Studies have shown that supplementation with the amino acid L-glutamine can minimize breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism. Glutamine is the most common amino acid found in your muscles – in fact, over 61% of your skeletal muscle is glutamine. Glutamine consists of 19% nitrogen, making it the primary transporter of nitrogen into your muscle cells.
During intense training, glutamine levels are greatly depleted in your body, which decreases strength, stamina and recovery. It can literally take up to six days for levels of this amino acid to return to normal – a fact that most people who train are grossly unaware of. Glutamine also plays a key role in protein synthesis and studies have shown that supplementation can minimize the breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism.
Glutamine also increases your ability to secrete human growth hormone (HGH), which helps metabolize body fat and support new muscle growth. So in turn, glutamine’s anti-catabolism ability prevents the breakdown of your muscles. This is extremely useful for bodybuilders during the cutting phase before a contest, as well as for individuals trying to get rid of some extra body fat to look good during the summer months without losing any muscle.
For your body to perform to its ultimate, glutamine supplementation is critical. Your immune system depends on glutamine because its levels are depleted during workouts, making competitive bodybuilders and hard training athletes especially susceptible to illness. This is why glutamine supplementation is so important – not necessarily to gain more muscle, but to maintain a healthy balance within the body.
The question I am asked often in the gym is, “How much glutamine should I take? On average, bodybuilders should take between 10 and 15 grams of L-Glutamine per day. This would be equivalent to taking it 2 to 3 times daily with each serving totaling around 5 grams. Note that even though you are supplementing this amino acid in your diet, you may already be getting some from other supplements you are taking such as protein powder. So make sure you read the labels on your existing supplements so you are aware of exactly how much you’re taking in.
The other question I am asked is, “When do I take it?” The best times to take your glutamine are in the morning, after your workout, and at night before you go to bed. There are no side effects to taking this amino, but as a reminder, too much of anything can be a bad thing. If you take too much glutamine it can lead to stomach upset, so use correctly.
Now that you know the various benefits of glutamine – such as its ability to aid in protein synthesis, help speed up healing and recovery, replenish declining glutamine levels during workouts, improve growth hormone levels and boost your immune system – start including it in your supplementation regimen! Researchers suggest that glutamine is the most important amino acid to the bodybuilder and intensely training athlete. It provides a component in muscle metabolism not shared by any other single amino acid.
I include MuscleMeds Glutamine Decanate in my supplement arsenal whether I am prepping for a show or – as is the case as I write this – using it in my recovery from recent major surgery. This supplement is an essential staple in my arsenal of products provided by MuscleMeds. I also drink Amino Decanate during my workouts, as this product also includes 5 grams of glutamine per serving (along with 5 grams of BCAAs and 500 mg. of Critical Core Amino Acids).
To be the best you can be in the gym, these two advanced supplements in your daily regimen. Happy Training everyone!