Glutamine is an amino acid found in your muscle that must be obtained from your diet or through supplementation and has been shown to have many benefits. Most bodies cannot produce glutamine in sufficient quantities. Supplements are commonly found in the form of in a powdered drink mix, pill or tablet. Animal and plant protein are dietary sources of glutamine. A diet high in fish, poultry and legumes is recommended for sufficient natural glutamine production.
Body builders, weight lifters and athletes commonly supplement their diet with glutamine because of it’s many benefits in regard to muscle growth and fortification. Patients with intestinal problems often supplement because of it’s immunity and intestinal tract protection properties. People who are trying to lose weight may use glutamine to boost human growth hormone and to replenish glycogen, reducing sugar cravings. Patients who have muscle deteriorating ailments like AIDS may benefit from glutamine’s immune system boosting, improved recovery and increased cell reproduction properties.
Prevents Catabolism, Promotes Anabolism
Catabolism refers to the breaking down of molecules into smaller units. During and after physical exercise, catabolism typically occurs in muscles. This is counterproductive to building strong muscle tone. Anabolism is the opposite, it actually encourages the building of larger muscle fibers. Glutamine boosts the production of human growth hormone, which in turn promotes anabolism. Glutamine has been clearly linked to increased protein synthesis. The added glutamine is synthesized into new protein tissue as well.
Enhances Immune System Function
Glutamine enhances the intestine’s ability to resist invasion by harmful microorganisms. Glutamine is also one of the building blocks of glutathione, the body’s primary antioxidant. It is often given to patients who have cancer, AIDS, trauma, burns and other infections as it promotes healing wounds. Glutamine is a common supplemental treatment for peptic ulcers and in preventing asprin-induced gastric lesions.
Glutamine is often used as an oral rinse to reduce mouth sores usually associated with chemotherapy to treat cancer. It is also used to treat other cancer complications such as stomach irritation.
Accelerates Fat Burning
Anabolic properties of glutamine are helpful in the fat burning process by promoting muscle growth and the human growth hormone production. HGH builds and protects lean muscle mass. Glutamine is also used to help sugar-addicts through withdrawal.
Improves Mental Sharpness
Glutamine is one of the building blocks for the production of neurotransmitters (glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid, known as GABA) in the brain. Glutamine is converted to glucose when the brain isn’t receiving enough. Users of glutamine often report a better overall mood and less fatigue.
Alcoholism and Sugar Addition
Alcoholics and sugar addicts may find glutamine supplementation a way to ease the stomach pain and mental toxicity that comes when they stop using alcohol or sugar. It is thought glutamine may reduce cravings.
Side Effects and Dosage
There are side effect warnings when supplementing glutamine but some users have experienced minor headaches. There are no known drug interactions or nutrient problems associated with glutamine.
The typical dosage is between 2 and 20 grams. The intestines will consume up to 5 grams at a time. This means that any supplementation for the purpose of building muscle, added immunity strength beyond the intestines, fat burning or mental clarity should take doses above 5 grams. The typical patient will take in glutamine twice a day, once first in the morning and again after a workout or before bed. It’s best taken on an empty stomach.
Choose L-glutamine over D-glutamine, as it more closely resembles the substance in it’s natural form. While studies are still out concerning other uses for glutamine, many benefits are already proven and widely accepted.