The amino acid glutamine is an important protein-based supplement, trusted by bodybuilders for years.
It is classed as conditionally essential, meaning our body can produce a small amount; however, in specific scenarios, such as for those performing high intensity exercise, it may become essential.
In this article you will learn about the benefits of glutamine for any bodybuilder or regular exerciser. Here’s why glutamine can help you.
What is Glutamine?
In the body glutamine is actually the most predominant source of amino acids, making up over 50% of the total amino acid content within the muscle.
Along with being stored in the muscle, glutamine can be found throughout the body in organs such as the brain, liver, lungs and blood.
Although glutamine has lots of functions, one of its most important roles is within the intestines and immune cells, helping to keep your digestive health and your immune system optimized to fight off disease and illness.
Along with this main role, glutamine also plays a role in numerous cellular functions and biological processes:
- Muscle protein synthesis, laying down new muscle tissue.
- Lipid metabolism, breaking down fat and even cancer cells.
- Regulates acid levels in the kidneys
- Produces energy and helps in the breakdown of glucose.
- Acts as a carbon donor, refilling the citric acid energy cycle.
Glutamine for Your Physique
As glutamine is an amino acid it may come as no surprise that it can help you add muscle and/or improve your physique.
The first benefit glutamine may provide is that it can reduce muscle protein breakdown. Muscle protein breakdown and muscle protein synthesis is the balance which ultimately determines your ability to add or maintain muscle mass.
If muscle breakdown occurs more often than muscle protein synthesis, then the result can lead to muscle loss, or at least the inability to add new muscle. In contrast, if muscle synthesis continually exceeds muscle breakdown, you can add new muscle tissue on a daily basis.
In addition to controlling muscle protein balance, glutamine plays a role in some key cellular pathways, such as reducing mRNA which is a process that can lower your body’s total protein balance.
Extra glutamine via supplementation may also help reduce the body’s natural breakdown, which occurs on a daily basis. By increasing the amount of glutamine available to the body, you can spare any glutamine being taken from the muscles and used for other process. This can be of most importance during periods of physiological stress, such as illness, injury or intense workouts where glutamine stores can be quickly depleted (Antonio and Street, 1999).
Further supporting the use of glutamine is research showing it can reduce leucine oxidation or breakdown. Leucine is the key amino acid behind Muscle Protein Synthesis and very important for any bodybuilder or physique-orientated individual. Therefore, this provides further support that glutamine may be anti-catabolic, helping you keep all your gains!
Additionally, like Pre-Kaged, glutamine may further increase the ‘pump’ by enhancing cell swelling. Apart from this feeling great mid gym session, cell swelling is actually an important mechanism behind muscle growth.
Along with all these exciting mechanisms, controlled research trials have found positive improvements from adding glutamine to individuals performing regular weight training. In one study, they found those supplementing with glutamine resulted in greater improvements in upper and lower body strength, power and anabolic hormones, such as the master hormone testosterone, growth hormone and IGF1.
Glutamine for Your Immune Health
Although your immune health may not sound as sexy as adding muscle mass, it plays a key underlying role any successful bodybuilder must optimize.
Any workout will actually impose a negative and short-term suppression on your immune system, making you more susceptible to common illnesses or colds. By using glutamine on a daily basis, you can support your immune system and health, allowing you to train hard on a daily basis without getting run down or ill throughout the year.
Additionally, the immune system does not just protect against colds or flu. In fact, it’s an integrative system that has allowed humans to evolve and survive throughout generations. The immune system acts as our body’s natural defense system again ‘pathogens’, which can be anything from viruses to parasites which attack our body’s tissues and cells. It also plays a role in controlling stress, reducing cortisol and oxidative stress, which can lead to inflammation, fat gain and many other negative health issues.
Add in Glutamine Today
Hopefully you can now see the underlying roles that glutamine plays and why we include Glutamine in our products such as RE-KAGED.
Aim for around 5-10g of glutamine per day, which can form part of your post workout RE-KAGED shake or added with meals / pre-workouts.
Learn more about KAGED MUSCLE’s glutamine HERE