Glutamine Supplements Supply Nitrogen, Support Healing
As the most abundant amino acids in the human body, glutamine and glutamate are produced in muscle tissue and delivered to the bloodstream. Glutamine drives our core physiology as the building block or basic unit for assembling complex proteins as well as sugars including glucose. To support healing, the intravenous administration of L-glutamine has gained popularity among healthcare providers to help abdominal surgery patients and trauma victims stabilize and recover faster. When the body attempts to heal after serious injury, increased levels of nitrogen are delivered to the wound site. Roughly one third of the body’s nitrogen supply comes from glutamine.
For athletes, glutamine supplements are in wide use to help prevent muscle loss which occurs when the body uses more glutamine than its muscles can produce [¹]. Without glutamine supplementation, such muscle loss can occur during strenuous workouts or sports training activities.
1. Hickson, R. C., S. M. Czerwinski, and L. E. Wegrzyn. “Glutamine prevents downregulation of myosin heavy chain synthesis and muscle atrophy from glucocorticoids.” American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism 268.4 (1995): E730-E734.
Natural Sources of L-Glutamine
When to Increase Dietary Intake
L-glutamine drives the division of white blood cells and is essential to functions of the human immune system. Under normal circumstances your body will manufacture sufficient levels of glutamine but in cases of heavy workouts, extreme sports training or a serious injury, your dietary intake of glutamine may need to be increased.
In nature, L-glutamine is found in protein-rich seafoods such as shellfish and salmon, in lean red meats and in poultry. Animal tissue that with higher concentrations of protein are usually better sources of L-glutamine.
For researchers, the importance of L-glutamine stems from the number of biological needs it fulfills. In a cleansing process, glutamine controls a nitrogen-based transport for shuttling toxic levels of ammonia out of cells while converting the toxin to a harmless waste product, urea. As the most abundant amino in the human bloodstream, Glutamine is synthesized and stored in muscle tissue until called on to build glutathione, glucose, nucleotides or larger amino acids [¹]. In clinical applications, L-glutamine is often used to reduce recovery time for post-op patients and for victims of traumatic injuries [¹]. In such cases, glutamine has also been shown to reduce incidence of infection. In clinical applications for preventing muscle depletion, the consumption and effects of L-glutamine supplements are discussed in nutritional research studies [¹ ²].
In the sports nutrition industry, the best glutamine supplements available come from Inner Armour. Glutamine 500 for example, is a top pick among bodybuilders and athletes in a variety of professional sports including football, soccer and basketball. From the NBA to the NFL, you can find additional L-glutamine nutritional supplements in use, ranging from BCAA Peak to Inner Armour Nitro Peak.