Everything you need to know about l-glutamine
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If you are passionate about exercising and eating right, then there’s a good chance you’ve come across L-Glutamine. It’s one of those supplements that is most widely discussed amongst weightlifters and bodybuilders, but very few truly understand how important it is and what it does exactly. So let’s take a deeper look at everything you need to know about L-Glutamine.
Firstly, what is L-Glutamine?
L-Glutamine is known as a non-essential amino acid. We will discuss what that means exactly in a little bit more depth below. But essentially, it means that your body is able to make this nutrient on its own. What you do need to be aware of is that L-Glutamine is by far the most common amino acid found anywhere in your body. There is so much of it that more than 60% of all of your body’s skeletal muscle is made up of L-Glutamine.
What does L-Glutamine do?
L-Glutamine performs and helps to support a number of different bodily functions. It spends most of its time moving around your bloodstream via cells. The cells in your body rely on L-Glutamine in order to create enough energy to continue to function in a healthy manner. It, therefore, plays a vital role in carrying nitrogen all throughout your body.
It is also used by your brain to remain active and to perform a variety of crucial functions. As well as enabling your muscles to hold more water, which is how it helps to then both repair and grow muscle tissue. As you can see, L-Glutamine plays a crucial role in a whole range of typical bodily functions.
What causes your L-Glutamine levels to drop?
For those of us that lead a regular lifestyle which contains a healthy diet and a typical amount of exercise, then our L-Glutamine levels shouldn’t ever drop. At least not to a degree by which it becomes noticeable. This is because your body replenishes enough L-Glutamine throughout the course of each day to replace any that have been used.
However, there are some cases in which L-Glutamine stores will drop and become lacking. Most importantly, when you become sick or when you exercise heavily. As mentioned above, L-Glutamine plays an important role in keeping your cells healthy. Well, when you get sick, your body gets to work creating as many white blood cells as possible to fight off the illness.
In order to create these white blood cells, your body needs to use up any L-Glutamine stores you have readily available. As you exercise heavily, you put your muscles under a considerable amount of strain, which causes your L-Glutamine levels to drop as well. In both cases, the demand for L-Glutamine exceeds the supply.
What happens when your L-Glutamine stores start to run low?
As your L-Glutamine levels drop, your body naturally tries to find ways to increase access to it. The only way to do this, as it doesn’t have time to make enough naturally, is to start catabolizing on your muscle stores. As it does this, it breaks down the muscle tissue and releases the necessary L-Glutamine. As you can imagine, this is a very serious issue for any bodybuilders looking to put on size and muscle mass!
How do you increase your L-Glutamine levels?
As mentioned at the start, L-Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid. What this means is that your body has the ability to make L-Glutamine all on its own. So, if you are not exercising heavily and not getting ill, then this is the best way to get it. To get more technical, there is an enzyme in your body called L-Glutamine synthetase.
This enzyme is found mainly in the brain, kidneys, and liver. It catalyses the condensation of ammonia and gluten in order to turn this into L-Glutamine. If you are ill if you do exercise heavily, then you will need to increase L-Glutamine stores by adding it to your diet. You can do so by eating more foods such as beef, seafood, eggs nuts, milk, beans and yoghurt. Of course, you can also take supplements …
When might L-Glutamine supplements be important?
Many scientists and healthcare professionals believe that L-Glutamine should instead be classed as a “conditionally essential amino acid”. What does this mean? Well, it means that there are crucial times when your stores of L-Glutamine drop below a level which is healthy and safe for your body. This is when the demand for it exceeds the supply.
At these times, you will need to add it into your diet, as opposed to waiting around for your body to make it on its own. Many also agree that the best way to achieve this added boost is through the use of supplements. This is the reason why so many bodybuilders you meet at the gym rave about how they take L-Glutamine after every workout.
A dose of around 5mg is enough to help counteract the loss you would experience during the workout and ensure your muscles have enough to help them grow back stronger and recover. Most importantly, it helps to stop your body from actually metabolising any muscle you’ve already built!
Interested in finding out more?
For years now, we have been helping members of Ultimate Fitness Birmingham to achieve their muscle building targets through the use of approved, fully-approved supplements. We stock all necessary supplements you might need to consume on a daily basis. And of course, L-Glutamine is one of our most in-demand varieties.
The most recommended way to consume L-Glutamine is to take it in even doses 2 to 3 times per day. It is usually best to also make sure one of these doses falls just after your daily workout. In total, you would be looking at consuming between 10 and 15 grams per day, and it can often be taken alongside any other supplements you require.
As a final point, it’s worth noting that there are no side effects that you should expect to experience when consuming L-Glutamine. Of course, this will depend on exactly how much you exercise, how much you take and any health conditions you might have. If you do suffer from any illnesses and are worried about how L-Glutamine supplements might affect you, then you should always speak to your doctor first before taking them.
If you have any more questions, or would like to try out some of our L-Glutamine supplements, then speak to us next time you’re at the gym!