by David Galanis
Glutamine is the most common amino acid found in your muscles - over 61% of skeletal muscle is Glutamine. Glutamine consists of 19% nitrogen, making it the primary transporter of nitrogen into your muscle cells.
During intense training, Glutamine levels are greatly depleted in your body, which decreases strength, stamina and recovery. It could take up to 6 days for Glutamine levels to return to normal - and Glutamine plays a key role in protein synthesis. Studies have shown that L-Glutamine supplementation can minimize breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism.
Glutamine plays key roles in protein metabolism, cell volumizing, and anti-catabolism. Glutamine also increases your ability to secrete Human Growth Hormone, which helps metabolize body fat and support new muscle growth. Glutamine's anti-catabolism ability prevents the breakdown of your muscles.
This is especially useful for people 'cutting down'. Especially during summer when you're trying to get rid of some body fat without losing any muscle. Glutamine is needed throughout your body for optimal performance. Your small intestines requires the most Glutamine in your body, and your immune system also needs Glutamine because Glutamine levels deplete during workouts, bodybuilders are more susceptible to illnesses - this is why L-Glutamine supplementation is so important, not necessarily to gain more muscle, but for the 'maintenance' effects of L-Glutamine.
L-Glutamine supplementation promotes a positive nitrogen balance and prevents the loss of muscle. Recent studies have shown that taking just 2 grams of L-Glutamine can increase growth hormone levels by 400%.
Bodybuilders should take 10 to 15 grams of L-Glutamine a day - supplementing it 2 to 3 times daily, with each serving at around 5 grams. You should also know that you may already be getting some L-Glutamine in your diet from other supplements you're taking. Many protein supplements already have some L-Glutamine mixed into it, so read the labels to know for sure. Best times to take L-Glutamine powder is in the morning, after a workout, and at night before bed time.
Should you worry about Glutamine side effects? In short, no. You shouldn't worry about Glutamine side effects, as studies have found it to have no adverse side effects, and also because Glutamine naturally occurs in your body, it has no health risks. However, like all supplements, too much is never a good idea. Taking excessive amounts of L-Glutamine has led to upset stomachs, so you should follow the recommended dosages.
So, that's it! On with the benefits!
Are you supplementing L-Glutamine? If not, maybe you should consider it after reading the following benefits. Glutamine is a carbon and nitrogen donor and helps restore glycogen which restores energy. Glutamine is the most important component of muscle protein, and helps repair and build muscle. Here's a list of glutamine benefits:
Glutamine has been linked to protein synthesis. It prevents your muscle from being catabolized (eaten up) in order to provide Glutamine for other cells in the body.
Glutamine helps maintain cell volume and hydration, speeding up wound and burn healing and recovery.
Glutamine benefits you by replenishing declining Glutamine levels during intense workouts.
Research has shown Glutamine can help you produce growth hormone levels. A study has shown 2 grams of L-Glutamine increased growth hormones by over 400%.
Glutamine may serve to boost your immune system. For bodybuilders, this is important since heavy workouts tend to greatly deplete Glutamine levels. (Glutamine is a primary energy source for your immune system.)
Glutamine is one of the most importantnutrients for your intestines. It has the ability to 'repair a leaky gut' by maintaining the structural integrity of the bowels.
Bet you didn't know this: It can even cure ulcers! Studies have found that 1.6 grams of Glutamine a day had a 92% cure rate in 4 weeks.
Researchers are suggesting that Glutamine is the most important amino acid to the bodybuilder. It provides a component in muscle metabolism and cellular support not shared by any other single amino acid, making the benefits of L-Glutamine supplementation a realistic venture.
Even though L-Glutamine is a very important part of a bodybuilders' supplementation, L-Glutamine isn't only for bodybuilders. Glutamine is essential for maintaining intestinal function and aiding in the immune response as well. After glutamine is synthesized in skeletal muscle it is released into the bloodstream and transported to the kidney, liver and small intestine and cells of the immune system where it plays another vital role.
Glutamine is used by white blood cells and contributes to normal immune-system function. Individuals with muscle-wasting and immune-system related illnesses (such as cancer or AIDS) who may be incapable of manufacturing their own supply of glutamine may benefit from glutamine supplements taken along with other amino acids. Becoming ill or losing lean muscle mass are potential signs of glutamine deficiency.
So, are you convinced yet? Not only is Glutamine important for bodybuilders to help prevent metabolism, it's also important for regular folks with all the benefits it provides, and no side effects. So, what are you waiting for?
Here's an additional article by Men's Fitness