Glutamine has risen and fallen in popularity throughout the years. The truth is it is a powerful tool for health and wellbeing, and vital for those who are training hard or are under stress. As the most abundant amino acids in food and in the body, you are sure to be getting plenty from your diet. But is it enough? And how can supplementing your diet with L-Glutamine benefit you?
What is L-Glutamine?
L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. You may have heard of amino acids, but if not, they are essentially the building blocks of protein. They are essential for many functions in the body and the cornerstone of good health. Some amino acids are made in the body, and some need to be consumed in the food you eat. Glutamine is naturally produced in the body AND can be found in many food sources. So, why take a Glutamine supplement?
What does L-Glutamine do?
As the most abundant amino acid, L-Glutamine plays many parts in the body, but the most important is intestinal health. For this reason it is a popular supplement for people with Leaky Gut syndrome and IBS. It is also essential for the healthy functioning of your immune system. Due to its role in building muscle, it can also help reduce muscle soreness and promote recovery after exercise. (That’s why we add it to our 100% Whey)
Benefits of L-Glutamine
There are three key benefits to increasing your Glutamine intake, all of which are vital for your health and wellbeing.
Glutamine plays a vital role in maintaining your gut lining. This may not sound important, but the intestines strike a delicate balance between being permeable enough to allow nutrients to pass through for absorption, and keeping waste material out of the body. Taking care of your intestinal health can have all sorts of benefits, from improved sleep to reduced allergy symptoms.
Glutamine, along with NAC, is one of the key ingredients in Glutathione, the nutrient that powers your immune system. During times of stress and illness, your Glutathione stores can become depleted. Taking Glutamine will help restore them, and combined with NAC will help prime your immune system for optimal performance.
As the most plentiful amino acid in the body, Glutamine plays an important role in helping your muscles recover and rebuild after exercise. Replenishing your Glutamine stores after working out will prevent muscle breakdown and reduce muscle soreness.
Why is L-Glutamine so important?
Although L-Glutamine is naturally made in the body, there are certain times when the body uses more of it, such as during illness or when under stress. For this reason, taking an L-Glutamine supplement can be very beneficial. When your body is fighting infection, it uses more Glutamine, so replenishing your bodies’ stores is important. The same process occurs during catabolism, which is why L-Glutamine is a favourite for athletes and body builders. And finally, Glutamine is responsible for strengthening the barrier between your intestines and the rest of your body. Maintaining this barrier is important for general health and wellbeing, and symptoms from an healthy gut can range from poor digestion to sleep problems and skin irritation.
L-Glutamine food sources
L-Glutamine can be found in protein sources, both animal derived and plant based, as well as certain vegetables and herbs.
- Dark Leafy Greens
Because Glutamine is so important for health, it is no surprise it is found in a variety of foods. That is not to say that supplements are not beneficial. When your body is under stress you need more Glutamine to maintain your health.
Glutamine vs L-Glutamine
Glutamine is an umbrella term for the two types of Glutamine - L-Glutamine and D-Glutamine. L-Glutamine is the kind found in food sources and is the one our body uses. D-Glutamine is considered to be largely unimportant for living organisms. So when we talk Glutamine, we are talking L-Glutamine.
How much L-Glutamine should I take?
Because Glutamine is found naturally in many foods that we eat, supplementation really depends on how much you are eating and how hard your body is working. Doses of up to 45 grams per day have been tested with no ill effects. It is estimated we consume 3 to 6 grams in our daily diet, and dosages of 5g supplementation on top of this is a good benchmark.
When to take L-Glutamine
The best time to take Glutamine is after a workout. This helps replenish your body’s stores of Glutamine that were expended while you were busy getting sweaty. If you are taking L-Glutamine for gut health, the best time to take it is in the morning. Timing is not as critical in this case though, so as long as you are consistent and regular you can take it any time of day.
L-Glutamine and Leaky Gut Syndrome
Because of its role in the intestinal barrier, Glutamine is considered part of the treatment for leaky gut syndrome. It can help reduce inflammation, boost your immune system and strengthen your intestinal lining. Studies have shown that taking Glutamine supplements led to better outcomes and reduced symptoms compared to control groups who were not taking Glutamine.
Does L-Glutamine have side effects?
Taking L-Glutamine supplements as recommended will not have any adverse side effects. This is because L-Glutamine is found in so many food sources already, that your body will not react negatively to receiving extra. While uncommon, taking high doses of L-Glutamine can cause unwanted effects. This can range from changes in skin colour (L-Glutamine has skin lightening effects and is often used in brightening creams), fast heartbeat, dizziness and skin irritation. We recommend you stick to a 5 - 10g dosage per day to avoid these effects.
Because of its role in many bodily functions, and its abundance throughout the body, L-Glutamine supplements have a range of beneficial effects. If you are stressed, have digestion issues or are doing intense exercise multiple times per week, consider adding L-Glutamine to your routine. You can purchase L-Glutamine right here in 250g or 500g tubs.