When it comes to small supplement tubs that pack a big punch, L-glutamine is possibly one of the most beneficial.
L-glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in muscle cells, and is a vital compound required to preserve muscle during and after exercise.
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Conditionally essential in times of stress
During times of heightened stress, which can include intense or high-volume training blocks, recovering from illness, or periods of psychological or emotional stress, the body’s glutamine requirements may exceed what it can produce from food alone (your body makes glutamine from BCAAs in muscle cells).
And low muscle glutamine levels can negatively impact recovery, result in muscle loss and a depress your immune response.
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Support your recovery with supplements
Supplementing with glutamine may help to prevent this drop in muscle glutamine, which can provide a potent anti-catabolic effect while also helping to boost muscle cell volume and hydration.
Supplementing with glutamine also plays an important role in maintaining optimal muscle metabolism, supporting the immune system and speeding up recovery.
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Digestion and immune support
L-glutamine also plays a valuable role in promoting a healthy digestive tract by supporting the structural integrity of the intestinal lining, potentially helping to reduce inflammation, and positively impacting the balance of beneficial probiotic bacteria in the microbiome.
In terms of the immune system, various immune cells require glutamine to replicate. However, these cells cannot produce this ‘non-essential’ amino acid themselves. And when we’re sick, we require additional glutamine to support immune cell function.
In these instances, glutamine becomes a ‘conditionally essential’ amino acid, which means the body is unable to produce sufficient glutamine to meet its requirements.
During these periods, glutamine supplements can help protect your muscles, aid recovery and support your immune system.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.
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