by Will Grumke February 20, 2020 4 min read
Have you heard of glutamine? Do you know what it does or why it’s important?
Today we’re going to answer all of your glutamine questions. In this article, we’ll explain what glutamine is as well as what it’s used for.
Glutamine is an amino acid, in fact, it’s one of the most abundant amino acids found in the body.
This means it’s one of the building blocks that your body uses to make the proteins it needs. To put it simply, your body consumes protein, breaks the protein down into various amino acids, and forms new proteins out of those amino acids.
The formation of amino acids is calledprotein synthesis.
Studies have shown that L-glutamine helps the body carry out a variety of functions.It can also help control certain symptoms caused by chronic disease.
Now, when it comes to D-glutamine, it does not seem to provide any essential functions in the human body. So even though the two forms of Glutamine are almost genetically identical, L-glutamine is the only one your body really needs.
Some supplement products will list their glutamine as L-glutamine while others will simply list it as glutamine– both refer to the same thing.
Glutamine is considered a nonessential amino acid, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.
If an amino acid is nonessential, it just means that your body produces the acid on its own. But just because you can produce your own amino acids, doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from supplementing your glutamine production. It may be nonessential, but it is still beneficial.
Glutamine is also found in high amounts in whey and casein, two common ingredients found in exercise supplements and powders.
We’ve already said that glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in the body. And that’s primarily because of all the important biological functions that require glutamine.
Here we’ll go into some more detail what those uses are as well as the side effects and benefits of glutamine.
There are three primary reasons why most people would, and do, take glutamine.
Health – There are some medical issues and different diseases out there where supplementing with glutamine could help alleviate their symptoms.
Just recently, glutamine was approved to help reduce painful episodes in those with sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell is a condition where someone’s cells are misshapen and have a difficult time bringing oxygen to all parts of the body. Experts have found that glutamine helps with sickle cell as it prevents cell damage to red blood cells.
Glutamine also helps improve the health of your leukocytes. Leukocytes are a type of immune cell which helps improve your overall immune system.
Glutamine has been found to be more easily absorbed by leukocytes than glucose making it a more readily available source of energy for your immune system to use.
Exercise supplement – Glutamine has been found to be essential when it comes to protein synthesis.
A surplus of glutamine has been positively linked to muscle anabolism and a deficit has been linked to muscle catabolism.
Anabolism is when the body prevents muscle breakdown and encourages the process of protein synthesis which we mentioned earlier. Catabolism in this sense is when the body breaks down muscle mass.
If you’re looking to maintain your gains, or even preserve lean muscle while you lose weight, you’ll want to prevent muscle breakdown as best as you can.
Now, one thing to consider is that if you eat a diet that is moderate to high protein and take the post-workout stack, you are most likely getting enough glutamine.
Could you supplement with more? Absolutely, but depending on your lifestyle, overall health, and goals… it would be less important and like I said, most likely not needed.
Wellness – Lastly, glutamine is used to improve one’s overall health. Glutamine has been found, for example, to improve a leaky gut.
Leaky gut has to do with the permeability of the digestive tract. If you have leaky gut, your body has a harder time preventing bacteria and other toxins from escaping your digestive tract.
To promote better gut health, experts have found that taking extra glutamine supplements have been helpful.
We’ve already touched on this point somewhat when we mentioned why people use this supplement, but let’s drill down further into thebenefits of glutamine.
Studies show that the benefits of glutamine are hard to deny. If you’re looking for a way to improve your gains, prevent muscle catabolism, and boost your immune system all at the same time, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better supplement than glutamine.
While Glutamine is not an essential amino acid, during periods of intense training, high stress or even sickness you can severely lower the Glutamine stores in the muscle.
When Glutamine levels in the muscle get too low catabolism can set in, your immune system can become weakened, and your recovery could be delayed.
Therefore, supplementing with Glutamine will ensure your levels of this amino acid are optimized to help you recover faster and boost your immune system.
Here at 1st Phorm we have a top-tier glutamine supplement. Every scoop of1st Phorm Glutamine contains 5 grams of pure, micronized glutamine in it.
There are 80 servings for every bottle meaning you have plenty of glutamine to last a while.
We recommend taking 1st Phorm Glutamine 1 to 4 times a day. Many Glutamine users will add it to their post-workout shake, or Level-1, or some other drink during the day.
Whether its glutamine, BCAAs, protein powder or something else, we've got ya covered on the supplements you need to support your active and healthy lifestyle!
Will Grumke is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.