As we explore the nutritional building blocks of our body the list has reached the “G” section which it means it is time to focus on what is glutamine? Let’s take an in-depth look at this compound to see what it is, what it does, why you need more of it, and where the best place to get it is!
Glutamine is labeled as a non-essential amino acid and one of the basic building blocks of our body. It can be created from another amino acid, glutamic acid. Generally speaking it is highly prevalent in most people because it can be found in foods like red meat, fish, beans, and nuts. Most well-balanced diets and high protein diets will be naturally taking in lots of glutamine and glutamic acid (found in the same foods).
Scientific research has pointed this amino acid to be useful for muscle mass maintenance, brain functions, and glucose control. However there has been a lack of concrete evidence in connecting it specifically to functions in a way that would prove adding additional amounts would increase functions. However it has been noted that when the body is under stress that this amino is quickly utilized to enhance the immune system. Therefore it can be assumed that excess glutamine in the system would assist with that and prevent muscle tissues from being depleted, thus helping maintain muscle mass.
Glutamine is used for a lot of things in the medical community. For many it is an addition to medicine to help counter side effects such as anxiety, depression, diarrhea, ADHD, and stomach pain. Because of its ability to aid in recovery and work with the immune system it is also used for improved exercise recovery.
For bodybuilders the biggest benefits are increasing the body’s natural output of growth hormone and increasing the recovery pace of the body. While this amino is readily available within the body, the amount used during a workout is not usually available in excess stores and it takes many days to natural increase the levels to where they should be. For people who are working out every couple of days that means having a lower than average level of this amino at the most critical time it is needed (post-workout).
When and Where?
Early when answering what is glutamine we mentioned that it is found in red meats and other sources of protein. It can also be found in protein drinks or as a straight supplement in powder form. These are both the perfect format to use to ensure your glutamine levels stay where they should be after a workout. Just make sure you are either having a shake or adding glutamine to your post-workout meal so it can be quickly absorbed into the system to start replenishing your stores.
While it is available in natural forms they take much longer to be absorbed compared to a more pure, manufactured form that is tailored for our bodies. However if you have a protein rich diet then additional supplementation is probably not needed beyond post-workout because you will be taking in plenty. Hopefully this information answers the question of ‘what is glutamine’ and why supplementing your diet with it is important.