Some research has suggested l-glutamine is good for reducing sugar cravings. Excess sugar can lead to weight gain. It's easy to wolf down a sugary drink which can put you into an excessive calorie consumption zone. Eat more calories than your body burns off each day and you put on weight.
With sugar the more you consume, the more you crave. And thus the endless cycle of weight gain continues...
Why Do You Need To Supplement With L-Glutamine?
Glutamine supplements are available in liquid, pill and powder form. Supplementing with glutamine can help you:
- gain strength and stamina
- reduce your appetite
- reduce sugar cravings
- reduce alcohol cravings
- lose weight
- control blood pressure
- improve your immune system
- enhance blood function
- maintain a healthy body weight
- improve digestive system functioning (great for gut health)
- enhance your cardiovascular system
- build and repair muscle tissue
- protect against disease
- improve mental clarity
- prevent muscle breakdown (catabolism)
- control gut inflammation and leaky gut syndrome
- can help with Type 2 diabetes - although consult doctor before supplementation
What is L-glutamine?
This gamma-aminobutyric acid is present in all living organisms. Your body is constantly manufacturing it. It's a basic non-essential amino acid which can be derived from the foods we eat, the supplements we take and by drinking protein powdered drinks.
L-Glutamine has important functions for the regeneration of muscle tissue and our bodies cells.
Glutamine transports over a third of the bodies nitrogen supplies. It is in effect a nitrogen transport system.
Nitrogen keeps organs functioning and repairs muscle fibers and is used to restore the body. It is essential in repairing wounds and injuries. It is the main fuel used by immune system and gastrointestinal tract cells.
It is good for people with IBS and intestinal problems. It is the most abundant amino acid in the body and performs essential work in protein synthesis which is responsible for muscle repair and function.
When you are stressed the body will rapidly deploy its nitrogen stores to deal with the physical aftershocks brought on by excessive cortisol (stress hormone) and adrenaline. If you are working long hours or working very hard in the gym nitrogen stores can become depleted.
Stressful environments and out of kilter work life balances can also have the same effect. If you have short supplies of glutamine in your body, it can take longer to recover from common colds, flus and injuries.
In technical terms, l-glutamine is an alpha-amino which is involved in the synthesis of amino acids. The side chain of l-glutamine resembles that of glutamic acid but with an amine (contains a basic nitrogen atom) replaced by a carboxylic acid.
It is classified into a charge-neutral amino acid (polar) because it does not accept a +2 charge to attach to an amino group. This results in the formation of a hydroxyl or hydrocyanic in the cell. It has been described as a "gateway" because of its ability to open the door for amino acids to flood through.
Get It In These Foods
In foods it is most commonly found in fish, meat, vegetables like beans, cabbage, kale, spinach and poultry products. As such, it is also considered a good source of energy, due to its amino acid and fatty acid contents which are essential to our bodies.
It can also be taken in the form of supplements to help boost the immune system and improve performance in athletes and maintain muscle development in bodybuilders.
Its effects on the immune system and contribution to overall health is evidentially beneficial.
It helps maintain proper levels of energy and can even promote weight loss by reducing sugar consumption.
A major benefit of l-glutamine when combined with exercise, strength training or resistance training is its ability to improve muscle recovery. It has been shown to improve muscle tissue repair and help rebuild the damaged muscle cells that occur after intense training.
Indeed this is the goal of bodybuilding, to put so much stress on the muscles that they tear. The body has to compensate for this by repairing the muscles and making them stronger then before.
This study here shows that supplementing with L-glutamine can prevent muscle atrophy in patients with muscle degenerating diseases.
L-Glutamine's Role In Weight Loss & Keeping Your Metabolism Ticking Over
Another important attribute of l-glutamine is that it can improve your metabolism. It is in fact a metabolic fuel. The process by which the body breaks down stored fat for use as energy starts to stall when there is no adequate fuel.
Once the body has ran out of fuel, it can take longer to break down fat stores. By supplementing your diet with this valuable energy supplement, you are making your metabolism faster and burning fat at a higher rate.
If fat reduction is your goal keeping your metabolism primed is one of the key ingredients.
The recommended dosage of the supplement will depend on how many calories you burn daily, how many hours you spend working out, and any other factors that are considered in your weight loss or muscle gaining plan.
If you are stressed and/or working very hard in the gym, adding in extra glutamine can only be a good thing.
People have taken up to 50 grams a day without any noticeable side effects but to date there are very little studies done on taking glutamine in high doses. So err on the side of caution.
You should always talk to your doctor or nutritionist and do plenty of self analysis on your diet and exercise habits before beginning your supplement regimen.
Even better, become your own nutritional expert by downloading a food tracking app. Then look at your macros. it will show you how much fat you eat, how much protein and how much carbs you consume daily.
The good apps like MyfitnessPal will break down the nutrient macros, vitamin and mineral consumption and will essentially show you the proportion of good fats and bad fats you eat.
By measuring your weight and looking at your macros and exercise program you will soon become an expert at controlling your health, muscle and body-fat levels.
It takes a little work but is worth the effort.
Most l-glutamine supplements recommend a dose of 5g. This is fairly low for most people, and in particular those on a severely reduced or calorie restricted diet, or those looking to pack on a lot of muscle, who have a punishing training schedule.
The average protein shake has about this amount in it per serving. If you don't consume a protein shake every day adding 5-10 grams into a glass up to 3 times per day or taking it in capsule form could benefit. I like to take 5g before bed as it has a relaxing effect on the body.
L-glutamine works well with your body in a variety of ways. The amino acid is used in many of the processes in your body. It helps to increase protein synthesis, it helps with cell renewal, and it also helps to repair muscle tissue damage after an injury. It is even used as food for the brain.
The bottom line is, if you are on a weight loss program or bodybuilding plan, you can reap the benefits of increased energy, increased stamina, increased muscle mass, and improved strength, as well as a stronger immune system.
L-Glutamine & Bodybuilding
L-Glutamine is a vital nutrient in human nutrition, and it is also very essential to your bodybuilding program. If you're not eating enough of it, you're not getting the nutrients you need to build muscle, and you will likely not grow as fast or as well as you could.
In fact, most people who are trying to gain muscle don't even eat enough calories in the first place.
Glutamine is known as being anti-catabolic. It prevents muscle dystrophy (muscle loss). Glutamine helps in cell development by providing the nutrients required for their proper growth and function. Glutamine also supports the immune system by regulating its activity.
Glutamine raises growth hormone levels in the body. Anything that improves growth hormone levels is a win win.
hGH (human growth hormone) helps to maintain, build, and repair healthy tissue in the brain and other organs. This hormone can help to speed up healing after an injury and repair muscle tissue after exercise. This helps to build muscle mass, boost metabolism, and burn fat.
If you ingest l-glutamine and branched chain amino acids after you train you will repair your muscles faster. It works even better if you already have an adequate amount of both already in your system.
To really maximize your gym results you should always have your body primed with adequate fuel and nutrition. The old way of bodybuilding thinking was to add in all these ingredients at the end of a gym session.
Your tired muscles need to be replenished with glucose after a workout. Glutamine aids here as it is secreted into the bloodstream by the kidneys.
It can also be broken down to glucose and released into the bloodstream and transported to the cells where it is metabolized to energy. Immune cells take up a massive portion of l-glutamine.
Think about it, it is vital for keeping your bodies defense system in full working order and repairing muscles. So it you are not taking enough of the foods mentioned above, or are on a diet make sure to supplement.
Key Roles In Bodily Functions
A deficiency in glutamine can cause a number of diseases and abnormalities in the human body, like low energy, low strength, fatigue, depression, poor wound healing, weak muscles and bone formation, allergies, hair loss, constipation and fatigue.
To maintain good levels of glutamine in our body, we need to get enough from our diet or use a high quality supplement.
The body is constantly producing and releasing glutamine and other amino acids, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it functioning smoothly. Glutamine is needed to make the proteins our bodies need. Without constant cell generation the body can not repair and regenerate.
This is Good Stuff
L-glutamine is also needed to produce energy in our cells. Our body uses it to create antibodies that protect us from infectious disease. It helps to repair damaged tissues and also maintains the balance in our hormonal and immune systems.
Glutamine improves the body's ability to produce energy and also maintains its ability to digest the foods that we eat. The use of L-glutamine reduces stress, fatigue, pain, reduces inflammation, improves memory, regulates body weight and may prevent the formation of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and arthritis.
It also aids in fat metabolism and helps to prevent fat absorption in the body and the bloodstream.
It improves the bodies defenses and maintains its natural immune response to removing toxins and harmful substances by powering the immune system to neutralize them. It also helps regulate the digestive and nervous systems.
It is profound in regeneration as it helps to repair and rebuild the liver, bones and muscles. It promotes normal blood flow and increases the body's ability to use fat as a source of fuel.
By regulating the bodies essential components It can help with weight loss, pain reduction and plays a key role in increasing the strength of your cells.
It boosts up the body's production of nitric oxide which helps to improve circulation. It enhances the function of the skin's collagen and elastin production. Great for skin condition and preventing you from aging at an accelerated pace.
It helps to prevent and combat diseases such as diabetes, cancer and arthritis, and prevents the onset of serious diseases and illnesses by boosting your body's natural defense system.
It helps to regulate blood pressure, helps prevent heart disease and strokes, increases the body's energy level, controls blood glucose levels, regulates cholesterol and reduces the risks of developing heart disease and cancer.
It also improves your body's overall quality of life and helps keeps joints and muscle in shape.
Glutamine has also been shown to protect against strokes by improving the function of the brain's blood vessels and the flow of blood. Glutamine also reduces the risk of colon and stomach cancer.
L-Glutamine & The Digestive Tract
In the gut L-glutamine has been shown to improve the immune cell response which blocks inflammation & infections. For anyone prone to an upset stomach, IBS or crohns, l-glutamine has a calming effect on intestinal tissue.
It can also reduce intestinal spasms which is marvelous for anyone who suffers from gut problems, well that's basically half of America.
Glutamine can also be used to treat sickle cell anemia, and short bowel syndrome.
I have taken a mountain of l-glutamine and on many occasions quite a high dose (40g servings) and fortunately i have never experienced any side effects.
There are some mild side effects that can be experienced from taking it depending on the individual.
- nausea, headaches, dizziness or vomiting - or worse all of them at the same time!
- stomach pain
- increased sweat production
- dry mouth
- swelling and itching
- joint or muscle pain, pain in the back
- runny nose
- swelling in the feet or hands
You should also consult a doctor if you have kidney or liver disease before taking this supplement. After taking glutamine If you have chest pain, hearing loss, flu or fever, or any of the symptoms above you should seek medical help immediately.
In most cases, people who use glutamine to treat diabetes do not experience much if any side effects. However, Glutamine may interact with other drugs and medications. The most common interactions include with anticoagulants and aspirin, and some other prescription and nonprescription medications.
It's Beneficially Good For Weight Loss & Muscle Gain
This naturally occurring amino acid is essential for so many physical and mental processes in the body. In terms of weight loss it can reduce sugar and alcohol cravings and is good for controlling the appetite. Less sugar is beneficial for maintaining health and weight.
L-glutamine is also essential for speeding up the metabolism and performs a massive role in muscle repair and creation and gut health. It's an all year all-round good guy that ironically can control weight and boost muscle size and athletic performance and keep you healthy. Get the supplies in.