L-Glutamine has long been a very popular supplement across the bodybuilding and fitness community, and for good reason. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the blood and muscle, accounting for about 60% of all free amino acids in the system. L-Glutamine helps the body repair itself after training, minimizes catabolism, reduces muscle soreness, increases protein synthesis, and also supports the immune system and balances the body’s ph. Glutamine is what’s known as a conditionally essential amino acid. Which means that your body can produce it, however it is so ubiquitous and is so severely depleted during times of exercise and other stressful situations that your body cannot produce enough of it to function optimally in some instances. Supplementation with a quality L-Glutamine before, during and after intense exercise has been clinically proven to be highly advantageous to athletes and bodybuilders alike. L-Glutamine also has an entirely different and equally important role in the body that hasn’t been widely publicized; and new research has now emerged bringing it to the forefront. L-Glutamine is also a very readily available brain fuel. Supplementation with L-Glutamine, particularly when dieting and when glucose isn’t readily available, fuels the brain, provides mental acuteness and awareness, and most importantly, greatly reduces that tired sluggish feeling from a restricted diet as well as sugar and carb cravings. L-Glutamine has the ability to make your diet much more tolerable mentally.
The brain uses only two sources of fuel. One is Glucose and the other Glutamic Acid. Glutamic Acid and Glutamine are interconvertable, which means the body can readily turn one into the other and vice versa, so taking an L-Glutamine supplement is sufficient to raise glutamic acid levels significantly. In most circumstances, there is abundant glucose and the brain can function normally. However, when blood glucose drops, either as the result of not eating for a while or intense exercise or insufficient food intake (like when on a cut diet), we start to feel drained. We get sluggish, irritable, forgetful, etc. This is the result of starving the brain for fuel. Since carbs and sugar aren’t always an option when dieting down, Glutamine is the answer. A recent study out of the Yale University Department of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, showed that in instances of hypoglycemia, the brain has the ability to offset low glucose levels with use of glutamine/glutamate for fuel, pending L-Glutamine is readily available. So, basically, the brain can substitute L-Glutamine for glucose when one is available and not the other. Keeping your brain fed will improve the quality and intensity of your workouts and of course, make your day a whole lot better. A side benefit of keeping the brain fed is that sugar/carb cravings will significantly decrease. The lack of fuel in the brain is what causes sugar/carb cravings (there is no L-Glutamine craving signal the brain can send).
Research has suggested that L-Glutamine supplementation around 20 grams is both beneficial and demonstrates no side effects. This amount will be different depending on body size, workout duration and intensity and the contents of the rest of the daily food intake. It is also important to ensure you get a 100% pure and micronized version of pure L-Glutamine supplement
Overall, L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and has a number of benefits for athletes and bodybuilders. The fact that it can make your cutting diet easy, more comfortable and more effective is perhaps the best part about this amino acid.