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  Category: Articles » Health & Fitness » Supplements » Article

How L-Glutamine works as a supplement

By Mansi gupta

Many of those who use L-Glutamine don't consider it a serious supplement and insist there are no side effects. It doesn't make you bigger, or stronger, or give you energy, or burn fat, or do anything like that, yet it could be one of the most useful supplements around.

L-Glutamine is an amino acid, exactly like protein. Because it's the most abundant free amino acid in muscle tissue it plays a principal role in protein metabolism, and anti-catabolism. Anti-catabolism is the reason most body builders take L-Glutamine. Catabolism is the breaking down of muscles, which is something no one, in particular body builders wants to happen. When you do cardio or aerobic activities they can have a catabolic effect on your muscles. Your body needs something to burn for energy when you jog, run, walk, ride a bike or take an aerobics class and sometimes you body uses your own muscle for energy. This is where L-Glutamine comes in. It allows you to maintain as much muscle as possible and prevents muscle cell breakdown.

L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in the body, and plasma glutamine levels are the highest of any amino acid. L-Glutamine is predominantly synthesized and stored in skeletal muscle. The amino acid L-glutamate is metabolized into L-Glutamine in a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme glutamine, which in addition to L-Glutamate requires ammonia, ATP and magnesium glutamate.

Many people find that L-Glutamine works best when they are in their cutting up phase, or any other time when you are trying to loose fat. During this phase you're trying to loose fat while at the same time you want to maintain as much muscle as possible. L-Glutamine can be very useful to anyone trying to do this because it is an anti-catabolic.
Although you probably aren't aware of it, you may already be taking L-Glutamine.
It's one of the ingredients of any whey protein supplement, which usually includes a few grams of it. However, this supplement is the most effective when you take about 10-15 grams daily, with the best times being first thing in the morning and right after your workout.

L-Glutamine comes in both powder and capsule form. If you take it in powder form that saves money, don't worry about the taste because it is completely tasteless and mixes with anything including water. Besides being found in many protein supplements, L-Glutamine can also be found naturally in beans, meat, fish, poultry and dairy products.

L-Glutamine is found throughout the body and plays an important role in protein metabolism. From a bodybuilder's point of view, L-Glutamine's strength is its ability to reduce the amount of muscle deterioration that happens as a result of intense physical workouts. Failing to replace the high levels of glutamine that are consumed during intense exercise can result in a greater susceptibility to illness due to weakening of the immune system. Also, L-Glutamine taken from the muscles to maintain the immune system must be replaced to keep those muscles building.

As a nutrient that occurs naturally in the body glutamine is safe to take although ingesting excessive amounts could cause an upset stomach.
About the Author
Mansi Gupta recommends Muscle Building Supplements. See for more information.

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