Glutamine and Your Fitness Goals

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Glutamine and Your Fitness Goals
Amino acids! They're undoubtedly important for anyone who's serious about increasing muscle mass and strength. They're the reason why so many people use protein supplements as a part of their sports nutrition plans. While all of the amino acids are important to your body, one stands out for the many benefits that it provides. That amino acid is glutamine, and it can play a vital role in many nutritional plans to support gains at the gym.


What Is Glutamine?

Glutamine is an amino acid that is found naturally in the human body. A little less than two-thirds of your skeletal muscle is made up of glutamine. Roughly 20 percent of glutamine is made up of nitrogen, making the amino acid the largest source of the element for your muscle cells.

When you work out hard, the glutamine levels in your body can drop sharply. Studies show that this can cause reductions in strength, diminished stamina and slow recovery. After a very strenuous workout, it can take up to 6 days for glutamine levels to completely recover. In the meantime, your body won't be able to produce proteins at an ideal rate.


What Does Glutamine Do?

Glutamine plays three important jobs related to muscles:

  • It assists with protein production, the process that allows your body to produce more muscle cells.

  • It supports cell volumizing, or the increase in muscle cell size, which helps you to gain muscle mass.

  • It limits catabolism, the breakdown of muscles into amino acids. When you're attempting to lose body fat by dieting, the decrease in protein intake can cause your body to sacrifice muscle cells as a source of fuel. Glutamine helps to counteract this process.

In addition to being important for muscle maintenance and growth, glutamine also helps to support the immune system. Research shows that fitness enthusiasts who deplete glutamine levels consistently with strenuous workouts are more likely to suffer from illnesses like the common cold.


How Much Glutamine Is Ideal?

Experts recommend that anyone who is working to build muscle through bodybuilding workouts take 10 to 15 grams of l-glutamine per day. The best way to do this is with two or three, 5-gram doses. Protein supplements will provide some glutamine, and the rest can be obtained from a standalone l-glutamine powder. The best dosing schedule for l-glutamine is in the morning, immediately after a workout and right before going to sleep at night.


Does Glutamine Cause Side Effects?

So far, studies have not linked glutamine use with any side effects. This is due largely to the fact that the amino acid is found naturally in the body; however, you should still only take as much glutamine as experts recommend. Excessive intake could cause indigestion.


What Are the Benefits of Glutamine?

Research indicates that glutamine supplements have a number of benefits:

  • Glutamine can help you to maintain muscle mass despite dieting to lose weight, so that you're not compromising your efforts at the gym.

  • Glutamine is shown to help the cells stay hydrated.

  • Glutamine has been found to assist with skin healing and to promote recovery following workouts. By supporting recovery, glutamine can decrease your risk of feeling sore after workouts and lower the likelihood of injury.

  • Glutamine replenishes the amount of the amino acid that is lost due to workouts to keep muscles optimally balanced.

  • Glutamine may help to increase growth hormone levels in the body to further support the development of new muscle tissue. One study found that taking just 2 grams of l-glutamine increased growth hormone levels by a factor of 4.

  • Glutamine could help to bolster the immune system and make you less likely to become sick if you come in contact with germs.

  • Glutamine is needed by the intestines and is sometimes recommended for individuals with leaky gut, as it strengthens the bowels.

  • Glutamine may have the potential to fight stomach ulcers. In one study, taking 1.6 grams of the amino acid daily for 4 weeks was found to resolve stomach ulcers in 92 percent of study participants.

  • Glutamine can help individuals with muscle-wasting diseases and compromised immune systems stay healthier; Often, glutamine manufacturing stops or greatly slows in such individuals.

Because glutamine is such a popular supplement for those striving to gain muscle mass, there are many supplements available on the market that contain it. Sportsfuel offers many options, and we'll be glad to help you find the ideal supplement for you. Contact us for assistance selecting glutamine supplements!

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