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INGREDIENT OF THE WEEK: GLUTAMINE

JULY 18, 2016

      Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream and it makes up 30-35 percent of the amino acid nitrogen in your blood. It’s actually known as a conditionally essential amino acid because your body uses it in large amounts. Glutamine is the most common amino acid found in your muscles, over 61% of skeletal muscle is Glutamine. Glutamine consists of 19% nitrogen, making it the primary transporter of nitrogen into your muscle cells. Glutamine plays key roles in protein metabolism, cell volumizing, and anti-catabolism. Glutamine also increases your ability to secrete Human Growth Hormone, which helps metabolize body fat and support new muscle growth. Glutamine’s anti-catabolism ability prevents the breakdown of your muscles. It is produced in the muscles and is distributed by the blood to the organs that need it. One of Glutamine’s main roles in the body is to support detoxification by cleansing the body from high levels of ammonia. It acts as a buffer and converts excess ammonia into other amino acids, amino sugars and urea. Glutamine is a very effective intestinal and immune system health compound, as these cells use glutamine as the preferred fuel source rather than glucose. Glutamine also burns fat and builds lean muscle mass by helping suppress insulin levels and stabilize blood glucose. This enables the body to use up less muscle mass to maintain blood sugar and insulin sensitivity in the cells. Glutamine is synthesized by the body from glutamic acid or glutamate, sometimes the body is unable to produce enough. And when this is the case, your body needs to get it directly from your diet. Glutamine can be found in animal proteins such as meats and dairy, along with plant-based protein sources such as beans, raw spinach, parsley and red cabbage.

     There are two forms of Glutamine. You can get regular Glutamine in what’s called its free form, and it should be taken with food ideally for proper absorption by the body. The other type of Glutamine is called Trans-Alanyl or Alanyl-L-Glutamine, it’s an amino acid attached to another amino acid, which basically means you’re going to digest it much better. Unlike free-form glutamine powder, you can take it on an empty stomach. The most common uses of glutamine powder were to meet the following goals: to lose weight fast, burn fat and build muscle. And while that remains the case, science is now showing that glutamine benefits are abundant.

      Whether your goal is to increase athletic performance, boost metabolism, improve recovery or even build muscle, research shows that glutamine is a must-have supplement. Supplementing with glutamine allows your muscles to fight and push a bit further, which boosts your strength and helps repair your skeletal muscles. Doing approximately one hour of exercise can cause a 40 percent reduction of glutamine in the body. During an intense workout, your body becomes stressed and your muscles and tendons require more glutamine than the amount supplied by a normal diet. Replenishing glutamine levels after an intense session could take up to five days, so it is important to take it on a regular basis if you are doing intense exercise. A study found that glutamine supplementation makes it possible to recover quicker from intense weight training sessions because it improves muscle hydration. This aids the muscle recovery process and reduces recovery time for wounds and burns. It’s important to know that the majority of people don’t get enough glutamine from their food alone. That’s why supplementing your diet with glutamine is an excellent way to boost your immune system and improve your ability to fight infection and diseases.