A number of questions on glutamine supplements are asked to me now and then; somehow, I feel that many people are still confused about glutamine and how it is to be used. Let me start, point by point, that would help you get a clear picture about this supplement (l-Glutamine).
Glutamine Supplements: What is Glutamine?
I am sure you have heard about amino acids (AAs), right? Glutamine is the most common, conditionally essential AA found in our muscles. Over 60% of skeletal muscle is glutamine. With 19% nitrogen, it is the main transporter of nitrogen to our muscle cells. Being a conditionally essential AA, our body does not need it from the foods we eat. Available in powder and capsule forms, this supplement is required to give our muscles a “recovery boost.”
Glutamine Supplements: Glutamine Benefits
When we do intense strength training, glutamine level in our body depletes; in the process, our stamina, strength, power and recovery decrease. This is when supplementing with glutamine helps in muscle recovery. As a protein synthesizer, glutamine helps in muscle breakdown minimization and improving protein metabolism.
Glutamine also helps in anti-catabolism (preventing muscle breakdown), maintaining cell volume and hydration, secreting human growth hormone for supporting new muscle growth, and metabolizing body fat. In summer, when you want to “cut down and get rid of fat”, glutamine then comes in handy for optimal performance.
In a nutshell, the glutamine benefits are:
- Helps in keeping blood sugar under control
- Improves GI health; heals leaky guts and ulcer, and protects them from any damages
- Improves diarrhea and IBS, thereby helping in healthy movement of bowel
- Curbs alcohol and sugar cravings
- A neurotransmitter in the brain, it is essential for concentration, focus and memory
- Helps in promoting muscle growth
- Known to fight cancer and HIV/AIDS
- Benefits in body building
- Acts as “recovery” from intense training and heavy athletic performance
- Improves metabolism and helps in burning fat
- Improves cellular detoxification
Some foods with glutamine or L-Glutamine benefits are:
- Cottage cheese (the one made at home)
- Chinese cabbage
- Fish like Salmon, Cod, and Tuna
- Bone Broth
Glutamine Supplements: Glutamine Types
There are two types (forms) of glutamine:
- Trans-Alanyl/Alanyl-L-Glutamine: AA attached to another AA, this type of glutamine digests better and can be taken on empty stomach.
- Regular L-Glutamine: In its free form, this type of glutamine should not be taken on empty stomach. In fact, for its proper absorption in the body, it should be taken with food.
Glutamine Supplements: Glutamine Side Effects
Though there are no as such side effects, it is always best to get your liver and kidney profiles done before you start taking glutamine or any other supplement for that matter.
Glutamine Supplements: Glutamine Usage
Suitable for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, the best glutamine usage would be 2-5 g, twice daily. For high power athletes, the glutamine usage can go up to 10 g daily. If you plan to take glutamine long term, then you need to supplement it with vitamin B, especially vitamin B12. It will help in controlling the buildup of glutamine in your body.
Taken best in powder form, you can take glutamine or L-Glutamine powder as pre workout (10 minute before) or post workout (within 10-15 minute), just like that or with protein shake. Take a break from glutamine usage after 3 months.
Though I do intense strength training on a regular basis, I take glutamine powder once a day, either empty stomach first thing in the morning or just before going to bed at night. You need to see which works for you. Your gym trainer would be able to guide you the best.
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Glutamine Supplements: My Choice
Glutamine supplements of my choice is Muscle Epitome The Salvator but I have tried and tested mostly all.
Glutamine supplements can be taken daily as a part of your diet as it helps in building muscles, aids in fat loss, athletic and gym performance and acts positive on overall health. But if you have any chronic illness, or you are yet not convinced, consult your doctor.