What is Glutamine?
Well Glutamine (specifically known as L-Glutamine) is non-essential amino acid and an important part of muscle development and function. By non-essential, that means that our bodies can create Glutamine without obtaining it directly from our diet. But there is a catch! The catch is that this amino acid is non-essential unless we are injured, ill or under substantial physical stress, and in this case it is important for us to supplement with Glutamine via our diet.
What foods is Glutamine found in?
The highest sources of L-glutamine include beef, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, dairy products and beans.
How does Glutamine function in our Bodies?
Several types of immune cells rely on glutamine for energy, meaning that our immune system would be impaired without this amino acid. Additionally, as mentioned earlier it plays a major role in protein synthesis (muscle development & repair) and digestion (removing ammonia). Lastly, it is an important and alternative source of energy for our brain particularly in stressful times.
How does Glutamine help us in weight training?
If we are training at a level where we are shocking our system (which is important when you want to lose weight and/or build muscle) then our glutamine levels will be depleted. This is especially true with bodybuilders and marathon runners who are pushing themselves to the extremes. In these situations, it is important to supplement with Glutamine to maintain immune function and allow our muscles to repair and grow.
It is interesting to note that Glutamine has also been found to help with the healing of stomach ulcers and prevent inflammation of the stomach for those who extensively use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen.
Research has also found that glutamine supplementation has been found to suppress the appetite in animals and large scale studies are currently being conducted on humans to see if supplementation with glutamine will be helpful in treating obesity.
What other benefits does Glutamine have?
There are a number of other benefits because Glutamine role is so important in our bodies. Ok, here we go. Glutamine supplementation has proven beneficial for helping wounds heal (particularly in burn victims), reduce infections in patients who have just had surgery, people suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), HIV/AIDS patients, and also cancer patients!
What are the available forms of Glutamine supplements?
You can find glutamine most commonly sold as powder but you can also buy it in capsule or tablet form.
What are the recommended doses of Glutamine supplementation?
Generally 500 to 1500mg is considered very safe. Doctors may prescribe higher amounts for their patients.
Are there side effects of taking too much Glutamine?
If you stick within 500-1500mg range the chances of you suffering side effects is almost none, the biggest being of upset stomach by some. Higher doses is not recommended, please consult your physician if you are on any medications.
Conclusion: Glutamine Supplementation
If you are stressing your body as an athlete especially at high levels then Glutamine is one of the most recommended and safest supplements in the industry. It will help keep your immune system functioning properly and it help you maintain and/or build muscle which in turn boosts your metabolism and helps you burn excess fat. It is always good to consult with your physician if you are on any medications or have ever had any intestinal problems before taking any supplements. Otherwise, this amino acid is something I would recommend to most people who are exercising at moderately high intensities. The best thing is that it is very affordable!
Below are some Glutamine Supplements I Highly Recommend:
Have you tried supplementing with Glutamine? What have been your results?