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What is Glutamine?

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March 4th, 2013
Glutamine

Source: http://www.squidoo.com/understand-amino-acids

Glutamine is an abundant free amino acid (aka building blocks of proteins), found naturally in the body, particularly in your muscles. Generally, around 60% of our muscle contains this amino acid.

Glutamine consists of close to 20% nitrogen, which makes it the primary transporter of nitrogen to the muscle cells and organs through the blood stream. Glutamine aids in proper functioning of the gut, the immune system and other vital processes in our body, especially at times of stress. It is also needed in producing important chemicals in our body such as the other amino acids and glucose (sugar).

At intense training, glutamine levels can be significantly reduced which will in effect lower stamina and muscular strength. This depletion can hinder muscle recovery post exercise and can take up to 6 days before glutamine levels return to normal because of its important role in the synthesis of protein. Supplements of L-Glutamine can help in minimizing the breakdown of our muscles and it gradually improves the metabolism of protein and help speed up recovery.

Like any type of supplementation, there are controversies regarding how glutamine if it can actually works or not. In the recent years, researchers indicate that supplements like glutamine are all safe for human consumption but there are very few information regarding long term usage of glutamine supplements like for example, if a person is way more than a week consuming it, then what will be the effect on them. Furthermore, it is still not clear to us the result and still investigating the safety of the doses that are needed to support nitrogen preservation on our muscles.

Benefits of Glutamine?
Glutamine has been shown to help prevent your muscle from catabolic properties, or the breakdown of proteins, and to be able to provide the glutamine to other cells in the body. This transportation helps in maintaining a healthy number of cells and rejuvenation to help speed up burn and wound healing process for recovery. Taking Glutamine supplements can aid in restoring depleted glutamine levels in your body and skeletal muscles during or after an intense training session or any physical activity. Glutamine also has properties of an immune booster due to it being the primary source of energy for the immune system. Lastly, it is one the most essential nutrients for our intestines because of its ability to repair the leaky gut, by sustaining the structural form of the bowels.

Are there any disadvantages of taking Glutamine?
Some research noted that higher dose consumption of these kinds of free amino acids can often result in intestinal discomfort, such as: stomach pain and diarrhea due to electrolyte properties of amino acids. If considering taking supplements, it is first best to check with a physician to make sure it is right for you and slowly increase the dosage to the recommended amount in order to test tolerance levels.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-878-GLUTAMINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=878&activeIngredientName=GLUTAMINE

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/glutamine.htm

Main Image: http://blog.luckyvitamin.com/sports-nutrition/answers-for-glutamine

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