Benefits of Glutamine
December 4, 2017
Of the many supplements available to athletes, glutamine is by far one of the most popular. However, for those who have never used this highly effective supplement, there are a lot of basic questions that need to be answered.
For instance, what are the common applications, uses, and benefits of glutamine? Why should you take glutamine, and how can it help you achieve your workout and fitness goals?
What is Glutamine?
Put simply, glutamine is an amino acid; in fact, it’s the most common one found in your muscles. Glutamine is used to fulfill numerous needs in your body like building various tissues, balancing hormonal levels, influencing metabolism, regulating nutrients, and much more.
Glutamine actually does so much to benefit your body that it has been classified as “conditionally essential.” What this means is that while most bodies are able to synthetize glutamine adequately on their own, in certain situations (such as under intense stress) your glutamine needs increase beyond what your body can naturally synthesize. In these situations, supplementation become necessary.
Intense athletic training can also drastically deplete your glutamine stores. In this case, glutamine supplements can help minimize muscle breakdown and improve protein metabolism.
Like other amino acids, glutamine can also be found naturally in many protein-rich foods like egg and meat. However, they do not guarantee a specific amount of the amino acid like supplements do.
If your glutamine levels become depleted and you don’t restore them through diet or supplements, it can take your body several days to naturally restore them. Many athletes don’t realize this, and will continue to work out with depleted levels. This can lead to fatigue and muscle breakdown.
Glutamine supplements help speed up the restoration process, allowing you to get back into the gym more quickly without adverse effects. We’ll cover specific benefits in more detail below.
- Enhanced Endurance
That all sounds great, but many athletes may still find themselves wondering “what does that all mean for me?” In other words, what specifically does glutamine do to impact your fitness progress?
Here’s a brief overview: As your muscles work during training, multiple chemical processes take place all at the same time. While each of these processes is vital, they also crank out all sorts of byproducts.
Typically, your body is able to deal with these byproducts by removing them altogether or converting them to something more beneficial and useful. However, sometimes the byproduct concentrations become so high that your body’s “safety measures” become overwhelmed. When this happens, your muscles become fatigued and your athletic performance suffers.
Over time, this diminished performance can negatively impact your progress and ability to reach your goals efficiently and effectively.
Fortunately, that’s exactly where glutamine comes in! This helpful amino acids supports your body by helping it deal with those byproduct substances more efficiently. Specifically, glutamine reduces the buildup of ammonia, which is produced when protein is broken down and metabolized.
Glutamine also increases levels of bicarbonate in your system, but works as a buffering agent for lactic acid and other compounds. As a result, this increases your athletic endurance and overall performance.
- Improved Glucose Metabolism
Additionally, glutamine appears to have a significant impact on the way your body uses its primary fuel: carbohydrates. More specifically, this amino acid seems to have the ability to increase the amount of glucose stored in your muscles.
Glucose is typically your main source of energy during high intensity workouts. So, having the ability to pack away a greater amount for ready access during training is a valuable athletic benefit.
Glutamine is also though to cause an increase in levels of the hormone insulin. By spurring higher levels of this particular chemical messenger, glutamine could encourage more efficient use of carbohydrates and all other nutrients in your body during workouts.
- Muscle Preservation
Although the exact mechanism is not fully understood, there is some scientific evidence to suggest that glutamine may help to preserve muscle mass.
As you exercise, your muscles become damaged in the form of microscopic tears to the individual muscle fibers. This is an important and necessary element of muscle hypertrophy (growth), but your muscles do still need sufficient time to rest and recover.
If you don’t give your muscles enough time to rest and restore nutrient levels before working out again, your muscles themselves may actually be used for fuel! Of course, this process (called catabolism) something every athlete should strive to avoid. Catabolism can also be a symptom of various diseases and health conditions.
Glutamine, however, can slow catabolism and preserve your hard-earned muscle mass.
Naked Glutamine by Naked Nutrition is the highest-grade, fastest-disolving, and rapidly-absorbing glutamine available for purchase. This glutamine supplement contains only one ingredient, L-Glutamine, to help you achieve the athletic performance benefits outlined above.