Here’s the deal on glutamine based on my research. As you will read from our article on L glutamine, it is the most abundant amino acid in the body. Amino acids form the proteins that are the building blocks for many of the body tissues – including muscle. Amino acids are also the building blocks of hemoglobin, enzymes, many hormones, and antibodies in the body. During intense exercise and other physical stress (such as surgery), blood and muscle levels of glutamine tend to fall.
In theory, an intense workout that produces a lot of sweat could cause glutamine to fall below a critical point. When this happens, muscle mass may decrease, exercise recovery may be prolonged, and risk of illness may rise. Research shows, however, that regardless of glutamine supplementation, guys who perform regular, moderate to vigorous, physical activity have fewer colds than their coach potato buddies. In other words, guys who exercise regularly tend to have less colds regardless of the whole “glutamine debate.” It is a known fact, however, that when guys overtrain they can weaken their immune system and will tend to catch colds and the flu more easily. It is possible, and you could certainly argue, that this could be caused in part by low glutamine levels. The point is, we simply don’t know for sure if glutamine supplements really work.
Guys that take them regularly, swear by them. I personally take them as an insurance policy in case they really do work. There are no adverse side effects to taking glutamine supplements in the recommended doses so there seems to be very little risk, if any, to taking them. The only “side effect” is that you might be a little lighter in the wallet and you may be throwing your money away if research discovers they don’t do anything. Until then, it’s trial and error – person by person. Glutamine supplements may work for you and they may not. The only way you’ll know is by giving them a try. If you’re nervous about spending money on glutamine supplements, I recommend you get a copy of Will Brink’s eBook, Bodybuilding Revealed. Brink is a sports nutrition expert and in his book he covers over 25 different nutritional supplements – glutamine being one of them. He gives unbiased, objective reviews of each supplement and basically tells you which ones really work and which ones are nothing but hype. This book has become the “bible” among many bodybuilders and really anyone looking to build muscle. It was one of the first books I purchased and I refer to it all the time. You can get more information about the book at the Bodybuilding Revealed website.
If you’re not ready for glutamine supplements, there are natural food sources of glutamine. A small 3-ounce serving of meat has 3-4 grams of glutamine and it can also be found in milk, cheese, yogurt, peanuts, lentils, tofu, beans, and eggs. If you’re like me, however, and are willing to try anything that is safe and may give you an edge on building muscle, losing weight and staying healthy, then glutamine supplements may be right for you. Glutamine supplements are in powder or capsule form. The powder form is the preferred form because its more economical. Youd have to take so many capsules to equal what you would get with one small scoop of glutamine powder. When glutamine powder is mixed with protein or any liquid for that matter, its virtually tasteless and somewhat sweet. There are also two types of glutamine supplements glutamine peptides and L glutamine. Some prefer glutamine peptides over L glutamine because they are supposed to be more digestible and more bioavailable than L glutamine. Indeed, there is research that supports that theory. Interestingly enough, however, most of the studies showing the benefits of glutamine supplements used L glutamine – not glutamine peptides. Whichever type you decide to try, always stick with high quality brands. If you need help finding a good brand, see our short list of recommended glutamine supplements.
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