L-Glutamine is a popular nutritional supplement that is used to help rebuild connective and muscle tissues which are stimulated by weight training. When you lift weights you create tiny little micro-tears in your muscle fibers. These tiny tears need time to recover and heal to become bigger and stronger tissues. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and makes up 61% of your skeletal tissue. Amino acids are the building block of protein and are crucial for maintaining and building lean muscle mass. Along with being very beneficial for muscle recovery, L-Glutamine is a supplement with other positive effects on endurance athletes.
I personally enjoy using this nutritional supplement and I really feel it does help with my recovery after a workout along with decreasing the incidence of common “cricks and cracks” in my joints. I like taking 5 grams of L-Glutamine at least once per day and I usually add a scoopful to my post-workout shake or smoothie. Many of the popular whey protein powders on the market, like Optimum Nutrition and Cellucor, have additional L-Glutamine included in their products.
Benefits of L-Glutamine
- Assisting Muscle Growth
- Cell Hydration
- Metabolism and Growth
- Gastrointestinal Health
- Brain Function
- Reduced Cravings for Alcohol and Sugar
- Woundhealing and Recovery from Illness
I also feel that if I were not a competitive athlete I would still incorporate L-Glutamine into my normal diet not only because I am mainly vegetarian but also because I feel it is a great addition to any diet especially if you are really health conscious and want the best results from whatever workout plan you are on.
Competitive athletes have to take themselves to levels beyond the average gym-goer. This includes taking it to the extreme in both their training in the gym and during practice on the field which causes them to be susceptible to numerous injuries and other negative health effects from training so hard. The immune system is affected by those who train at a high intensity level which is one of the demands in competitive sport, recreational or not. Many athletes have decreased immune systems and wind up getting sick after long bouts of exercising at super high intensity levels. Supplementing with L-Glutamine has shown to help boost the immune system to fight against these negative side effects. Being strong against a nasty virus, cold or the common flu will help keep you consistent with training so you can keep working hard without being sidelined.
There have also been several studies using L-Glutamine with patients who have undergone surgeries, bone marrow transplants along with studying the effects of this nutritional supplement with cancer patients. This research studies the effect of L-Glutamine during different stages and scenarios and has shown some beneficial results.
The fact that these studies are occurring shows there is scientific interest in how L-Glutamine reacts in the body to show positive effects when it comes to the immune system. Even though these studies primarily focused on the immune system, these are still excellent breakthroughs toward revealing more answers when it comes to muscle building and gaining strength. This is great news for bodybuilders who want to pack on muscle mass quicker but may take a little longer to prove since the priority is with patients who have medical issues. Once this happens, this supplement will be studied further to show the effects is has on muscle building.
It seems that different cells of the immune system use glutamine at a higher rate which can be beneficial to many diseases according to the medical theories and studies that have been performed. Even though there have been numerous animal studies, they are also several human studies which make the results much more reliable when it comes to using this supplement with people.
For more information on L-Glutamine and to review over 100 references with links to scientific support about this subject, Examine.com has an excellent article you can review.