Topics Covered In This Article
- I’ve Heard That Glutamine Might Help With Fat Loss?
- Glutamine’s Role is Gaining Muscle and Protein Synthesis
- Consistent, Daily Glutamine Supplementation is the Key
- Boosting Your Immune System
I’ve Heard That Glutamine Might Help With Fat Loss?
Researchers from Iowa State University have found that supplementing with glutamine after a meal increased energy expenditure and the utilization of fats and carbohydrates. This effect was observed in direct comparison to the use of mixed free-form amino acids.
The results of this work suggest that it enhances the action of insulin and promotes blood glucose disposal. This finding may explain the increase in muscle glycogen that has been observed in previous studies in response to supplementation.
As this study suggests, if glutamine does have a favorable impact on fat utilization, this will have a positive effect on body composition during a calorie-controlled diet.
What does this mean? You can lose body fat and build muscle at a faster pace by including it in your nutrition program.
Glutamine’s Role is Gaining Muscle and Protein Synthesis
I think Glutamine is one of the select few “must have” supplements for strength athletes. This is based on the following reasons.
- Firstly, for over a decade scientists have known that muscle building mechanisms (protein synthesis rates) are influenced by the amount of glutamine held within the cell.
- Secondly, other studies have shown that supplementation can assist with muscle glycogen re-synthesis.
- Thirdly, glutamine is the primary fuel of the immune system and immune function is suppressed by intense exercise.
Finally, all cells require a constant supply of glutamine for replication. Muscles are the primary site of synthesis that has to supply the glutamine to meet these unrelenting demands 24 hours a day 7 days a week, every single week.
Intense training is a “stress” that is shown to have an impact on the metabolism that can easily exceed this supply and demand. In turn, this can lead to over training, illness or at the very least, mediocre results from consistent training.
Most importantly, the latest research on glutamine shows that oral supplementation gets into circulation for up take by muscle and other tissues. This in itself is a very beneficial effect.
How Much Should I Take?
Based on the dose used in this study and the plasma concentrations achieved, it’s possible that a 5-10 gram oral dose may provide a favorable effect on the metabolism. The powder form is an inexpensive and safe to use supplement, so this strategy is definitely worth a try.
This finding on this very valuable amino acid is a very interesting and one that I’m going to look into more closely. Increased energy expenditure and fat utilization maybe another benefit from taking this highly underrated supplement.
Improves Athletic Performance
Without a doubt, glutamine is one of the most important supplements an athlete can use. Supplementation enhances health and improves athletic performance by accelerating recovery. However, this research showed that a large, one-time dose does not immediately enhance weight lifting performance.
During repetitive, intense contractions hydrogen ion concentrations increase in working muscle, this decreases pH and causes fatigue. Some researchers have speculated that a high dose of glutamine before training may buffer this accumulation of ions and allow for a greater work capacity before fatigue sets in. This intense short-term, high performance aspect is important for athletes such as bodybuilders.
Consistent, Daily Glutamine Supplementation is the Key
The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of one-time, high-dose glutamine ingestion on weight lifting performance in resistance-trained men. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, six resistance-trained men performed weightlifting exercises after ingesting glutamine or glycine (0.3-grams per kilogram) mixed with a calorie-free fruit drink. Each subject underwent three treatments in a randomized order.
Increase In Exercise Performance
One hour after ingestion, subjects performed four sets of exercise to momentary muscular failure (2 sets of leg presses at 200% of body weight, 2 sets of bench presses at 100% of body weight). There were no differences in the average number of maximal repetitions performed in the leg press or bench press exercises performed by the bodybuilders, indicating that the one-time ingestion of glutamine does not provide an immediate increase weightlifting performance.
Athletes should not look to glutamine as a supplement that directly enhances energy like caffeine or taurine provide rapid weight increases like Micronized Creatine. However, glutamine is a key component of optimum nutrition that builds a premium body. Apart from maintaining and increasing protein synthesis rates in muscle cells, glutamine maintains optimal immune function and enhances the detoxification ability of vital organs such as the liver.
Supplementation Optimizes the Health of the Intestinal Tract
Glutamine has recently been shown to enhance muscle glycogen stores, providing more energy for athletes on calorie-restricted diets. Glutamine supplementation also increases growth hormone and maintains high levels of glutathione – our body’s most important antioxidant.
Supplementation optimizes the health of the entire intestinal tract and enhances the ability to absorb vital nutrients and prevent bacterial translocation and infection. No matter how excellent your nutrition, if your absorption capabilities are poor you’ll never reach your potential in health or sport.
Boosting Your Immune System
I’ve had more than my share of colds and flu this winter. My sister is a nurse and she said that gyms are full of germs. I’m in the gym 5 times a week and she said that’s probably one reason why. I don’t want to stop going to the gym. Is there any truth to what my sister says and if so, how can I protect myself?
Your sister is correct to some extent. All that sweat, heat and heavy breathing in close proximity make gyms and fitness centers notorious breeding grounds for contagious germs, viruses and fungi. When you combine this environment with the fact that intense exercise temporarily lowers your immunity, this can adds up to a host of illness just waiting to happen.
However, there are a few simple steps you can take that will significantly cut your risk of picking up foreign pathogens that lead to illness.
Firstly, make sure your immune system is working at optimum strength. Adequate sleep and hydration are two fundamental aspects of a strong immune system. So turn up to the gym in a rested, hydrated state. Secondly, incorporate immune enhancing nutrients into your diet such as Whey Isolate.
Finally, be vigilant about prevention; train at a facility that promotes the use of towels on all machines and benches, the equipment should also be wiped down regularly. Most germs are transferred by hand so make sure you wash them thoroughly with soap after you’ve finished working out.
Glutamine is an important supplement for maximizing muscular growth and health. Make sure you use it daily to fully maximize your potential.
Will Taking the Herb Echinacea Speed Recovery From or Prevent Colds and Flu?
Since reading up on this herb and its protective effect against colds and flu, a group of scientists have performed a meta-analysis on studies and the efficacy of Echinacea extracts to prevent symptomatic development of an experimentally induced cold.
A meta-analysis basically looks at the existing literature and tries to come up with some sort of statistical general conclusion. A systematic search of English and German language science-based literature was conducted.
Based on their analyses, the likelihood of experiencing a clinical cold was 55% higher with placebo than with Echinacea. This was a statistically significant difference. The scientists concluded that standardized extracts of Echinacea were effective in the prevention of symptoms of the common cold after clinical inoculation, compared with placebo.
More appropriately powered clinical studies are required to confirm this in the “real-world” setting. This herb maybe worth a try but I wouldn’t bet my house on it preventing or curing the common cold.