Glutamine: The game changer of all fitness goals

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

Whether you are a body builder, casual gym goer, a marathon runner, an athlete or CrossFit enthusiast, you will definitely benefit from this amazing and nourishing amino acid. Glutamine could be the difference between your endurance and athletic performance being pretty good, and you totally smashing your fitness goals. Glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally occurring in meat, dairy products, beans, legumes, rolled oats and other sources of protein. Glutamine plays vital roles all across the body- for heart health, the immune system, detoxification, gut health and brain function. It has caught the interest of the fitness industry in recent years, as new research emerges about glutamines role in muscle recovery and athletic performance. So, how might glutamine help you with your fitness goals?

  • Energy and endurance: Glutamine plays an essential role in the detoxification pathways of the liver, and is required to remove excess toxins such as ammonia from the body. Being overloaded with toxins often leads to symptoms of fatigue, highlighting the importance of removing excess waste products, to improve overall energy and stamina. Decreasing ammonia has been shown to increase performance and endurance during long periods of cardiovascular exercise, such as marathon running.
  • Muscle recovery and growth: After an intense workout, it can take a couple of days for our muscles to recover. Fortunately, glutamine can be used by the body to replenish glycogen stores in the body, which is an integral part of muscle recovery. When we exercise, our skeletal muscles become stressed and little tears occur in the muscle fibres. Glutamine can help to repair and build the skeletal muscles, boosting strength and aiding in muscle recovery.
  • Immune support: Whilst exercise is extremely beneficial for our overall health, it can place strain on the immune system. This is because exercise depletes glutamine levels in the body, and glutamine is vital for the immune system. It aids in the production of immune cells which are responsible for protecting our bodies against infections. It is important to replenish these glutamine levels to avoid getting sick and having to take time out from training. Glutamine can help to reduce the stresses of overtraining syndrome.
  • Motivation and focus: Glutamine plays an essential role in the nervous system and neurotransmitter synthesis (production of brain chemicals). It can help to improve focus and motivation, which are key aspects of a good training regime, to get you to train and to improve your endurance. If you find that you are struggling with motivation, or have trouble concentrating during your work out, glutamine could be the answer.

Fitness enthusiasts really notice the difference when they start supplementing with glutamine. They report reduced muscle soreness, improved stamina and endurance, quicker recovery time, and increased motivation. Glutamine also helps to protect the heart, repair and nourish the gut lining and can reduce the side effects of medication.

Now that you are aware of all the benefits that glutamine will add to your workout regime, you will be wondering how to use it. You can get glutamine from food, it can be difficult to get enough to support your exercise regime. Supplementing with pure l-Glutamine powder is the best way to ensure that your body can access and utilise glutamine, to boost your performance and enhance your recovery. The average gym goer may need 5g of glutamine a day, whilst an athlete may need up to 10g daily. You can divide it into two doses- take half every morning, and the other half post-work out. You can combine it with your favourite protein powder to give you an extra boost. This amino acid really could be a game changer for you! You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain. What are you waiting for? Start taking glutamine today and reap the benefits!!

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