why glutamine is so important for muscle recovery


If you're into bodybuilding, you must have heard about glutamine. It is a very common supplement that helps people to gain muscle mass. It is a nonessential amino acid and can be readily synthesized by skeletal, liver, muscle, and adipose tissues. The demand for glutamine inside the body increases when you exercise. The same holds true during injury or an illness. It is also required for muscle recovery.

Why is Glutamine important for Muscle Recovery? Let’s find out.

For your body, a vital source of fuel happens to be glucose or blood sugar. You get this fuel from the consumed sugar and starches (or carbohydrate) in your diet. Your body tends to do what it can to help preserve the supply of glucose. However, when the supply is short, your body can make the required glucose from glutamine.

This means that if you consume fewer carbohydrates, your body will make more glucose from glutamine. The entire conversion process requires energy. Burning fat gives rise to such energy. Taking glutamine supplement can help meet the expected levels of glucose. 

Exercising ends up lowering the liver and muscle glycogen levels. Glycogen is the stored form of glucose. When you finish working out, the depleted glycogen needs to be replenished. That is why your body ends up relying on glutamine during the muscle recovery period. The faster the depleted glycogen is able to be restored, the efficient the muscle recovery process.

While glutamine is beneficial when it comes to muscle recovery, this amino acid has other benefits too!

  1. Great for Coping with Stress

Your body ends up using glutamine stores due to stress. These stress factors can be infections, burns, prolonged exercise, and even trauma. The more stress you experience, the more quickly your body’s glutamine supply nears exhaustion.

If you already have lower levels of glutamine, a majority of it will be used to fuel your brain and other essential systems. Whatever is then left will be used to build muscle mass and strengthen your immune system. For individuals who want to build muscle, a proper amount of glutamine is essential.

  1. Lactic Acid

Whenever you decide to exercise, glucose and glycogen are burned for energy. This process also produces lactic acid. If the production of lactic acid continues your muscles end up becoming so acidic that they're unable to contract. Glutamine helps to produce bicarbonate ions that in turn help to neutralize lactic acid. These ions help you to train longer.

  1. Better Gut Health

Firmicutes and Bacteriodetes are the two major beneficial gut bacteria divisions inside our body. There are studies that have linked between these divisions and a person’s body weight. Healthier individuals seem to have lower levels of Firmicutes. Such people are also leaner. However, overweight individuals have shown higher levels of Firmicutes. According to research, while L-glutamine isn't responsible for weight loss, it does have capabilities to support the health of a person's gut.

How Much Glutamine should be Consumed?

Many health experts recommend that you consume around 5 to 8 grams of L-glutamine after a workout session. Such an amount has proven itself to be beneficial when it comes to accelerating the overall rate of glycogen recovery.

The consumption of glutamine also depends on the kind of training you do. If you’re interested in weight training, you should take 2-5 grams about an hour or two before exercise and then 2-5 grams after a session.

For endurance athletes, it is recommended that you take around five grams of glutamine supplement immediately after completing a strenuous exercise session.

In conclusion, if you want to make your muscle recovery period efficient, you need glutamine.


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