You have probably tried versatile and beneficial workout supplements such as protein powder and creatine. It’s no surprise that you have reaped their immense benefits. At the same time, you’ve probably never heard of glutamine.
As far as glutamine is concerned, the benefits are just as abundant. Let us try to probe deeper into what it is and what it can do for your health and fitness goals.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. Total body glutamine levels are in the 100,000 mg level. To give you an idea of how abundant this amino acid is, try to give this some thought: in a healthy person, glutamine levels in the blood are three to four times greater than all amino acids. What this means is that it is a source of fuel and energy for your body. It is particularly concentrated in the brain, skeletal muscles, stomach lining, lungs, heart, kidneys and liver.
Because of this critical distinction, glutamine is arguably the most important in the process of building muscle and gaining strength. It is found in natural food sources such as beans, beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy products, raw parsley, raw spinach and cabbage.
Benefits of Glutamine
1. Muscle tissue preservation—glutamine preserves muscle tissue that is already built. Bear in mind that muscle breakdown occurs whenever you pump iron at the gym at an intense level and when you don’t supply your body with enough protein.
By making sure to stick to proper training and eating habits, your body is sure to synthesize muscle tissue. Glutamine comes into the picture by minimizing the rate of muscle breakdown, resulting in overall net gains in muscle mass.
2. It removes ammonia—it is a colorless gas with a strong, pungent odor. It dissolves in water to produce a strong alkaline solution. Ammonia is one of the common waste products. Glutamine helps your body to discharge excess amounts.
Be careful, though. Excess amounts of glutamine can elevate rather than decrease ammonia levels.
3. It boosts your immune system—studies suggest that glutamine strengthens your immune system. Not only that, it reduces infections particularly those brought about by surgery,
4. Glutamine improves brain function—glutamine is highly concentrated in the brain, being 10-15 times more concentrated in the cerebro-spinal fluid than in the blood. Thus, glutamine fuels up your brain in the absence of glucose (the other major brain fuel). It sharpens your focus, concentration, memory, intellectual performance, alertness and attentiveness.
5. It stabilizes blood sugar—when your blood sugar levels drop, glutamine suppresses insulin levels to prevent these levels from dropping any further. What’s more is that it stimulates the release of glycogen to restore your blood sugar levels back to normal.
Another impressive feature of glutamine is that it is a glycogenic amino acid, which means it can convert sugar into energy.
These blood-stabilizing features of glutamine may partially explain why it decreases alcohol and sugar cravings in some studies.
6. Glutamine maintains the health of your stomach lining—glutamine is the main fuel source for the cells lining the intestinal tract. Studies suggest glutamine promote healing of impaired gut mucosa such as in cases of ulcers, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. It also enhances bowel function where there has been a partial removal of the intestines.
When to Take Glutamine
Glutamine aids in the muscle recovery process and as such should be taken within the first 30 minutes right after your workout. Take note that your body’s glutamine levels can drop by as much as fifty percent after a rigorous training session at the fitness centre. The ideal dosage is five grams, post-workout.
It is also advisable to consume another five grams of glutamine right before going to sleep as this will minimize muscle breakdown and it will also increase the natural secretion of growth hormone, a powerful anabolic substance.
Glutamine offers a tonne of benefits for your body. Not only is it good for your muscles, it is also beneficial to your overall health. Try it today and be healthier and happier than you’ve ever been before!