What is Glutamine?
Glutamine is one of the 20 amino acids that make up a complete protein source. It is classed as a non-essential, or conditionally-essential amino acid, meaning that the body can make it by itself, but it might be essential to take in during bouts of intensive athletic exercise. Glutamine is also known as l-glutamine, and abbreviated to ‘gln'. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in muscle cells. 90% of glutamine is produced in muscle cells, with the remaining 10% in brain and lung cells.
Where can I get Glutamine from?
Glutamine is found naturally in a variety of protein-rich foods, such as beef, pork, fish, poultry, dairy products and plant products (such as spinach and cabbage). Glutamine is also found in high amounts in glutamine, protein and amino acid supplements.
What are Glutamine's Benefits?
Glutamine has a number of benefits, both to athletic performance and general health and wellbeing. Some of these benefits are:
- Faster Recovery
- Improving immune function
- Preventing muscle loss
- Reducing susceptibility to injuries and illnesses for athletes
- Assisting with cancer treatments
- Increasing growth hormone levels
- Improving gut health
Who should use Glutamine?
Aside from those with medical issues that require glutamine to assist with treatment, athletes at any level can benefit from additional glutamine in their diet. This can be in the form of protein foods or supplements, or glutamine supplements.
Regular protein intake provides around 1-6g of glutamine intake per day. Research has shown that (especially during bouts of intense exercise) the body might require higher intake of glutamine. Dosages as low as 2g per day have been shown to increase growth hormone output up to 400%. The generally accepted dosage of l-glutamine is between 5-15g daily, and is most beneficial around workouts when the body is depleting its glutamine stores.
There are a number of glutamine supplements on the market that feature 100% l-glutamine. Many athletes and bodybuilding enthusiasts use glutamine on a daily basis due to the list of benefits it provides. Some of the most popular glutamine supplements are: Balance 100% Pure Glutamine, Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Powder and Body Science L-Glutamine. Each of these is a pure glutamine supplement, and a 5g serving of any of these is sufficient for most people looking to improve their health or muscle growth abilities.
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