At some point or another, after spending some time getting your workouts and diet perfected, you're going to start thinking about what type of supplementary help might be beneficial for you to turn to.
Since we as a population tend to be rather impatient when it comes to seeing results for all of our effort, when something promises to get us to the end of the road in less time, we're interested.
You've likely heard of glutamine before and questioned if this was a supplement you should invest in. You only have so much money you can dedicate to supplements so you want to be sure that every penny you spend is working in your favor.
The Benefits Of Glutamine Powder
Glutamine And Immune System Capacity
Each and every time you go into the gym and perform a strenuous workout, your immune system is going to take a hit. This is especially the case if you are performing hard weight lifting workouts or HIIT cardio sessions since these are incredibly demanding on the body from both a muscular sense as well as from a central nervous system point of view.
Central Nervous System
The human central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. These lie in the midline of the body and are protected by the skull and vertebrae respectively.
This collection of billions of neurons is arguably the most complex object known. The central nervous system along with the peripheral nervous system comprise a primary division of controls that command all physical activities of a human.
Neurons of the central nervous system affect consciousness and mental activity while spinal extensions of central nervous system neuron pathways affect skeletal muscles and organs in the body.
When the immune system is running at a lowered capacity, you will be at a much higher risk for infection and disease, which could eventually take you right away from your workouts altogether.
One study that was published in the Nutrition Journal looked at the influence of oral glutamine administration on long distance runners and rowers during the seven days following exercise compared to a non-exercising control group.
They noted that the subjects exercising showed plasma glutamine levels were decreased by 20%, white blood cells were increased, and there was a decrease in the numbers of lymphocytes. Those exercising individuals who took oral glutamine however showed a better ratio of T-helper/T-suppressor cells and also reported fewer infections as well.
From this study it is suggested that supplementing with glutamine after intense exhaustive exercise can enhance the ability of the immune system to deal with the stress of the workout.
Glutamine And Post-Exercise Carbohydrate Uptake
The second thing that glutamine can help you out with is resythesizing carbohydrates after your workout session. Immediately following weight lifting, the muscles will be depleted of their glycogen reserves, which is why taking in that post-workout meal as soon as possible is so incredibly important.
The faster you can replenish those stores, the faster you will recover from that workout, which means you'll be that much more prepared when you go into the gym for your next workout session.
Researchers from the Department of Anatomy and Physiology in the United Kingdom reported that when 8 grams of glutamine was added into a 330 ml glucose polymer solution and administered to subjects after exhaustive exercise, plasma glutamine concentration was increased and whole body nonoxidative glucose disposal was also enhanced by 25%.
So by adding a dose of glutamine to your post-workout drink, you can actually speed up the recovery process that takes place, which will not only make you feel better immediately following a workout but will increase your ability to build more muscle tissue over time.
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Glutamine And Markers Of Overtraining
Overtraining is closely tied into recovery because if you aren't recovering from your workout on a regular basis, eventually you will start to experience overtraining.
While not recovering after a single workout session will impact you in the short term, it's when you are seeing this regularly that it really becomes an issue.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that looked at glutamine as an indicator of overtraining and found that athletes who were suffering from overtraining maintained plasma glutamine levels that were at a lowered level over a period of months or even years.
From this research we can suggest that if you supplement your diet with oral glutamine, you can help prevent levels from dipping so low on an ongoing basis, potentially reducing the risk of overtraining.
It's also important to note from this study that if you want a way to assess where you stand in terms of overtraining, assessing the current glutamine levels in the body may be one indicator to use.
Glutamine And Growth Hormone
Finally, the last way in which glutamine may be beneficial to you is with increasing growth hormone levels in the body.
Growth hormone is one of the primary hormones that is involved with synthesizing new muscle mass, so doing what you can to maximize it is one very good way to see better results from your muscle-building workout program.
Researchers from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition noted that after two grams of oral glutamine were administered to nine healthy subjects, ninety minutes after taking the supplement the subjects showed increased circulating levels of plasma growth hormone and plasma bicarbonate.
While the differences may not be extremely significant, every little bit will help promote your muscle-building efforts, so it is worth giving some consideration to.
From all of these points, we can see that glutamine is an effective tool for increasing workout performance and would be beneficial to start using.
Many of the products out on the market will combine glutamine along with other ingredients, so then you may get more benefits than what's just listed, but don't think you have to purchase these if you can't afford it.
A straightforward glutamine product can be very beneficial in itself, so if that's what you choose to invest in, it will be a smart decision.