What is Glutamine
Glutamine / L-glutamine is a vital amino acid that is required by every muscle in the body. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in your muscle tissue. It is one of the most important building blocks in forming the proteins that maintain cellular health and tissue repair.
Glutamine is a semi-essential amino acid. This means the body is able to produce Glutamine. However, the amount can be insufficient to meet the body's needs (Especially for athletes under intense training regimens).
Natural sources of Glutamine
Glutamine can be found in most meat and fish. It is also found in dairy products such as eggs and small amounts can be found in vegetables, pulses and nuts.
Recovery, Repair and Growth
L-Glutamine plays an important role in repairing damaged tissue. It does this in various ways, one of them being its ability to move nitrogen atoms. A positive nitrogen balance is necessary to build and repair muscle. After strenuous training sessions, nitrogen is sent to your damaged muscles as it stimulates and helps repair muscle tissue. Low levels of glutamine results in a longer recovery and repair process for the damaged muscle tissue.
Immunity & General health
Glutamine is also known for its immunity boosting properties. Its immunity boosting properties can be utilized by endurance athletes (e.g. Marathon runners) because their bodies glutamine stores are reduced after these events which make them more vulnerable to illness.
Glutamines health benefits has been extensively researched, and it has been found to:
- Improve recovery from illness
- Repair leaky gut
- Speed up wound healing (e.g. Burns, wounds, mouth ulcers)
- Shorten the length of hospital stays
- Lower the risk of infections after operations
Glutamine & Growth Hormone
There is not a lot of research available. However, A previous study found that supplementing with 2g of glutamine 45mins after a light breakfast resulted in an increased level of plasma growth hormone. Glutamines ability to raise plasma growth hormone after a relatively small dosage is impressive to say the least.
Whey Protein has Glutamine?
This may come as a surprise to most but your body is able to produce Glutamine from Whey protein. Generally speaking, Whey protein with an 80% or more protein content also shares a rich amino acid content. In glutamine terms we are focused on the amino acid 'Glutamic acid'. Glutamic Acid can be found on some protein labels (if the brand decides to show their amino acid profile).
The human body is able to produce L-glutamine from Glutamic Acid through an enzyme called glutamate ammoium ligase.
Glutamine & BCAA's are both great at preserving muscle, avoiding catabolic states and reducing recovery times. This can be extremely beneficial for athletes that have exhaustive training schedules, cut weight to make a weight class or generally on a low calorie diet and looking to maintain muscle mass. The great thing about Glutamine & BCAAS is their synergistic effects. This means they work together so that the total effect is greater than the effect of the sum of the two.
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