Glutamine: Beneficial Amino Acid
L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid within the human body. While we do produce Glutamine in our livers, a vast body of scientific research indicates that we do not produce enough to replenish Glutamine losses in muscle tissue and blood within any reasonable time period. This is especially true for athletes, hard training bodybuilders, explosive strength athletes, and also holds true for endurance athletes as well.
Why take additional Glutamine? Glutamine assists in the production of human growth hormone, can enhance the uptake of the muscle fuel glycogen, and helps stimulate fat loss and increased metabolism.
Glutamine's Role in a Healthy Lifestyle:
The fact that glutamine does so many good things in the body has led people to try glutamine supplements as a treatment for various conditions, including preventing the infections that often follow endurance exercise, reducing symptoms of over training syndrome, improving nutrition in critical illness, alleviating allergies, and treating digestive problems. There is no daily requirement for glutamine, because the body can make its own supply. However, as mentioned earlier, severe stress or illness to the body can result in a temporary glutamine deficiency. Glutamine can be found in high protein foods such as meat, fish, beans, and dairy products. The typical daily intake from food ranges from approximately 1 to 6 grams. Additional benefits are seen when supplementing from 5 grams per day up to 25 grams for larger bodybuilders and long distance athletes.
Cells of the intestine use Glutamine for fuel. Glutamine supplementation has also been tested as a supportive treatment for various digestive conditions. Tested uses include reducing diarrhea, digestive distress caused by cancer chemotherapy, and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Because Glutamine is the major source of fuel for the cells of the small intestine, Glutamine has been proposed as a treatment for Crohn's Disease, which is a disease of the small intestine.
How to Use It:
Due to its anti-catabolic properties and the fact that it accelerates glycogen synthesis after a workout, Glutamine is best taken 20-30 minutes after a workout with a protein shake. On off days take it with your last protein shake of the day. While there is much debate amongst experts as far as dosage is concerned, 3-5 grams is a sufficient dosage to start with and as your stomach gets used to it you can increase it to as much as 10-15 grams. Glutamine can also be included in other protein shakes throughout the day. 10-30 grams per day is recommended.
Summary of Benefits:
-Regulation of protein synthesis (this is one of the ways in which steroids exert their muscle building effects).
-Accelerating glycogen synthesis after a workout.
-Sparing the use of the glycogen stored in the muscle cell (recall that the glycogen stored in the muscle cell is what gives the cell the healthy volume and firmness that you seek).
-Faster and fuller recuperation from weight training workouts.
-Fatigue and anxiety reduction.
-Improving exercise endurance.
-Benefiting the liver, intestines and gastrointestinal tract.
-Strengthening the immune system.