Glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid and one of the most abundant amino acids in the body (comprising approximately 30% of amino acids in the plasma).
It is usually classified as a conditionally essential amino acid, as it is produced by the body, but during periods of extreme stress or trauma, it is released from the body and may need to be replenished. Glutamine is naturally found in beans, poultry, fish and dairy products. The majority of Glutamine is produced in the skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Additionally, glutamine is synthesized in the lungs, liver and brain. It is predominately used for fuel by the small intestines, immune system, hair follicles and the gastrointestinal tract.
Glutamine supplementation is beneficial during periods of stress, such as after trainingGlutamine ensures the body remains in a state of anabolism. For those who train, supplementing with glutamine ensures the body’s stores of this important amino acid are optimized and the skeletal muscle size is maintained. Working out can lead to suppression of the immune system. Intense exercise can quickly deplete glutamine in the muscle cells causing the immune system to weaken and decreases the body’s levels of glutamine. Research has shown that supplementation with glutamine can alleviate the decline of glutamine concentration in the bloodstream following intense exercise.
Glutamine also helps to diminish catabolism caused by an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which is elevated during exercise. A recent study conducted on the effects of glutamine on the muscle found that glutamine actually blocks the action of cortisol’s interference with muscle protein synthesis and repair. This study shows that glutamine can provide an anti-catabolic effect which is beneficial for athletes and bodybuilders. Glutamine supplementation has been found to help elevate glutamine levels in the body and produce an anti-catabolic effect. It can minimize the amount of muscle breakdown and can be particularly helpful when consumed after working out, when catabolism is at its peak.