L-glutamine is one of those buzzwords in the fitness industry that seems to be highly acclaimed for its ability strip fat and build lean muscle tissue. In this post we will take a deeper look into L-glutamine’s benefits and side effects so you can decide for yourself whether this supplement is right for you and your needs.
WHAT IS L-GLUTAMINE?
L-glutamine is an amino acid needed in the body for the biosynthesis of proteins. It is the most abundant amino acid in our bloodstream and more than 61% of our skeletal muscle is made up of it, and 90% of our body’s l-glutamine is synthesised in our skeletal muscle.
However, there can be a problem sometimes with glutamine synthesis in certain individuals, such as those who’re sick and premature babies. It is much harder for people in those groups to produce their own so in these cases it then becomes an essential amino acid because of the bodys compromised abilities.
WHEN WOULD I NEED TO SUPPLEMENT?
Glutamine is essential for providing fuel to your cells in order to make other amino acids, and also to produce glucose. It is especially needed in times of stress, both physical and mental, as it will be burnt up very quickly under these conditions. This is one of the main reasons why l-glutamine is so popular in the fitness industry, as physical training puts constant stress on the muscles and immune system so therefore a constant supply is vital to hard exercisers.
When intensely training, levels of glutamine are vastly depleted, which in turn decreases overall strength, stamina and recovery time. In fact, after an intense exercise session it can take up to 6 days for levels to return to what they should be – which obviously isn’t good if you like to train at least 3 to 4 times a week.
L- glutamine for Muscle Repair and Growth:-
Studies show that glutamine supplementation can improve the metabolism of protein; meaning it can also be used for muscle repair and growth, and is yet another reason why it is so popular with those on an intense training program or lifting heavy weights.
L-GLUTAMINE AND FAT LOSS
L-glutamine is definitely up there as a fat burner because it helps counteract the storage of fat, and so helps to regulate weight. It also reduces cravings for sugar and alcohol, which are up there with the worst belly fat producing offenders; and as belly fat specifically is the most dangerous kind to have in regards to health, keeping it to a minimum is a must.
During intense exercise l-glutamine also helps with the process of outing fat WITHOUT losing vital muscle mass; something that is very easily done when exercising and is often also a side effect of weight loss.
Using L-Carnitine alongside L-Glutamine:-
L-carnitine is another amino acid that also has an impressive profile for fat burning during exercise; this among many other benefits. The reason I mention it is because it’s often used alongside l-glutamine for even more enhanced fat burning and muscle building effects, therefore it may be worth considering this supplement alongside your l-glutamine.
There are many other ways you can build muscle and burn fat and you should incorporate some of them into your daily regime and NOT just rely on one thing. You will always get the best fat burning, muscle building results by hitting it from as many different angles as possible that include diet, exercise, and sometimes added supplements.
EXERCISE AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
An intense workout (especially body building) depletes your stores of l-glutamine, and as it plays such an important role in the immune system this can leave you more susceptible to catching bugs and other illnesses.
Who’s ever noticed getting sick after they know they have overdone it in the gym, or out running? I know I have! Pushing your body too far, too soon, can really have a knock on effect on the immune system, so it’s vital to keep it strong and healthy with a supplement such as or similar l-glutamine. All immune boosting supplements are good for exercisers.
Immune benefits in itself could be a good reason to use this amino acid, especially if you do like to push yourself during training. And of course pushing yourself is certainly something that you need to do in order to get stronger, fitter and leaner, it’s just probably not a good idea to take this too far too quickly, not if you want to keep your immune system firing on all cylinders.
Other Uses For L-Glutamine
L-glutamine is also used in the medical world for many other reasons, one being as a protection for the immune system in patients undergoing cancer treatment such as radiotherapy. It is also used after bone marrow transplants and bowel surgery to improve recovery, prevent infection, and increase well-being.
L-GLUTAMINE AND MENTAL DISORDERS
L-glutamine can also be used in the treatment of various mental illnesses and disorders, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and ADHD. It has a stabilising effect, and unlike many other medications is able to cross the blood brain barrier. This means it may stimulate GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages through the nervous system and brain, and the changing of these messages can result in relief from some of these disorders.
Although more research needs to be done in this field, as with many natural mood disorder treatments, sometimes it can be a case of trial and error to find what works for you.
L-GLUTAMINE AND LEAKY GUT
Another very popular use for l-glutamine is for the healing of the cells in the lining of the gut that may have been damaged by LGS (leaky gut syndrome). LGS can often be a side effect of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). This review supports the theory of l-glutamine’s role on gut permeability and how it may help in the prevention of toxins entering the bloodstream.
The inflammation that goes with this disorder can damage the intestinal lining. Experts are not sure whether IBS causes LGS, or vice versa, and it is a field that still needs much more research as there is no real cure as of yet, not medically at least.
Other Issues Caused by leaky Gut:-
Having a leaky gut can cause so many issues in the body that it is fast becoming a leading chronic health issue. Some of the problems caused are auto immune diseases, skin problems, allergies, asthma, autism, arthritis, SIRS, and type 1 diabetes.
Symptoms of leaky gut include inflammatory diseases, food sensitivities, auto immune diseases, malabsorption of key nutrients, such as vitamin B12, magnesium and other enzymes, and mood disorders including autism.
This is a long list of which I haven’t gone into much detail, but bottom the line is, it seems that leaky gut syndrome may be a root cause of many problems and certainly requires deeper investigation if you feel you may be suffering from it.
Healing A Leaky Gut:-
While l-glutamine may help to repair a leaky gut this is only a small part of the healing process, and there are other steps that involve the cutting out of certain foods. These include foods such as sugar, grains, non organic animal products and alcohol; you will then need to add in healing foods such as live enzymes, and probiotic foods such as sauerkraut and live yogurt cultures.
It is after this that you would begin the repair process and this is where l-glutamine would come in with its abilities to heal stomach lining. You would then need to repopulate the gut’s good bacteria with a good quality probiotic. This process is called the 4R System.
Important: The 4R system is a process that needs to be done either under the supervision of a professional, or with proper understanding of it.
WHAT ARE L-GLUTAMINE’S BENEFITS AND SIDE EFFECTS?
- Helps protein synthesis
- Helps strip fat and promotes lean muscle growth
- Is a great immune booster
- May help with mental disorders such as depression and anxiety
- May help combat insomnia
- Has many medical uses (of which I would suggest you consult your doctor about before use)
WHERE TO BUY AND WHICH KIND:-
As with all supplements, they are most definitely NOT created equal. Some are filled with preservatives, chemicals, fillers and many more nasties, and just think, if it’s something you need to take long term then just think of how detrimental it would be to keep filling your body with these kind of things. Many of these will have names that are unrecognisable, so you don’t really actually know what you’re putting in your body or the potential side effects of this added junk.
Make sure you source your l-glutamine from a reputable brand in order to be sure you are getting good quality products that are safe to use.
Possible Side Effects:-
It’s important to ALWAYS read labels. Side effects are pretty rare, and usually only occur when too much is taken. When they do occur they are generally mild, and may include stomach aches and cramps, nausea, vomiting, mild skin rash, dizziness, itching and headache. If these happen then you should stop taking the supplement and consult with your doctor who may suggest a different dosage, or to even stop completely.
If you would like to ask any questions on the topic of l-glutamine and its side effects I would be happy to help you out. Please make my day and post below; I will be happy to get back to you as soon as I can!