Maximizing workouts and ensuring you’re not cannibalizing hard earned gains can be a lot easier said than done. Both bodybuilders and endurance athletes alike are more often than not trying to maintain an anabolic state, and do so in a number of different ways. As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, it is important to understand what is happening in our bodies when we endure the stressors of training. This means understanding on a molecular level what our bodies are doing to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. One very important amino acid found abundantly throughout our bodies is L-Glutamine. Here, we take a look at why L-Glutamine is critical for reaching goals, and why supplementation may be right for you.
L-Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning it can be naturally synthesized in our bodies. Because of its high nitrogen content (nearly 20%), it is essential for the transportation of nitrogen to our muscle cells. Additionally, L-Glutamine makes up approximately 60% of skeletal muscle tissue, making it the most abundant amino acid in the human body.
Muscle Recovery & Preventing Muscle Breakdown
The most widely-known benefit of L-Glutamine is its ability to help muscles repair and recover by increasing the rate of Muscle Protein Synthesis. During an intense workout or prolonged physical activity such as endurance training, natural L-Glutamine stores are depleted, creating a deficit that requires either supplementation or a period of about five days to be naturally replenished. Because our skeletal muscle tissue is largely made up of L-Glutamine, keeping levels up is advantageous for both growth and performance. Studies have also shown that L-Glutamine can increase plasma growth hormone levels, a necessary component to bodybuilders for making gains. Additionally, L-Glutamine is essential for maintaining cell volume and hydration.
The primary fuel for our immune system is L-Glutamine. After it is synthesized in our skeletal muscle, it is discharged into immune cells throughout the body. However, during an intense workout or endurance training session, L-Glutamine is depleted, ultimately leading to a temporarily weakened immune system. Supplementing can insure that adequate levels of the amino acid are available for the immune system to properly function.
Intestinal Structure and Health
As mentioned above, our immune system relies heavily on L-Glutamine to function properly. Because roughly 70% of our immune system is housed in our intestinal tract, maintaining a strong immune system is critical for maximizing absorption rates in the gut. Additionally, L-Glutamine helps to support intestinal structure and prevent and cure health issues such as “leaky gut.” After a heavy lift or an intense endurance training session, supplementing with L-Glutamine can help ensure sufficient levels are available to allow the intestines to function properly.
For those looking to add L-Glutamine to their daily regimen, we recommend supplementing with 5 grams, 1-2 times per day. The powder form of L-Glutamine is relatively tasteless and mixes well in protein shakes.
While it is a well known fact that L-Glutamine has anticatabolic properties and aids in muscle repair, the health benefits this amino acid provides are sometimes overlooked. From immune system support to intestinal efficiency, supplementing with L-Glutamine can be highly advantageous to those who are constantly putting their bodies under immense amounts of stress.
As always, True Nutrition is dedicated to bringing you the highest quality supplements on the market, and to do so we 3rd party test all our products. We know how hard you work both in and out of the gym. The grind never stops for a True athlete, and we are here to support you through every rep. Keep crushing those goals. Keep putting in 100%. Keep the focus.
Yours in health,
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