Amino Acid L-Glutamine
The popular amino acid L-Glutamine is found in protein powders, beans, meats, fish, poultry, dairy products, and of course, L-Glutamine supplements. Glutamine is one of the twenty nonessential amino acids. ‘Nonessential’ means that the body can produce this substance itself. Sixty percent of our glutamine is found in our skeletal muscle, with the rest being in the lung, liver, brain and stomach tissue.
Glutamine supplements are usually in powder form as it makes it much easier to dose depending on your requirements, but it also makes for faster absorption. Glutamine powders are generally tasteless and as such are great to mix into other supplements such as protein powders and pre-, intra- and post-workout supplements to avoid having to drink too many shakes throughout the day.
One recommendation is to take 5g before and another 5g after training. Refer to the manufacturers labels to see how much to take. The ingestion of large amounts may result in an upset stomach. As with all supplements, consult the advice of your doctor if you have any pre-disposed conditions.
Glutamine Depletion in Bodybuilders
Glutamine can be depleted by stress and can be activated by even the common cold, with the level of glutamine depletion increasing with the severity of the illness. Patients undergoing surgery, burn victims, as well as HIV and cancer patients will all have severely depleted levels of glutamine. As a bodybuilder, the stress you put on your body through training will also deplete your levels.
Glutamine aids in diseases that effect the lining of the intestines. In addition, it can reverse some of the intestinal damage caused by anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen. Glutamine can protect the brain from ammonia toxicity. As it provides energy to the brain, it’s a mood elevator, improves mental performance and helps your long and short term memory. Glutamine would be considered to be an essential supplement. For the bodybuilder, it promotes nutrient assimilation, regulates protein synthesis, stimulates growth-hormone production and enhances the immune system. These are all crucial to the bodybuilder and should be considered by all that engage in regular training.