Glutamine is a type of amino acid which is essentially the precursor or building block for protein. Protein is needed by the body for various metabolic purposes. This substance is naturally found in the body and is actually produced by muscles. Of all the amino acids in the body, glutamine is the most abundant. From the muscles, this amino acid is distributed to the rest of the body via the bloodstream. Many organs in the body and the immune system need glutamine for health and efficiency. Benefits of glutamine include:
Glutamine is essential to the gastric and intestinal system of the body. This amino acid is especially helpful in rebuilding damaged areas of the gut or repairing damaged cells in intestinal walls. As the building block for protein, glutamine helps ensure that cell repair in the gastro-intestinal area is supported when needed.
Support for immune system
The body’s immune system is boosted with the presence of glutamine in adequate amounts. In stressful situations for example, glutamine will help stabilize the body and promote optimal health. With low levels of glutamine, many people will literally get sick more easily and frequently. People who work out regularly for example have low glutamine after each session at the gym and need supplementation in order to prevent possible sickness.
Many bodybuilders take glutamine supplements because of this amino acid’s effect on muscle building. Glutamine helps muscle build-up by means of protein metabolism. Protein is needed for muscle growth and development and the presence of enough glutamine in the body will aid this process to work efficiently. With protein synthesis working, glutamine will help muscles to grow bigger and stronger.
Prevention of muscle wasting
Glutamine is a preferred substance among weightlifters and bodybuilders because of its ability to prevent muscle atrophy or wasting. This amino acid is considered very potent in terms of muscle building and it also helps the breakdown of muscles. For people who lift weights and exercise regularly, too much effort may actually be counterproductive and lead to muscle wasting. With glutamine supplementation, new muscle growth is promoted while existing muscles are protected from possible break down.
- Help in muscle recovery
Glutamine’s anti-catabolism effect basically ensures that muscles will not break down easily after every intensive workout. Muscle gained during exercise will be protected and aided in terms of recovery. For endurance athletes for example, glutamine is needed at optimum levels to promote efficient muscle repair and recovery. With depleted glutamine stores after long periods of exercise, supplementation of this amino acid may be necessary.
For people who wish to take advantage of glutamine’s health benefits, they may opt to take supplements on a regular basis. Supplements of this amino acid are especially needed by bodybuilders and weight-watchers. For people who simply wish to boost their immune system or have a healthy gut, glutamine supplementation may not be necessary. These people may instead opt to get glutamine from natural sources that include dairy products, vegetables like beans and spinach, and meat.