Living with mental and physical stresses seems to be an unavoidable part of today's lifestyles. Finding ways to cope is vital, especially if you are looking to maximize your gains from workouts or want your body to recover properly from changes and stress..
Living with mental and physical stresses seems to be an unavoidable part of today's lifestyles. Finding ways to cope is vital, especially if you are looking to maximize your gains from workouts or want your body to recover properly from changes and stress.
One amino acid has been closely studied for its ability to increase muscle mass, boost the immune system, and help retain muscle under the stress of intense workouts. This non-essential nutrient is l-glutamine. It is the most abundant amino acid found in the bloodstream, and is abundant in skeletal muscle as well. L-glutamine's unique molecular structure contains two nitrogen chains, making it the primary carrier of nitrogen to the muscle; nitrogen allows muscle to grow and repair faster.
Human Growth Hormone
L-glutamine naturally activates the pituitary gland to secrete human growth hormone (HGH). This hormone is important to both bodybuilders and those looking to lose weight. HGH suppresses muscle-protein breakdown and aids in the utilization of body fat for energy. One study published in 1995 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that a single two-gram oral dose of l-glutamine elevated the body's circulating growth-hormone levels by over 400 percent. With age our levels of HGH drop, which leads to muscle loss and heart disease.
Various immune cells in the body, such as the lymphocytes and macrophages, utilize l-glutamine as their main source of energy. These cells are found travelling through the bloodstream looking for foreign invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells. These cells must be fuelled properly in order for the body to effectively combat disease.
The digestive tract also acts to protect the body from harmful, invasive substances. The intestines utilize as much as 40 to 50 percent of the l-glutamine our bodies consume. Generating new cells that allow for proper digestion of nutrients and enable beneficial bacteria to thrive boosts the entire immune system.
A study done by the Department of Surgery at Penn State College of Medicine concluded that severe infections could deplete stores of l-glutamine. When there is an infection in the body, storage of l-glutamine must exceed the rate of release or muscle breakdown will occur. The liver also utilizes l-glutamine to respond to infection and fight disease.
Foods Containing l-glutamine
Foods that are a rich source of l-glutamine include eggs, pork, dairy proteins, wheat germ, and oats. If these sources are not options in your diet, l-glutamine can easily be found in either a synthetic or wheat-fermented form. While both are easily absorbed, the fermented form of l-glutamine has less of a chemical taste and smell. Furthermore, the fermented l-glutamine, unlike the synthetic, doesn't require additional vitamin B6 to aid in absorption.
Keeping proper stores of l-glutamine is important to preserve lean body mass and boost immunity. Consuming between five and 10 grams a day from diet or a supplement may ensure the body is within optimum levels. L-glutamine is readily absorbed and has no known toxicity level. As always, consult a health professional to see if this product is right for you.