Also known as l-glutamine, glutamine is one of the most important supplements for bodybuilders, power lifters and others involved in intense sports or exercise. Yet it is the most underrated. We shall look at the importance of this supplement as well as the best glutamine powders.
Adequate protein intake is essential for muscular growth, but not all protein is created equally. Protein is made up of amino acids. Amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of proteins.
There are 22 amino acids, 9 of which are considered essential because the human body cannot produce them on its own. Glutamine, also referred to as l-glutamine, is actually the most abundant of the amino acids. So why do you need to supplement it?
Under normal circumstances, the body is able to produce plentiful supply of glutamine, which is stored primarily in the muscles and secondarily in the lungs. This places glutamine under the umbrella of non-essential amino acids. Note the words “normal circumstances”.
However, when placed under extreme stress by disease, injury or extreme exercise, glutamine stores are depleted and the body cannot keep up with the demand. This can result in a catabolic state (muscle loss). During these times, glutamine is considered to be a conditionally essential amino acid.
Various medical conditions, including diseases and injuries, as well as certain infections can also lower glutamine levels. Intense bouts of exercise have the same effect.
Chronic stress, which leads to an increased production of cortisol, also reduces glutamine in the body. Glutamine supplements would be helpful for a person falling into any of the above categories.
Functions of Glutamine for Medical Conditions:
- Aids in recovery from injuries and illnesses
- Protects the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
- Boosts immune system function
- Supports white blood cell proliferation
- Preferred energy source for cellular reproduction
- Can assist with weight gain
- Regulates the body’s pH balance
Functions of Glutamine for Athletic Training:
- Rebuilds and repairs muscle tissues
- Reduces muscles soreness
- Transports nitrogen to muscle tissues
- Maintains a positive nitrogen balance
- Promotes an anabolic state within the muscles
- Buffers lactic acid
- Stimulate protein synthesis
Best Glutamine Powder Supplements
Glutamine supplements come in either capsule or powder form. However, powders are more popular as they can be easily mixed in water, health shake or juice (though in my experience orange juice does not mix well).
Here are the top-rated l-glutamine powders today:
1. Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Powder
To fully support your muscle recovery, add Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Powder to your favorite beverage or protein shake first thing in the morning and/or after a grueling workout. This easy to mix powder is unflavored, offering you plenty of versatility for your methods of consumption.
Available in multiple sizes, one rounded teaspoon contains five grams, or 5,000 milligrams, of pure glutamine. It is suitable for vegetarians and those with food sensitivities.
Benefits of Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Powder:
- Lessens muscle soreness
- Supports muscle recovery
- Facilitates muscle tissue repair
- Develops muscles through natural rebuilding
2. NOW Foods L-Glutamine Powder
This is a vegetarian formula glutamine but can also be used by non-vegetarians. NOW L-Glutamine Powder contains 5 grams or 5,000 milligrams of free-form glutamine per serving.
Ideal for anyone with food allergies, these capsules do not contain any egg, corn, dairy, gluten, or yeast. They are also free of preservatives, sugar, starch and salt.
Benefits of NOW Foods L-Glutamine
- Safe for those with food allergies
- Contains no sugar, soy, gluten, milk, shellfish, coloring or preservatives
- Free-form glutamine
- Supports nitrogen balance (an anabolic state)
3. Body Fortress 100% Pure Glutamine Powder
Body Fortress 100% Pure Glutamine Powder supports the metabolism of protein and serves as a recovery fuel for your tired muscles. After your muscles have surrendered their last reserves of glutamine, this powder picks up the slack. When combined with carbohydrates, glutamine can help to replenish your used up glycogen stores.
Benefits of Body Fortress 100% Pure Glutamine Powder:
- Minimizes protein loss
- Promotes an anabolic state
- Helps replenish depleted glycogen stores
- Buffers lactic acid
4. Dymatize L-Glutamine Powder
For fast absorbing glutamine, Dymatize L-Glutamine Powder can help volumize your muscle cells. It also stimulates the output of human growth hormone for increased gains in strength and power.
Benefits of Dymatize L-Glutamine Powder:
- Promotes faster muscle recovery
- Aids in nitrogen transport and delivery
- Facilitates glycogen synthesis
- Stimulates the metabolism of protein
Bodybuilding.com Micronized Glutamine (Product removed)
Each five-gram scoop of Bodybuilding.com Micronized Glutamine contains pure glutamine. This unflavored powder is ideal for mixing in beverages, shakes, or smoothies. It is easy to mix and is ideal to consume both before and after your workout. For added benefit, take one scoop before bed as well.
Bodybuilding.com Micronized Glutamine may not be suitable for people with extreme food allergies, as it is manufactured in a facility that produces products containing nuts, eggs, dairy, soy, wheat and shellfish.
Benefits of Bodybuilding.com Micronized Glutamine:
- Supports muscle growth
- Prevents muscular breakdown
- Speed muscle recovery
- Promotes gains in muscle size and strength
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Glutamine supplementation is great for anyone recovering from surgery or any type of injury. Cancer patients as well as those suffering from HIV or AIDS have also used it as well. Its benefits also extend to healthy individuals wanting to enhance the results of their workout sessions.
Intense training can take a toll on your body, leaving your natural stores of glutamine completely depleted. Maximize your results by giving your muscles what they crave with glutamine powder supplements.
* None of the statements on this page have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.