What is Glutamine and Where is it Found?
If you’re just starting with sports nutrition, you’ve probably come across all sorts of new names. Spoiler alert: they’ll be part of your fitness vocabulary in no time. We’ve put together this beginner’s guide to glutamine to take you through everything you need to know so, let’s get started.
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid meaning our body can produce it naturally. However, you can also find it in foods such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products, cabbage, beets, beans and spinach. Since glutamine reserves can get quite low in certain circumstances, it can also be considered as a conditionally essential amino acid.
Since glutamine is the most common amino acid in muscles accounting for 60% of skeletal muscle, it’s no surprise it’s become more and more popular because of its role in protein synthesis and muscle maintenance. It’s also important for maintaining a healthy immune system and is also believed to increase natural hormone levels, key for muscle mass.
It’s also worth knowing that it exists in two forms: L-glutamine and D-glutamine. When it comes to food and supplements, you’ll most likely be dealing with L-glutamine. In this piece, we’ll be using glutamine and L-glutamine interchangeably.
What are the Benefits of Glutamine?
One of the key aims of our guide to glutamine is getting the most out of the supplement. In this section, we’ll cover L-glutamine dosage and benefits as well as other tips starting from the below:
- Muscle mass maintenance
- Sustains natural glutamine levels to support immune system cells
- Evens out potential deficiencies in the diets of vegans and vegetarians
Glutamine is a staple for anyone who wants to maintain muscle mass during intense and/or frequent training. After intense exercise, glutamine levels in the body can reduce quite a bit. When the body needs more glutamine than it can produce, which results in glutamine depletion.
During this state, muscle glutamine might be metabolised in order to supply the rest of the body, particularly cells in the immune system, with the glutamine they need to function properly.
If you’re training for muscle and size but your glutamine intake is low, your body might go into a catabolic state – where your muscle tissue breaks down to release energy.
While glutamine levels will eventually increase naturally, it can take some time depending on exercise activity and diet. That’s why supplements can be an effective way of replenishing glutamine levels quickly. As we age, our ability to synthesise glutamine decreases and integration is particularly good for older athletes who train frequently.
Ultimately, L-glutamine benefits people who work out regularly and those who want to boost their general glutamine intake, too.
When to take Glutamine?
To really cash in those glutamine benefits, you’ll want to integrate it after you work out. That’s when your glutamine levels will be at their lowest but, most people will also supplement in the morning, post-workout and before bed. Plus, glutamine is a popular intra-workout supplement you can find in formulas with other amino acids.
If you’re training intensively, 10-15g of glutamine per day should be enough. For moderate training, the standard L-glutamine dosage is 5g to be taken post-workout ideally. Bear in mind that some dietary sources also contain glutamine so you’ll contribute to your intake through your regular diet, too.
Glutamine Supplements from Bulk Powders
Now that you’re at the end of our guide to glutamine, you’re one step closer to becoming a pro. Looking for inspiration? Take a look at the top glutamine supplements on-site.:
Planning on using these in your post-workout shake? Let us know how it goes on social media tagging our official account @bulkpowders!