As possibly one of the most overlooked supplements, the benefits of L-glutamine may be a mystery to you. But, trust us, this underrated amino acid offers many. Known to relieve excess bloating, L-glutamine could help you banish that post-cheat day bloat. It also supports your immune system, as well as your gastrointestinal health. Intrigued? We quizzed team Grenade® athlete and nutrition coach Vinny Russo on the benefits of L-glutamine and his thoughts on this supplement.
WHAT IS GLUTAMINE?
“L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the blood and in muscle cells. It is classified as a conditionally essential amino acid, which means that the body is normally capable of manufacturing enough to meet its metabolic needs. But under certain conditions, additional glutamine may be required. For example, during intense exercise, glutamine levels deplete, which means that more glutamine will be required. Since the body is in need and cannot produce enough (even though it can be made by the body), it is necessary to supplement with glutamine to help meet the body’s demands.
WHAT DOES GLUTAMINE DO?
Glutamine has several functions including the support of immunity, gastrointestinal integrity, insulin secretion, neurological activity, and muscle protein synthesis. Glutamine actually supplies 35% of nitrogen to muscle to synthesise proteins. This, in turn, will promote protein synthesis. Why is this important? Well, the benefits of maintaining a high nitrogen balance in the muscle prevents muscle breakdown, therefore retaining more muscle. This equates to a leaner you! A leaner you means you have less body fat, so, in essence, glutamine may help with the reduction of overall body fat.
Please understand that there aren’t any studies available to prove this, nor would I ever recommend glutamine as a “fat burner”. But the reference was made to show you that it can help add/retain lean muscle tissue, which means you will be leaner. On that minor fat burning note, there are some studies that suggest an ability for glutamine supplementation to manipulate tissue insulin sensitivity. This may help to partition nutrients away from fat storage and towards the muscles and liver.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF GLUTAMINE?
Glutamine is an amino acid that can be found in a variety of foods and is also naturally produced by the body, meaning there’s no reason to believe it could cause any harm or negative side effects when sticking to the recommended serving stated on the supplement packaging. When taking supplements, it’s important to always refer to the recommended dosage; if you’re new to a certain supplement, try taking a smaller serving than recommended to access tolerance.
CAN GLUTAMINE POWDER REDUCE BLOATING?
One pretty awesome benefit of L-glutamine is that it has the ability to draw water and salt into the muscle cells. You may question the water retention, which is minimal at best, but the key here is that a hydrated muscle is a healthy muscle! Protein synthesis happens faster when muscle cells are enlarged and swollen. This would mean that glutamine stimulates an increase in cell volume as well as muscle protein synthesis. Glutamine possesses anabolic, as well as immunostimulatory effects, meaning it can help your immune system function properly and even give it a nice boost when needed. In some studies, the supplementation of glutamine has been shown to stimulate the immune system and reduce the incidence of illness following prolonged endurance exercise.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GLUTAMINE SUPPLEMENTS?
Now, one of the main benefits of glutamine is its repair purposes. It can actually decrease muscle soreness through improved muscle repair and glycogen repletion! I feel the biggest benefit with glutamine is its ability to restore/repair the digestive tract. Studies show that glutamine supplements support the health and integrity of the intestinal lining. When people suffer with IBS, Celiac disease, or other digestive issues, the prescription involves glutamine in the protocol to help heal the intestinal lining and reduce the symptoms such as bloating. With the bio-availability of free glutamine considerably higher than that of glutamine peptides, most research is conducted with the free L-glutamine form supporting this form as the preferred use.
HOW MUCH GLUTAMINE POWDER SHOULD I TAKE?
An effective dosage would be around 10g per day. You may go up to around 30g, depending on whether or not there are digestive issues. You can easily add L-glutamine powder into your shakes and BCAAs. Remember, always consult your doctor before adding a new supplement to your diet.
So, will you be adding glutamine supplements into your diet? If you’re wondering where to buy L-glutamine then you’ve come to the right place! You can shop this supp over on our website. For more top tips and advice on which workout supplements you should be taking, head over to our blog. Or, read more about our supplements, discover the benefits of pre workout find out what does creatine do? Or discover the benefits of BCAA.