Glutamine is one of 23 amino acids, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are responsible for hundreds of chemical reactions in the body including speeding up reaction rates, immune function and of course building muscle tissue. Glutamine is unusual in amino acids as although it is classified as non-essential, meaning the body can create it from other compounds, under certain conditions such as periods of intense of exercise or illness it is recommended to be acquired from increasing dietary sources and supplementation.
The most plentiful acid in your body
Glutamine is, by some margin, the most plentiful amino acid in the body. It is found in many food sources, including all meats, wheat, dairy products and spinach and is found in large amounts in whey protein supplements. Glutamine is converted to its biologically active compound glutamate and is important for a wide number of factors including acid-base regulation potentially delaying the onset of fatigue and preventing muscle breakdown through lactic acid accumulation. Glutamine also plays a key role gluconeogenesis (the creation of carbohydrates from non-carbohydrate sources i.e. breakdown of fatty tissue), up-regulation of glucose in to muscle tissues for recovery, muscle protein synthesis and as a precursor to the antioxidant glutathione which reduce free radicals which cause cell damage and in turn may inhibit recovery and muscle growth. It has also been reported to have positive impact on immune function, thus may help fend of illness, particularly in sustained periods of intense exercise where immune function has been shown to be suppressed.
Is it for endurance or strength?
Glutamine is commonly used as a supplement by both endurance and strength based athletes to improve and maintain health and performance. Glutamine in supplement form comes most commonly in its biologically available form L-Glutamine, however another form more recently added to top end glutamine and amino acid products is the dipeptide L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine. L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine is a combination of alanine and glutamine and it is proposed to be more stable in water therefore more efficiently absorbed by body. Also when associated with other amino acids, as in this case, the alanine acts as a transporter by protecting degradation of the glutamine and also is used in the conversion of muscle lactate into glucose for energy production.
How much do you need?
The normal daily intake of glutamine from dietary protein is recommended to be 3–6 g per day for normal populations; however those in training may require larger amounts. Supplements currently available are typically in the form of L-glutamine tablets/capsules or as a powder. From the available supplements we stock here at CSN, during periods of increased training volume or intensity we would recommend Muscle Pharm Glutamine which uniquely combines both L-Glutamine and L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine meaning it is one of the highest quality products on the market. Dosing is recommended at 5g in order to sufficiently restore levels of glutamine to normal post exercise. [Tweet ""Dosing is recommended at 5g in order to sufficiently restore levels of glutamine to normal post exercise""] Paul Rimmer (BSc, MSc). [wpsr_socialbts]