Glutamine Supplements – How They Can Help Improve Your Fitness
Glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid which is produced in abundance by the human body. It is also one of the few to actually cross over the blood-brain barrier. It can be found circulating via the blood stream, as well as stored in skeletal muscles. However, if the body is not getting enough glutamine to supply the rest of the body, it will steal it from the muscles’ stock. Glutamine then becomes what is considered as ‘conditionally essential’.
During periods of stress, including extreme exercise, glutamine is literally torn away from the muscles. This weakening can cause muscle wasting while also lowering your immune function. This results in the need to replenish the depleted amounts following exercise, as well as prior to bedtime.
There are many positive uses for glutamine. Not only is it used by athletes and body builders after intense training sessions, but there are several medical uses as well. Over the past fifteen years or so there has been extensive study on the usefulness of glutamine in the treatment of serious illnesses, burns, trauma, wound healing in post-operative patients, as well as cancer and the side-effects of its treatment.
Glutamine can be abundantly found in the proteins of both animals and plants. Some of the dietary sources of glutamine include poultry, beef and pork, cottage and ricotta cheeses, milk and yogurt. The vegetables with fairly high levels of glutamine are raw spinach, parsley and cabbage.
The higher the amount of protein found in the foods you consume, the more glutamine you will be consuming. If you are concerned about not consuming enough glutamine, most quality whey-protein supplements or shakes include supplemental glutamine. The same goes for many of the quality meal-replacement products. They contain on average two grams of glutamine in every serving.
Any athletes participating in sports requiring strength, speed, and/or endurance (such as hockey players, football players, bike racers, and skiers), normally use glutamine to assist them in increasing or maintaining muscle mass, especially during periods of intense training. Any extreme-endurance athletes like marathon runners also benefit from glutamine supplements, since it has the potential to assist in the reduction of muscle-tissue breakdown while supporting the immune system during potential periods of trauma or stress. Glutamine may potentially prove to be beneficial any time the body deals with increased amounts of stress.
Research has shown that supplementing with glutamine — a white, chalky, odorless, slightly sweet powder — could help us maximize muscle growth while increasing fat loss. Glutamine could in fact increase levels of growth hormone, which could lead to a greater level of muscle gain or fat loss. In one particular study it has been shown how just two grams of glutamine can cause a significant increase in the levels of the growth-hormone.
By simply ensuring you consume an adequate amount of glutamine in your diet, you are protecting your muscles from breakdown, as well as keeping you immune system in check. It’s a simple way to keep your health in check, especially if you are someone who tends to be extremely involved in various sports and activities.