Let’s face it: Sometimes, you’re just not in the right condition to work out. Your spirit may be willing to lift some weights, but you may feel under the weather. You may be excited to go to the gym but you have reached a plateau in your workouts.
While your workout should make you feel strong and powerful, it’s not the case all the time. Luckily, there’s a way to get a boost whenever you feel weighed down.
You won’t have to worry about another bad day at the gym, thanks to L-glutamine. This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about this natural amino acid.
What is L-Glutamine?
The amino acid plays several roles in our body, one of which is the building block of protein. Since protein is crucial for your organs to function, it’s imperative that your body won’t function properly without amino acids.
Glutamine is an amino acid that exists in two different forms: D-glutamine and L-glutamine. They have a slight difference in molecular arrangement, yet they are almost identical.
D-glutamine may not have relevant importance to living organisms. L-glutamine, on the other hand, is essential in making proteins and perform other functions. Your body naturally produces L-glutamine. As a matter of fact, you can abundantly find them in your blood and other body fluids. You can also find L-glutamine in foods and supplements, though some supplements list the broader term glutamine.
There are times when your body needs a greater amount of glutamine that it can naturally produce. Under certain conditions, such as illness or injury, you must obtain this essential amino acid from your diet.
Where Can You Find L-Glutamine?
You can naturally find L-Glutamine in a variety of food sources. Your diet must include three to six grams of this amino acid per day. Most of the foods that are a rich source of L-glutamine are known as “superfoods”.
Below are food sources that are high in L-glutamine:
Seafood, fish, poultry, and meat are among the best sources of L-glutamine. These foods are also known to be rich in protein. Foods that are a higher source of protein also tend to have higher L-glutamine. A lean cut of beef contains a higher amount of glutamine than a fatty one, simply because you will find more protein in a lean cut of beef than a portion that contains higher amounts of fat.
A lot of dairy products are high in L-glutamine. Whey protein is a top source, while yogurt, milk, and cheese are good sources of this amino acid. In addition, you will get a substantial amount of L-glutamine from ricotta, cottage cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.
You don’t need to rely solely on animal products to get your dose of L-glutamine as you can find them on plant-based foods too. Good sources of L-glutamine that contain high-quality protein are soybeans, peas, and dried lentils. Cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, fresh beans, parsley, kale, and raw spinach are excellent sources too.
Another major source of L-glutamine is eggs. Whole grains, such as oats, are also rich in glutamine. You can find them in brown rice, millet, quinoa, and whole wheat too. Additionally, peanut butter, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pistachios, and almonds are good sources as well.
What Are The Benefits of L-Glutamine?
L-glutamine is one of the most popular supplements used to aid in weight loss and muscle building.
Clearly, there are a lot of health benefits associated with this type of essential amino acid. Below are some of the reasons why you should include L-glutamine on your list of supplements.
Improves athletic performance and speeds up muscle recovery
L-glutamine serves as a detoxifying agent as it cleanses your body from high levels of ammonia. It converts the excess ammonia into other amino acids. There is about a 40% reduction in your glutamine level when you perform an hour of exercise.
Performing an hour of a workout can suppress your immune function. L-glutamine speeds up one’s recovery by boosting the immune system. The increase in T-helper cells reduces fatigue and injury.
Promotes muscle growth
L-glutamine can significantly help you if you want to build muscle and improve recovery. In addition, it also boosts your metabolism and increase athletic performance.
Your body needs more glutamine during an intense workout as your tendons and muscles become stressed. Your body goes through a muscle-wasting state as your plasma levels drop by 30% and cellular glutamine drops by 50%. During this state, your body uses your muscle as a source of energy. L-glutamine helps prevent this from happening.
An L-glutamine supplement enables your muscles to push a little further. It aids in the repair of your skeletal muscles and increases your strength. Furthermore, it improves muscle hydration which makes it quicker for you to recover after a hard workout. This does not only improves your recovery time but it also increases your muscle recovery process. This is one of the reasons why many bodybuilders use L-glutamine supplements.
Promotes weight loss
L-glutamine does not only help you gain lean body mass but it also speeds up metabolism and burns fat faster. It also stabilizes blood glucose and suppresses insulin levels.
Boosts mental health
If you want to boost your brain health, then you must include L-glutamine on your supplements. Furthermore, it can also delay brain aging.
Other health benefits:
There are many health benefits that you will get if you supplement with L-glutamine. This includes:
- Improves gastrointestinal health
- Helps ulcers and leaky gut
- Improves IBS and diarrhea
L-glutamine is an essential amino acid that provides many health benefits. Its usefulness does not just limit to bodybuilding but it extends to your overall health and fitness.
Make sure that you meet the recommended daily serving of L-glutamine in your diet. Furthermore, if you are taking supplements, follow the instructions and recommended dosage on the label. L-glutamine supplements are generally safe, however it wouldn’t hurt to consult your doctor first.
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