This nonessential amino is the smallest amino acid in humans and is readily synthesized in the body. When muscle protein breaks down, as it’s apt to do during intense exercise, it releases toxic substances. Alanine helps clear these toxins so that the liver is able to metabolize and eliminate them. Alanine also helps keep blood glucose levels under control and may help regulate cholesterol levels. An important source of energy for muscles and for the central nervous system, alanine is second only to glutamine in the amount circulating in the blood. Alanine helps to produce lymphocytes, which are cells in lymph fluid and the bloodstream that are involved in immune function.