to my podcast with Angelo (episode #461) and check out Kion’s amazing products. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).   

You can now also join me on Patreon for exclusive, ad-free content! Sign up for a membership level that suits you, and receive access to ad-free exclusive bonus podcasts!        

My latest ad-free podcasts on Patreon include:

Podcast 460: How to Make Stress Good for You Part 2

Podcast 459: How to break dysfunctional family patterns and heal generational trauma

Podcast 458: How to make stress good for you    

This podcast is sponsored by:  

BetterHelp. You don’t have to be in a crisis mode to benefit from therapy. Therapy can provide preventative and protective strategies, so that when things do get tough, you will know what to do—it is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. And this month, BetterHelp online therapy wants to remind you that you matter just as much as everyone else does, and therapy is a great way to make sure you show up for yourself! BetterHelp is online therapy that offers video, phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist, so you don’t have to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to. It’s much more affordable than in-person therapy and you can be matched with a therapist in under 48 hours. Visit, and join the over 1,000,000 people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. In fact, so many people have been using BetterHELP that they are recruiting additional counselors in all 50 states! I am proud to say that this podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp, and Cleaning Up the Mental Mess listeners get 10% off their first month at 

OpenIf you want to know one of the secrets to success – it’s better sleep, which improves mind, brain and body health. That’s why I have added the Open app to my daily mental self-care routine. Open is your personal mindfulness studio. It is a space to explore your edge through breathwork, meditation, movement, and sound. It combines breathwork, meditation, and fitness. And they have a great community of people doing it together, all committed to personal growth! If you want to get on my daily routine, you can get 30 days free of Open by visiting And don’t forget to follow your friends on the app so that you can join the community as well!  

Podcast Highlights 

3:20 Why Angelo founded Kion Aminos

11:50 How Angelo managed his own trauma & redefined his narrative  

15:30 Amino acids & the brain 

17:30 Why amino acids are so important  

24:50 Amino acids & longevity

28:00, 34:32 Why amino acid supplements can be helpful 

38:00 Finding the best amino acid supplements for you 

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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