Supplement Focus: Glutamine

This is the first of what will be an ongoing series, where I go into a little detail about a specific supplement and its benefits.

Glutamine, while not an essential (the body does produce it) amino acid, is a very important amino acid. For general health reasons and even more so for performance enhancement, supplementing glutamine can be beneficial.

Health

-As the most abundant amino acid in the body, glutamine is used for several processes. The immune system relies heavily on glutamine. During and after intense exercise, muscle glutamine levels are depleted, so your immune system will be weakened. It can take up to 6 days for glutamine levels to get back to normal.

-Glutamine also helps to maintain your cells volume and hydration which speeds up wound healing and burn recovery.

-The intestines (especially the small intestines) benefit from glutamine supplementation as it helps to protect the integrity of the intestines.

-Ulcer cure rate is greatly enhanced by glutamine, up to 92%!

Performance

-As mentioned above, with exercise glutamine is depleted. This is bad for muscle protein synthesis (MPS), growth hormone production, and glycogen replenishment.

-A small dose, about 2 grams, of glutamine first thing in the morning has been shown to increase levels of circulating growth hormone, some studies show up to 400%! Growth hormone also helps to metabolize fat.

-Glutamine will help to keep you out of catabolism, meaning your muscles won’t be broken down, and will simultaneously help with muscle growth by promoting MPS.

Depending on the effects you’re trying to get, the dosage may vary (from 2 to 10 grams) and in either case, start small and see how your body handles it.

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Categories: Eating and Diet, Fitness, Nutrition, Supplements

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