L. Glutamine, also known simply as glutamine, is the most abundant amino acid in the human body. It has been researched extensively for the role it plays in body composition, immune system health, muscle recovery and regeneration and the overall health of the body. It is also being investigated for the role it plays in fat burning and subsequent weight loss. It is widely regarded as an excellent supplement for the purposes of weight loss and muscle recovery but positive results seem to be indirectly dependent on glutamine. This means that while glutamine does a lot to improve and repair multiple systems within the body, a side effect of all this activity is often weight loss, making glutamine an all-around indispensable supplement for individuals trying to lose weight.
What is Glutamine?
Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning the body synthesizes it. After being synthesized by the tissues, glutamine is stored in muscle, lung, liver, brain and stomach tissues. Glutamine makes up sixty percent of the body’s amino acid stores and serves to fuel the intestines and immune system, aid in the regeneration and repair of soft tissues, prevent disease and maintain the antioxidant supply within the body. How glutamine affects weight loss is more indirect than direct but it essentially increase cellular activity in a variety of ways. Glutamine increases the activity of immune system blood cells, particularly the while blood cells known as macrophages. Macrophages are responsible for ridding the blood and tissues of potentially harmful microorganisms. Glutamine also plays an important role in fitness. After particularly strenuous exercise, lactic acid builds up in the muscle tissue which produces the uncomfortably sore and burning feeling in the worked muscles for days after the workout. Glutamine helps to counteract this cellular acidity and prevents the accumulation of ammonia in the blood by drawing water into the tissue to literally dilute and flush out the acid and ammonia. This water in the muscle tissue leads to increased muscle volume which is why muscles always seem a little bigger immediately after a strength training work out. In addition to counteracting the stresses of exercise, glutamine also helps to buffer the effects of environmental and emotional stress factors. Mental stress caused by people, things, places and experiences lead to the increased secretion of cortisol, a hormone the body uses to prepare for stressful situations. Cortisol can lead to muscle loss and weight gain, the body’s natural defense mechanism towards stress. Glutamine, supplied at proper dosage, works to counteract the effects of stress and the subsequent cortisol production, resulting in decreased fat storage. Coupled with the increased cellular activity and the potential for more regular exercise, this decreased fat storage results in more fat being burned, often producing noticeable weight loss when joined with a low-fat diet. You can read more about what glutamine is here.
Who can benefit from Glutamine?
Everyone can benefit from adding a glutamine supplement to their diet. The amount obtained through food alone may not always be sufficient. Certain populations require more glutamine. People who are suffering from chronic stress, overly strenuous exercise, severe wounds and infectious disease can deplete their stores of glutamine by 50%. Individuals that fall into one or more of these categories will benefit from glutamine supplements more than the average healthy individual. However, anyone looking to boost their metabolism and start a weight loss program could benefit from trying a glutamine supplement. Natural and free of manufacturing by-products, glutamine supplements can be safely enjoyed by anyone. Individuals taking glutamine to get help losing weight should eat a balanced, low-fat diet and should exercise most days of the week to see the added bonus of glutamine’s metabolism-boosting properties. When taking glutamine supplements, one can expect to recover from strenuous exercise faster and should take advantage of this by trying to exercise more frequently.
What is the Recommended Dosage for Glutamine?
Consume five grams or more of a glutamine supplement daily to take advantage of its cortisol-fighting properties. Some researchers suggest taking five to ten grams of glutamine upon waking, before exercise and before going to bed. Glutamine supplements can be found at most grocery stores in the vitamin aisle.
Glutamine has many indirect and direct effects on metabolism and weight loss. This powerful amino acid, the most plentiful in the human body, can improve workouts, can bolster the immune system and can counteract cortisol, the stress hormone. Find glutamine at any grocery store and add it to a weight loss program to increase fat burning and improve whole-body health.