Buying supplements has never been more complex. We get it. Here’s a great example. Do you need the best glutamine?
Yes! Here’s why!
Glutamine is an increasingly popular supplement with all involved in fitness and health related activities. It’s also known as L-Glutamine. It is the most abundant amino acid in the body and makes up roughly 60% of your skeletal muscles and provides a lot of amazing benefits.
Your body produces this naturally. Because of that, it is considered a non-essential amino acid. With that said, there are certain situations where it becomes conditionally essential. For example, it becomes conditionally essential during intensive athletic training or competition, or even with certain gastrointestinal disorders. Glutamine can do a lot for your body. And, science is finding more and more benefits of this amazing supplement.
If you want to improve your health, it may be a good idea to add more glutamine to your diet. Yes, you can get glutamine from natural foods like beef, pork, cottage/ricotta cheese, yogurt, poultry, spinach, parsley, and cabbage. But, no matter how much of these foods you eat, you still won’t get as much as your body needs. That is especially true if you are training intensely. This is why it’s a good idea to add a glutamine supplement to your diet.
It’s true that glutamine has a lot of amazing benefits that pretty much everyone can benefit from in at least one way or another. You may have heard that it’s just for bodybuilders and athletes. Not true. It can also be used for many other health issues. And, if that doesn’t sound good enough, it is a very affordable supplement. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you should still be able to use it. I’m now going to go through the vast range of benefits this powerful amino acid offers.
There’s sure to be something in here for you!
Glutamine It Helps Keep You Sharp
I’m going to begin with a non-fitness related benefit, before getting into those. It reduces alcohol cravings. At least that is what was found with a study done in 1957. It can also reduce the anxiety that goes along with alcohol withdrawal. The people in the study took just one gram divided into separate doses with meals. An added bonus here is that studies have shown that it helps to speed sobering up!
It also boosts the immune system. Studies have shown that glutamine may be, as I mentioned, conditionally essential.
If your body is injured or has an infection, it can help. This means that supplementing with glutamine after a workout, illness or injury when your immune system may be lowered, can actually help bring your immune system back up to normal increasing recovery. So, while not, as a rule, an essential amino acid it can become essential when you’re sick or run down.
Sick people often aren’t able to produce a sufficient amount. Worse yet, when people get really sick, their plasma and tissue levels of glutamine have been shown to drop. This would suggest that the glutamine produced by the body might not be enough in some cases. Supplementing may be very beneficial in this case.
It improves learning ability and memory. It can also improve your mood, calm you down and help with stress levels. On a test done on rats, the results concluded that glutamine could improve their learning ability and memory. It’s thought that glutamine may also have the same effect on humans.
Glutamine Helps Your Cravings And Stomach
Glutamine aids in type-2 diabetes management. Type-2 diabetics have much lower concentrations of glutamine in the body, as well as body fat, waistlines and systolic blood pressure to some extent. Taking this point a little further, glutamine stops sugar cravings. It is so good in that regard that supplementing with it for just one month is often enough to beat sugar addiction. Most people report that within minutes of taking glutamine, their craving for sugar fully disappears.
Likewise, glutamine aids in weight loss and counteracts the storage of dietary fats, as well as accelerating the metabolism. One study has shown that using a glutamine supplement in addition to a high-fat diet can increase the amount of body fat lost. Glutamine is converted into glucose in the kidneys and doesn’t affect insulin/glucagon counts. That means it can be used as energy instead of being stored as fat.
Another non-fitness related benefit is that glutamine improves gastrointestinal health. Supplementing with glutamine protects your GI tract and prevents worsening of gut permeability and preserves mucosal structure. It aids in the production of cells called enterocytes. These line the intestinal tract and control the absorption of nutrients.
It’s very beneficial in treating things like IBS and leaky gut syndrome. If you have any sort of digestive, GI condition, glutamine may be able to help you. The fact that it can heal your intestines means it may be beneficial for a wide range of GI issues.
The Best Glutamine Offers Muscle And Strength Perks
Now, onto the more muscle and strength related benefits. The top benefit must be that glutamine boosts muscle growth. But it does more than that. It prevents muscle breakdown by providing anti-catabolic effects. When you’re trying to build muscle, catabolism is your worst enemy.
After a hard workout, your level of cellular glutamine drops by as much as 50%. When this happens, your body goes into catabolic mode. Supplementing replaces the cellular glutamine you lose during workouts so your body doesn’t go catabolic.
Glutamine increases HGH Secretion (human growth hormone). This is a peptide hormone produced by the pituitary gland that stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and regeneration. This is what bodybuilders use alongside steroids to gain muscle quickly. Taking glutamine, as well as L-Arginine, is one of the best ways to increase HGH secretion.
Glutamine boosts recovery and can help you recover faster from workouts. This is because it increases muscle hydration and turns your nitrogen balance to positive. This, in turn, will help your muscles recover faster from those hard workouts.
Endurance athletes supplementing with glutamine can boost their immune systems, which aids in recovery. It’s also a great supplement to use for patients recovering from surgery. If you’ve had a traumatic injury like a wound or burn, it could help.
Glutamine Helps You Cope
The above points would be the most commonly known benefits. But, there’s more. Also in the plus column is how it can help you cope with many other health issues.
Weight gain doesn’t appeal to many. But, it does to people with some illness like HIV/AIDS. Those suffering from HIV/AIDS often tend to lose weight, particularly lean muscle mass. Taking glutamine supplements, along with vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, and selenium can help to promote healthy weight gain and boost muscle mass.
It treats irritable bowel disease. This condition is the result of the stomach lining being eroded. Glutamine helps to protect the lining of your stomach by increasing the amount of mucosa available. It may also help to treat ulcerative colitis.
Glutamine may be helpful in the fight against cancer. It’s particularly good when it is added to a conventional cancer treatment. It has been linked to a reduction in chemo-related diarrhea, increasing bone density post-radiation and improved overall health.
Glutamine has been able to reduce the levels of ammonia in your body. Ammonia is one of the waste products found in your body. With that said, high levels of ammonia can lead to serious health problems. By taking glutamine, you ensure that your body is as free of ammonia as possible.
What Are The Side Effects of Glutamine?
Sounds like an essential workout supplement for sure!
But, does it have any side effects?
Yes, it can cause negative side effects in some people. With that said, it is quite rare due to the fact that your body produces it naturally. Some of the more common side effects are coughing and straining during bowel movements. Should you develop any side effects, it is advised that you drop your dosage.
As I always say, before taking any sort of supplement, always consult with a doctor. A common guide for the standard healthy strength training person is that you take between 1 and 5 grams each day. This would be first thing in the morning, and right after your workout. Some other good times to take it would be one hour before your workout and before going to bed.
You can buy glutamine in most health food stores and pharmacies. Of course, you can also get it online. This is often the cheapest way. You can buy it pill and powder form. If you’re going to be taking a high dosage of glutamine, I recommend going with powder.
Swallowing upwards of 30 pills every day is not fun!
The powder is normally unflavored so it can be mixed into any type of drink or shake.
These Are Six Of The Best Glutamine Supplements
#1 MET-Rx L-Glutamine
This provides 6 grams per serving. It can be found in packages containing 400 g and 1000 g. This offers nothing but 100% pure glutamine. It is made as an unflavoured powder. This is a very simple glutamine powder and has very little taste to it. You can feel free to add it to your foods and protein shakes.
#2 NOW Foods
L-Glutamine Powder by NOW Foods is yet another great glutamine supplement suited to those of you who are on a tight budget and aren’t too concerned with having a sweetened and flavored product. It gives you 5 g of glutamine per serving. Because it has a very limited taste, it is easy to add to your protein shakes. It can be found in packages containing 170 g, 450 g and 997 g.
#3 Micronized Glutamine by Dymatize
This has a more effective absorption. It provides 4.5 g of micronized glutamine per serving. They offer packages in the 300 g, 500 g and 1000 g sizes. You likely want to purchase as a bulk glutamine powder to save money. This is a great glutamine powder that combines good value for money with an advanced manufacturing process to allow for a more refined product.
#4 Universal Nutrition
This offers optimum cellular recovery. It can be found in packages containing 300 g and 600 g. This offers nothing but 100% pure glutamine. It’s produced as an unflavored powder for cost-effective bulk purchases. There are 5 g of glutamine in each serving.
#5 Glutamine by MusclePharm
This provides three types of glutamine including peptides. There are a total of 5 g of glutamine per serving. It is found in packages containing 35 g and 300 g. The 35 g package is ideal for first-time users. It’s also worth noting that it is made as a low-cost unflavored powder.
#6 BSN Glutamine DNA
This is made with micronized glutamine for greater absorption. It offers nothing but 100% pure micronized glutamine. It is available in packages containing 309 g. This is a great option if you’re looking for something unflavored to add to your protein shakes.
You probably came here wondering if glutamine is all it’s cracked up to be.
It is. There are many reasons to include it in your supplement arsenal.
It boosts muscle growth and prevents muscle breakdown. It also increases recovery. There are also many other health perks. For example, it aids in type-2 diabetes management. It can help you if you’re trying to lose weight and accelerate your metabolism. It improves gastrointestinal health and boosts your immune system.
Looking to stop sugar cravings?
Look no further. It may even help you if you want to think more clearly.
It helps improve learning ability and memory. There are many great perks. The option is yours and it’s a good one!
By Keith Cormican, RD