BENEFITS OF GLUTAMINE
Glutamine has been apart of the fitness industry’s supplement regimen for years for its effect on preserving muscle tissue. Due to the body’s need for large amounts of glutamine to function properly and more in depth research, supplementation could be beneficial for a multitude of reasons beyond its effect on physical performance.
What is it?
L-Glutamine and glutamine tend to be used interchangeably on the commercial market, most supplements are purely L-glutamine. It is an amino acid that naturally occurs in protein. Although it is the most abundant of the aminos in the body, most people do not obtain enough from their diet. Your body can also stop producing it in times of illness or stress so that glutamine is considered a ‘conditional essential amino acid’, meaning in some cases we cannot rely on our body to produce enough.
- Aids fat burn leading to weight loss
- Helps to achieve muscular growth
- Boosts athletic performance by speeding up muscle recovery and decreasing soreness
- Promotes brain function
- May be beneficial for those who suffer from insulin sensitivities
- Suitable to aid treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s disease, & Ulcers
- Promotes digestive health by supporting intestinal wall repair and treating leaky gut!
Glutamine supplementation has an effect on many different processes in the body that aid in fat burning, weight loss, and muscle recovery. During hard-working exercise, glutamine stores are depleted significantly (around 50% intramuscularly) and must be replaced to prevent muscular breakdown for energy. Glutamine hosts ⅓ of nitrogen transporting it into muscles to repair damaged cells while removing ammonia, therefore decreasing the presence of muscle soreness post-workout or injury. It also causes an increase in human growth hormone (HGH) which raises an individual’s resting metabolic rate, improving the after-burn attained following an intense workout. This means you are able to burn more calories longer without breaking down muscle. This is especially important for individuals who are in a calorie depletion seeking fat loss due to its ability to sway the body away from using muscle as fuel and continue to burn carbohydrates.
Studies have also determined that Glutamine is not only effective for exercise gurus, but has the potential to boost the immune system to the point where doctors are using the supplement for critically ill patients. Glutamine is found to aid in digestive and organ health by decreasing intestinal permeability. This means less toxins can enter the bloodstream that cause sickness, substance imbalances, and symptoms from leaky gut!.
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Contraindications or Points to Ponder
So far, there is little indication that glutamine is harmful for repeated ingestion, however it is deemed that up to 40 grams daily is within safe reasoning. This does not mean that more is better. In most cases, the suggested amount of glutamine supplementation I support is sufficient for those looking to keep their muscle while burning fat.
There are some medications that aid with seizures and chemotherapy treatments that may cause side effects when combined. Be sure to make your doctor aware prior to taking glutamine if these are conditions you are treating. In the case for those that are pregnant or breastfeeding, there is not enough information to determine safety. Consult a physician before consuming to stay on the safe side.
Due to glutamines profound need and benefit for digestive, organ tissue, and muscular health, it is important to retrieve enough from diet. Below are just some of the food sources for glutamine.
- Bone Broth
- Grass-fed beef
- Cod, salmon
- Caesin protein
- Whey protein
Plant Protein: it is important to note that when cooking vegetables, high heat can break down the glutamine so that it is best to consume raw. Juicing is a great option to comply with this recommendation. Adding shredded vegetables as part of a salad topper or fermented veggies such as kimchi and sauerkraut are other viable ways to consume a more absorbable form of glutamine.
- Brussel Sprouts
- Fermented foods like miso, kimchi, sauerkraut
The depletion of the available glutamine during intense exercise makes it important to ensure you are not completely relying on the body to produce sufficient amounts. Refer to the section above for available plant sources that can be obtained from diet. There are several options for vegan glutamine supplements found that can be ordered online if you wish to also include this in your regimen. Be sure to read the nutrition ingredients and choose a supplement that is almost purely L-glutamine or made from plant sources such as fermented beet and corn.
Types of Glutamine Supplements
There are two forms of L-Glutamine on the commercial market:
- L-Glutamine: free form that should be taken with food (like a protein shake) for greater absorption into the muscles.
- Glutamine peptides: this consists of two amino acids attached so that you are able to digest the glutamine better and take it without food.
They are available in powder or pill form. Powder is a little easier because it can be mixed with liquids like protein shakes or smoothies so that it is not consumed on an empty stomach. There have been some studies that show L-glutamine in it’s free form is more beneficial than when combined with other aminos.
The best time to consume glutamine is alongside small meals right before and/or after your workouts. This combination will better benefit muscle building, recovery, and metabolism on your weight loss journey.
- 2-5 grams twice daily (no more than 10 grams) before and after your workout
Again, consuming more is not necessarily beneficial. Consuming too much glutamine may lead to undesired symptoms.
Glutamine could potentially be a beneficial addition to your daily routine. It’s effect on muscular, digestive, and organ health proves to assist many people in their fitness journey. However as always, if you feel supplementing glutamine is not beneficial to you, stop consumption or consult a physician. Everyone is different and it is important to listen to your body.