Glutamine is one of the 20 amino acids that are used to make up protein in the human body. It is considered to be a nonessential amino acid because the body has the ability of producing it on its own. Glutamine is one of the most important amino acids in the body for creating an anabolic environment in the muscle. However, the effects of exercise and stress can quickly reduce glutamine levels which are important in protecting us against overtraining.
Even though we get glutamine in our diets, it's necessary for the body to produce more to meet the extreme amounts it requires. The majority of the glutamine found in the body is produced and stored in muscle tissue. Whenever necessary, these glutamine reserves can release glutamine into circulation to provide other tissues with glutamine. Under normal stress levels, the body can adequately produce all the glutamine that it needs and it is circulated to other tissues, such as the immune system, to be used for fuel. Glutamine is also directly related to the rate of protein synthesis/breakdown and is a powerful anabolic stimulator.
When the body's stress level changes, its demand for extra glutamine increases. For example, Within five minutes of intense exercise, other organs increase their use of glutamine, and as a result, the muscles begin to release their glutamine stores into the blood. The tissues and organs that require this glutamine are getting an ample supply, but at the cost of depleting muscle glutamine stores. Once muscle glutamine stores are depleted, the muscle cells become dehydrated. The cells will actually constrict and will move into a catabolic state, halting any protein synthesis and may lead to the muscle tissue breaking down.
No Lack of Glutamine Here!
Glutamine promotes anabolic conditions in muscle tissue and boosts the rate of protein synthesis by increasing the hydration in muscle cells. A study conducted by a group of US scientists found that the amount of water inside a cell will alter its metabolism, especially protein synthesis.
As you may have already guessed, bodybuilders are on a fine line between undertraining and overtraining. Overtraining is a condition that develops when training out weighs ample recovery time and when a person actually begins to overtrain, the harder they work, the less they will gain. Basically, a person becomes overtrained when their glutamine stores are depleted to the point that they cannot recover, again, causing the muscles to go into a catabolic state. People who suffer from overtraining are also more prone to infections since the immune system relies on glutamine as a fuel source for peak operating performance. If you feel a cold coming on, a little extra glutamine always seems to do the trick for me.
To conserve the muscle's glutamine stores, take a glutamine supplement prior to intense exercise. A post workout protein shake with carbs will boost insulin and help replenish amino acids in the muscle cells. Because glutamine stores are not depleted, recovery time will be shorted and there is less of a chance that you will end up overtraining.
Glutamine might be considered to be a nonessential amino acid for the normal individual, but for a bodybuilder I would definitely consider it to be an essential amino acid. As far as I'm concerned, supplementing with glutamine is as important as supplementing with a protein powder. The benefits of this product definitely support the cause.
Train Hard, Train Naturally!