There is a formula for increased muscle capacity controlled by the Muscle Industrialists and locked away in their vaults. Our double-agent, code name "Beef," while posing as a muscle laboratory technician unwrapped the formula via search taking microfilm on disk which was smuggled out of the iron Industrialist who are bent on world muscle control.
After our scientists were able to analyze the formula for increased muscle volume, the breakdown of elements became all too clear to us: 1 part Weight Training, 1 part Nutrition, and 10 parts L-Glutamine equals Muscles squared!
But, what is this L-Glutamine and why do we need it? The question is why do we, as power-bodybuilders, need to add L-Glutamine to our already complex and hectic dietary program? Well, L-Glutamine is present in virtually all major organs and it just happens to be the most utilized amino acid in our muscle tissue. L-Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, which means that our body can manufacture it as needed, but not in sufficient quantity.
What are Amino Acids?
First, we must understand what amino acids are. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 24 amino acids which form a number of different proteins. These amino's all contain nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen molecules.
Amino acids are defined as 1) essential, and 2) nonessential. The essential amino acids must be derived from food, and there are eight of them: L-isoleucine, L-leucine, L-lysine, L-methionine, L-phenyllanine, L-tryptophan, L-threonine, L-valine, and two others, L-arginine and L-histidine. What about the nonessential amino acids?
Well, these amino acids must be manufactured internally, in sufficient quantities, when required during times of stress, or other factors? The nonessential amino acids are: L-alanine, L-aspartic acid, L-citrulline, L-cystine, L-glutamic acid, glycine, L-orithine, L-proline, L-serine, taurine, L-tyrosine, and L-GLUTAMINE.
Our body readily uses L-Glutamine, for other body functions, and supplies are maintained at low levels. If we arrive at this empty gas tank of L-Glutamine the body will tear down and start to catabolize muscle tissue. Why does this happen? Well, the body will start excavating, for a source of L-Glutamine, searching for reserves stored in the muscle tissues.
Again, I ask the question. Why do we need to supplement what we already have? If our body is like a machine, readily generating this amino acid, then why do we need more?
Why Should We Supplement Glutamine?
Well, what is important for athletes to remember is that the body can quickly exhaust the supply of L-Glutamine by performing vigorous exercise. That is why! Besides, Glutamine spares nitrogen and increases protein synthesis. So, that is why the formula recommends supplementation with L-Glutamine.
First, it aids in neutralizing the catabolic effects of cortisol, which is induced upon hard strenuous exercise, thus making L-Glutamine an anti-catabolic supplement.* Also, bodybuilders and other hard training athletes are always looking for ways to increase nitrogen retention and muscle-glycogen stores for increased muscle volume, and this is where L-Glutamine comes into action.
L-Glutamine's molecular structure has not one, but two atoms of nitrogen, and two is always better than one! Glutamine acts as a nitrogen shuttle during heavy training, offers a little glycogen storage for muscle energy, spares creatine, and helps block cortisol, which we all know is the main ingredient for muscle catabolism.
Stores of readily available glucose to supply the tissues with an oxidizable energy source are found principally in the liver, as glycogen. A second major source of stored glucose is the glycogen of skeletal muscle.
Finally, L-Glutamine supports immunological responses under stress too.
The dietary requirements for L-Glutamine supplementation may differ according to the nutritional status, body size, sex, age, and activity levels in individuals. Usually, dietary requirements and calculations for L-Glutamine consumption are based on research from a controlled experiment group.
What Can Glutamine Do For Me?
Here are some of the support factors offered by L-Glutamine supplementation.
Muscle Growth & Recovery:
L-Glutamine levels drop significantly during intense workouts, and this act places stress on our muscles. Adding small amounts of L-Glutamine, all through the day, will correct imbalances that may occur.
This also benefits protein synthesis in muscle tissue. When equilibrium is reached the muscle cells increase.
The Immune System:
The L-Glutamine molecule is a substrate, which is a template for other molecules to build on, in the immune system. That is why L-Glutamine is one of the more important amino acids needed for a fully functioning immune system.
L-Glutamine is an essential part of the brain's metabolism, because this amino acid forms many different neurotransmitters. Furthermore, sufficient amounts can cause increased mental alertness and concentration spans.
Remember to be careful not to confuse L-Glutamine with L-Glutamic Acid. Although they sound similar, these two amino acids have different, yet similar, uses in their applications. L-Glutamic Acid is an important metabolic factor in energy production, brain function, and the immune system, and when in combination with vitamin B-6, L-Glutamic Acid is converted into L-GLUTAMINE in the liver.
Besides, in practical application, L-Glutamine will provide bodybuilders and other hard weight-training athletes with a variety of benefits.
Some of those benefits are higher workout energy, a better pump for workouts, a little more mental alertness, and bigger, better quality muscles! So, thank Agent Beef for risking his muscle size to bring this new world power to our muscle-building realm. Watch out muscle Industrialists we are here for a hostile takeover.
* This statement has not been investigated as of yet by the Food & Drug Administration.
1. Rennie, Michael J., al.: Glutamine Metabolism and Transport in Skeletal Muscle and Heart and Their Clinical Relevance. American Institute of Nutrition, 1996.
2. Lacey, Janet M, Dr., R.D., et.; Is Glutamine a Conditionally Essential Amino Acid? Nutrition Review, Vol. 48, No. 8, 1990.
3. MUSASHI Technical Update.