Amino acids are organic compounds that group together to form protein. Once your body consumes and breaks down protein, amino acids are left, which carry out important functions for the body (transport & storage of nutrients, repairing tissue & healing wounds, balancing metabolism etc.) Consuming more than you need can lead to excess body fat, stress on your kidneys, dehydration, etc. Consuming too little can lead to protein malnutrition i.e. weakened immune system, muscle loss, hair loss, etc. 9 of the 20 amino acids, known as the essential amino acids, can only be supplied by the diet. Getting quality, lean protein is important to a healthy diet.