Glutamine plays a special role when it comes to substantially improving the recovery of sportspeople and/or athletes that are undergoing a phase with a high demand of energy.
Why is Glutamine so important?Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid that is found in most of the skeletal muscle and which is involved in several physiological functions. The term “conditional” refers to the fact that even though our organism can synthesize it, its production can be compromised in certain circumstances.
Like stress for example, the one caused by physical exercise, especially if it is relatively intense and frequent (number of times that we train, including competitions), which will mean that the cells of our immune system will need higher levels of glutamine. On the other hand, glutamine helps with the excretion of metabolic waste products that result from the intensity of the exercise, like in the case of ammonia.
Maintaining an increased physical stress will lead to an increase of the cortisol levels, which will reduce the deposits of glutamine
Symptoms of a Glutamine Deficiency
If we are not capable of providing enough glutamine in this case, we could even experience certain anomalies, like a lack of recovery, excessive tiredness, worse mood, lack of appetite, lethargy for most of the day, increased chances of suffering infections, and almost suffering an overtraining syndrome, which will occur if we do not do anything to counter this situation.
The Importance of Glutamine for Sportspeople
- Muscle Recovery
- Improved immune function
- Improved intestinal health
How much Glutamine do we need?
First of all, the body weight and the amount of exercise that you normally practice will determine how much glutamine you need to take. The normal amount for a daily dose of glutamine moves between 2 and 20-30 grams, in order to increase the concentrations of glutamine in the blood plasma. The lowest dose could be enough for an inactive person, while 30g will be more beneficial for someone who practices at a high intensity or who is preparing for a competition.
The correct dose is not the only important element, we have to consider the moment and the product that we are going to use.
Bear in mind: if you use more than 10 grams of glutamine daily, you will have to divide the dose. Instead of taking 10 grams in one go, you will have to take two doses of 5 grams each
If you follow this advise, you will avoid the side effects. Some people have experienced certain stomach discomfort when taking high doses of glutamine supplements at the same time. It is very important to take the correct dose of glutamine, so start with a little dose and increase it progressively.
How to take Glutamine?
Glutamine can be taken with or without a meal, but you should always avoid mixing it with hot foods or drinks in order to avoid the possible breakdown that would reduce its effects. If you choose to take it with juices, it would be advisable to drink those that have a low acidity (avoid orange or grape fruit juice).
The formats of glutamine that are sold as nutritional supplements tend to be powders, capsules, or tablets. The format powder is probably the most comfortable one if you want to mix it with other supplements.
Glutamine can be combined with other supplements:
When to take Glutamine?
There are 4 moments throughout the day when it is advised to take glutamine. However, you may use it in any other way according to professional prescription, for example every 2-3 hours with snacks, shakes, or meals.
In general, we can take a dose of 5g of glutamine at each of these times:
- After waking up
- Before training
- After the workout
- Before sleeping
Does Glutamine produce any side effect?
As we saw at the beginning, glutamine is synthesized by our own organism, and it is also consumed through the foods of our daily diet. However, the amount that our body produces does not meet its own demands, which is why glutamine supplementation will be beneficial and useful for us.
If we follow the recommended dose and do not exceed them massively, glutamine is actually a completely safe supplement and it will not probably produce any side effect. Moreover, it tends to come in a format that does not include any additional excipient, which means that the product will have the highest purity.